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Old 02-11-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Suggestion for back up sump pump


I was wondering if someone could recomend a reliable back up sump pump system for my basement. I have read a few reviews on different brands but most seem to be negative, so i though maybe you guys could point me in the direction of a good system. I have read about the battery style and a little about the water pressure style, not sure what one to get. I can do basic plumbing, but i'm definately not a plumber. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

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Old 02-11-2009, 03:51 PM   #2
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Suggestion for back up sump pump


Home depot. The watchdog system from them. It is a full size 1/4 horse pump that is driven by either their DC battery or a/c plugin. Have had it for 2 years. Love it. It can be used as the primary pump if you want. Total cost is around 650 when you get the battery but it is worth it.


http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ctId=100065446

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Old 02-11-2009, 08:01 PM   #3
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Suggestion for back up sump pump


Can i ask why you would suggest a battery back up instead of a water pressure model?
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:49 PM   #4
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Suggestion for back up sump pump


Easier to install. I also shut off my main water supply when ever I leave for a couple days cause of fear of a pipe bursting when I am gone. The water pressure model won't work that way.
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Can i ask why you would suggest a battery back up instead of a water pressure model?
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
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Suggestion for back up sump pump


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Can i ask why you would suggest a battery back up instead of a water pressure model?
Consider also that some may be on well water, which of course, won't work unless they have a automatic standby generator during a power outage whereby then you most likely won't need a backup unless you fear a primary pump failure.

I have the mid level Basement Watchdog as the backup right now. It has a backup float safety switch which I'm not too crazy about. It requires even more of a clearance height in the sump pit in order to activate.

Also, the battery powered system requires routine maintenance where initially, you have to fill with sulfuric acid, and replenish off and on with distilled water.
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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Suggestion for back up sump pump


Is this a good system also? Its a little cheaper but made by the same company. I have a few marine and rv deep cycle batteries, can i use those for the battery? Also, when the alarm sounds to let you know it's working, can you turn the alarm off or will it keep going the entire time the power is out?

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...3+90401+502426
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:28 PM   #7
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Easier to install. I also shut off my main water supply when ever I leave for a couple days cause of fear of a pipe bursting when I am gone. The water pressure model won't work that way.
I do the same. I installed the Wanye Reliantone from Lowes so far so good. Has worked every time I've tested it. Was installed late December of last year after an incident prompted a back-up system. I'll give it a little more time before submitting my review.

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I have a few marine and rv deep cycle batteries, can i use those for the battery? Also, when the alarm sounds to let you know it's working, can you turn the alarm off or will it keep going the entire time the power is out?
I chose not to buy the Wayne battery that was available at Lowes and opted for a deep cycle marine battery from NAPA. I believe with mine, if the power is actually out, the alarm will only chime for 30 sec. As not to drain the battery but to inform you of the current power situation.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by detroti_fan View Post
Is this a good system also? Its a little cheaper but made by the same company. I have a few marine and rv deep cycle batteries, can i use those for the battery? Also, when the alarm sounds to let you know it's working, can you turn the alarm off or will it keep going the entire time the power is out?

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...3+90401+502426
This is the one that I have. I don't think you'll be able to use a separate battery for this system because this system is designed where it constantly monitors the state of the battery via a probe that's inserted into the battery, and will alarm if not functioning properly.

You cannot shut the alarm off permanently.

Last edited by handy man88; 02-12-2009 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:59 AM   #9
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One bad thing I have heard about water powered back-up pumps is the amount of water used to operate the pump. I have heard it was 3 to 5 gallons of water to pump out one gallon from the sump. A lot would depend on where you are pumping the sump to.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:41 PM   #10
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Not sure about this system but with the top of the line one you can silence the alarm for 24 hours if you want. I went with their battery so I can make sure the computer can monitor the proper battery it was designed for. Not that much more when you consider I spent $20,000 finishing the basement and 6 months of my life.
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Originally Posted by detroti_fan View Post
Is this a good system also? Its a little cheaper but made by the same company. I have a few marine and rv deep cycle batteries, can i use those for the battery? Also, when the alarm sounds to let you know it's working, can you turn the alarm off or will it keep going the entire time the power is out?

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...3+90401+502426
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:57 PM   #11
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Suggestion for back up sump pump


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One bad thing I have heard about water powered back-up pumps is the amount of water used to operate the pump. I have heard it was 3 to 5 gallons of water to pump out one gallon from the sump. A lot would depend on where you are pumping the sump to.
On "This Old House," they installed a water powered system one time and Richard made a great point in that 3-5 gals of water being used (which is rare to begin with for a backup pump) is better than 1 gal of water filling your basement.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:00 PM   #12
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I went shopping today at some of the stores, lowes, hd, menards ect...
I found a product called the sump buddy by bur cam. It is water powered and sems to get pretty good reviews. It's only $100 at the stores i mentioned, seems like its worth a shot. The battery units look nice, but for $100 this might be an easy and inexpensive way to ease my mind. I think it uses 2 gallons to pump out 1, but i don't expect it to run unless i'm in bad situation anyways, so i could really care less about water waste. I have all copper pipe and can tap into it before any other fittings, so install shouldn't be to bad. I posted a link to the manu site if anyone is interested.

http://burcam.com/burcam.asp

https://secure.burcam.com/fichiers/i...ais/300402.pdf
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:05 PM   #13
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Suggestion for back up sump pump


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Originally Posted by detroti_fan View Post
I went shopping today at some of the stores, lowes, hd, menards ect...
I found a product called the sump buddy by bur cam. It is water powered and sems to get pretty good reviews. It's only $100 at the stores i mentioned, seems like its worth a shot. The battery units look nice, but for $100 this might be an easy and inexpensive way to ease my mind. I think it uses 2 gallons to pump out 1, but i don't expect it to run unless i'm in bad situation anyways, so i could really care less about water waste. I have all copper pipe and can tap into it before any other fittings, so install shouldn't be to bad. I posted a link to the manu site if anyone is interested.

http://burcam.com/burcam.asp

https://secure.burcam.com/fichiers/i...ais/300402.pdf
My question after looking at the PDF file is when does the backup float initiate relative to the float of the main pump. You really don't want the backup pump to run if there is power to a perfectly functioning primary pump.

With my battery backup system, I have to place the float above the max possible height for primary pump's float. That way, if the sump pit fills and that water in the sump pit goes above the max height travel for the primary's float, only then will the backup float start to move up.

From the PDF file, the backup pump's float looks huge and is placed so low, and it looks like it might initiate quickly.

I didn't read that this backup has any sort of relay switch where it would only activate if the house loses power.

Also, an important question is what is the max flow rate of the pump relative to a batter powered version.

My mid level backup can handle 1730 gal/hr at 10ft height.

http://www.basementwatchdog.com/base...og_special.htm
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:23 PM   #14
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My question after looking at the PDF file is when does the backup float initiate relative to the float of the main pump. You really don't want the backup pump to run if there is power to a perfectly functioning primary pump.

With my battery backup system, I have to place the float above the max possible height for primary pump's float. That way, if the sump pit fills and that water in the sump pit goes above the max height travel for the primary's float, only then will the backup float start to move up.

From the PDF file, the backup pump's float looks huge and is placed so low, and it looks like it might initiate quickly.

I didn't read that this backup has any sort of relay switch where it would only activate if the house loses power.

Also, an important question is what is the max flow rate of the pump relative to a batter powered version.

My mid level backup can handle 1730 gal/hr at 10ft height.

http://www.basementwatchdog.com/base...og_special.htm
The float switch posistion is adjustable, so you can raise it up so it doesn't kick on under normal operation. It won't only operate if the house loses power, but if the water gets high enough in the sump to activate the float switch the power must be out or water is coming in so fast i need both working. At 60psi water pressure it will pump 600gph@5', 325gph@10' and 150gph@15'. My head is only about 5 feet, so 600gph should be ok for my application. The main thing that stops me from getting the watchdog is having to use their battery. I have read a lot of reviews where people say it keeps going bad within 2 years, i don't really want to have to pay $100+ every 2 years to buy a new battery. If it would accomodate a normal deep cycle battery i might go for it.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:50 PM   #15
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The float switch posistion is adjustable, so you can raise it up so it doesn't kick on under normal operation. It won't only operate if the house loses power, but if the water gets high enough in the sump to activate the float switch the power must be out or water is coming in so fast i need both working. At 60psi water pressure it will pump 600gph@5', 325gph@10' and 150gph@15'. My head is only about 5 feet, so 600gph should be ok for my application. The main thing that stops me from getting the watchdog is having to use their battery. I have read a lot of reviews where people say it keeps going bad within 2 years, i don't really want to have to pay $100+ every 2 years to buy a new battery. If it would accomodate a normal deep cycle battery i might go for it.
Here are some points:

* I don't know if you've attempted to install this new pump just yet, but you might want to check how deep your sump pit is. If your current pump has a tethered float, you might have to get rid of it for a vertical float model. A tethered float design usually initiates only when water is about 14" high, while a vertical float will go at 8".

The former design also usually results in your drain tile filling up water before the pit level actually hits 14". There's very little height available past the 14" before you hit the sump cover.

* I had my previous mid level backup pump with the 6.5 hr battery for 4 years and had no issue with the battery.

* I currently have a 7.5 hr battery and haven't had any issues beyond normal topping off with distilled water.

* If you're counting on the future where both pumps might have to run at the same time, you might want to consider running a dedicated outlet for the backup pump. When both pumps are running, only one will actually pump water if the piping is Y'd together.

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