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Old 01-03-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Sump Pump Replacement Recommendations


I'm planning on calling a plumber out to replace an old sump pump in my home. Just wondering if anyone has any brand recommendations for submersible sump pumps?

I've read that Zoeller makes some good ones.

I want to get one that is preferred by professional plumbers because they will be installing it and maintaining it.

The one I am having replaced is a Simer Model #2955 that is 17 years old:
http://www.simerpump.com/pdf/SIM719.pdf

I'm not doing any of the work myself, however, I want to become as familiar with the product as possible, especially the prices, etc. That way, when I have a few pros give me estimates, I'll know the exact price they are paying for the item.

Also, anyone know about how much it will cost to have a sump pump replaced? Ballpark figure? Does it take an hour or two to replace?

Also, do they replace the PVC valves that go outside? Mine is currently frozen. I'm hoping that I can have them install a brand new sump pump and brand new PVC (hopefully with an IceGuard, or something similar that doesn't freeze in the winter when you have a deep thaw followed by a quickfreeze). Thanks


Last edited by LittleScooby; 01-03-2011 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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Sump Pump Replacement Recommendations


You're asking a lot in a little space. I have put in many sump pumps over the years and Zoehler is indeed one of the better ones. They are one of the more costly ones also. A straight replacement of a sump pump should include the pump and a new checkvalve. Additionally you may need several PVC pipe fittings, a PVC ball valve and possibly as much as 10 feet of PVC pipe depending on what kind of a lash up you have. Generally 1 hours' labor should be enough time to remove and reinstall AFTER the plumber gets there. Other problems may include incorrect pipe size: the pipe from the pump to the checkvalve or to the PVC ball valve should be the same size as the pump outlet. A pump should be run directly outside on its own line, but due to space limitations 2, 3, or 4 pumps have been combined together on one line in the past and the problems have been further compounded by under sizing the pipe run outside. Such as 2 to 4
1-1/2 inch pumps being tee'd or y'd together onto a single 1-1/2 inch or a 2 inch line. Plus you cannot tell how much the plumber is paying for his material by the retail prices you see at the store. Discounts??? Overhead???? Sales taxes???? State Sales Taxes????

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Old 01-03-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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Sump Pump Replacement Recommendations


There are a number of companies that make excellent sump pumps. The key is to have an industrial type pump installed, rather than a homeowner pump, if you want it to last a long time with minimal trouble. An industrial sump pump would typically have a stainless steel or silicon bronze impeller, a cast iron body, thermal overload protection, solids handling capability, and be capable of operating in a dry sump for extended time without damage.

Companies that make industrial grade pumps include Zoeller, Myers, Barnes and Flygt. There are others as well. Unless you plan to research the specific make and model of your pump, you may simply want to tell your plumber that you want an industrial grade pump (they will be a minimum of 1/2 HP), and let them make the call.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:12 PM   #4
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Sump Pump Replacement Recommendations


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grampa Bud View Post
Generally 1 hours' labor should be enough time to remove and reinstall AFTER the plumber gets there.
I hope that turns out to be true, however, I left off additional items, so the more I think of it, it will probably take closer to 2 hours, because I also want a backup pump, and battery backup capability. But who knows, I thought I saw some that came with a backup pump and battery all in one, but not sure if Zoeller makes them or not. Plus, I don't know if they would have to drill another hold in the bricks or not. The current PVC that goes outside directly from the current pump discharge line is going out through a hole that was drilled in the bricks, then it goes down 1.5 feet to the ground. Is drilling out the brick a big deal? (or would they only need one discharge PVC line for 2 pumps (backup and primary)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grampa Bud View Post
You're asking a lot in a little space. I have put in many sump pumps over the years and Zoehler is indeed one of the better ones. They are one of the more costly ones also.
I know. I always have a million and one questions, very detail oriented. Good to know Zoeller is decent. The reviews on Amazon kinda hinted at that as well. If you had to choose a model to install in your own home, would it be a Zoeller?

I don't mind paying extra for quality brands, in fact, I prefer it, especially for something as important as this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
you may simply want to tell your plumber that you want an industrial grade pump (they will be a minimum of 1/2 HP), and let them make the call.
You know, I sort of thought the 1/3 HP pump that was installed in my house was a little on the wimpy side. The 1/2 and 3/4 HP units seem like they would be ideal.

Oh, that reminds me. Currently the pump is submersible. If you had to replace it, would you go with another submersible, or a pedastal instead?

Pedastals are supposed to be rather noisy and this pump will be within 10 feet of a room that has people in it all day. (crawlspace with 1 wall). Pedastals have a longer life but if they are noisy I'd have to rule them out.

I should post some pictures. I'm hoping to get some quotes tomorrow or wednesday because I want to have someone out before the next thaw.

Is ServiceMagic a decent tool to use for locating plumbers? I was thinking of just going through there and picking the 5 star rated plumbers that sound nice. Not sure if that is a good idea or not though.

I know one thing. I think that Roto-Rooter is too expensive. They charged me $300 once to replace two toilet flow systems (replaced with Fluidmaster 400's I think). Granted it was on a Sunday night, but they are a 24\7 hour shop. And on top of that, one of the toilets still turns on every 10 mins. (Flapper may be bad, wasn't replaced at the time and it's 17 years old as well).

Last edited by LittleScooby; 01-03-2011 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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Sump Pump Replacement Recommendations


Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleScooby View Post
Is ServiceMagic a decent tool to use for locating plumbers? I was thinking of just going through there and picking the 5 star rated plumbers that sound nice. Not sure if that is a good idea or not though.
IMO, If you want to find a good shop, go to your local phone book, wholesale house, or pump dealer and get their recommendations. Not a fan of online sites yet. I may be wrong but I believe a contractor pays to be listed on those sites. Most small shops can't afford that or even considered online advertisment and yet they are very capable to do your project.
Oh, and don't forget about warranties. Even a good product can fail, will the contractor stand behind it?
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:47 PM   #6
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Sump Pump Replacement Recommendations


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Oh, and don't forget about warranties. Even a good product can fail, will the contractor stand behind it?
Good point. What is the average warranty I should expect for this? A couple years?
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:08 AM   #7
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Sump Pump Replacement Recommendations


I was able to get a plumber out today and got an estimate, just curious if you think it is on the low end or high end.

I was recommended to get a 1/2 HP Zoeller submersible (hoping to have the model# info soon) and was told that a 3/4 HP unit would be overkill and could burn out quicker for my application.

With installation of the unit and a new checkvalve and an upgrade of the PVC from 1.25 to 1.5 inch, I was quoted $450. Does that sound reasonable?

That doesn't include the entire amount of PVC, only about 10 feet, enough to get the discharge line outside.

If I want more added it would be an additional cost. ( I need about 25 additional feet).

For this same job with a backup battery added, I was quoted $1000. I didn't expect it to be that high. What do you guys think?

oh, and the warranty would be for 3 years.

Last edited by LittleScooby; 01-05-2011 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:04 AM   #8
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Sump Pump Replacement Recommendations


Scooby, your plumber is right on the money. He did mention 3/4 HP might be overkill for your situation so I have to ask: Does your sump pump cycle all the time, say 3 min on & 30 sec off, 24/7 365 or do you have several months of dry pit to go with the rising water months? Also how big is your pit in diameter and in depth? If you are going to add a battery backup pump, that pump requires about the same volume of water so as not to shorten its life by "short cycling". You should have an 18-24 inch diameter pit that has about 16 inches below the lower lip of the inflow pipe for a main and backup pump combination. Never let anyone talk you into hanging the backup pump on the pipe above the main pump or into setting the backpump on top of the main pump. If the main pump fails the backup should pick up the load, but if the backup is on top of the main you can't do anything until the water stops flowing. Every pump -main and backup- should be set on the bottom of the pit and should be allowed to pump to the bottom 2 inches of the pump. Anything else is Russian Roulette. I forgot to ask, is your pit an open ended clay tile with a clay or dirt bottom or do you have a fiberglass or a brick and mortar pit with a sealed bottom? The latter two types will lengthen your pumps lives whether they be pedestal (YUK) or submersible by keeping the impeller and water bushing wet all year round. Pumps like these generally fail after pumping miteally during a wet season and go inactive in the dry season because the silt that is in the ground water drys like concrete on the pump, impeller, and on the shaft and water bushing when the water level drops. After a couple of years of this, the motor can't break free and will burn out shortly.


Last edited by Grampa Bud; 01-05-2011 at 10:19 AM.
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