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Old 06-28-2015, 11:52 AM   #1
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Sump Pump BACKUP system - Any Ideas?


Hey all - I had my sump pump fail last night.

I had it on a battery backup - but the pump itself failed it seems - so I was toast.

I saw a city water backup system that I can get. It was at Lowes.

It was called: Homeguard Optima.

Are these city water systems any good? Is there a brand I should look for?

And what about install? I will not be doing the install - so is it something that a contractor should know how to do?
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:12 PM   #2
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City water is the way to go I guess - any recommendations on brand would be nice if anyone else has gone through this debacle!
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:16 PM   #3
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Check with your water supplier they may want a testable back flow device on your water to that unit.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:20 PM   #4
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Never thought of that - the water company might actually do it for me?
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:15 PM   #5
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You had your sump pump on battery back up, or you also had a battery powered backup that failed? If the former, I am not familiar with that product. If the later, then you have to check them every now and then to make sure the battery and pump are both good.

I installed a water powered pump about 10 years ago for a friend. It worked fine during a power outage because they didn't have much of a problem to start with. They have very limited capacities, so if you have a lot of water, it won't help you.

I was concerned though because it was poorly made out of plastic; very easy to see it failing and creating a problem worse than it was designed to prevent. I haven't seen the one you refer to, but unless it is much more solid than the one I used, I wouldn't go near it.

I feel much better with a well maintained battery powered back up.

Of course I made sure my last two houses had gravity drains; they don't need a backup.

Ghostmaker meant that since there is a connection between storm water and public water your water company might have requirements to prevent contamination. They won't do anything for you except shutting off your water if they find you doing it wrong.

Last edited by Toller; 06-28-2015 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:15 AM   #6
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I have no answers but I am a guy who depends heavily on a sump pump to keep my basement dry. I have a B-dry system and I have 4-8 hours without the pump before water comes in. My "solutions" are to preemptively change my sump pump about every 2 years. I have a submersible utility pump with a hose for an emergency and a generator. I don't have any solutions if I go out of town for any length of time other than tempting fate.
Saturday afternoon I was in a 26 hour brown out where I only had enough electricity to dimly run LED or incandescent bulbs.
I run the generator for 20-30 minutes at a time then shut it off for a couple hours.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:24 AM   #7
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Yeah - seems like a tough spot.

My contractor advised a backup pump placed a little higher than the main one.

And if I have a good battery backup on each unit - that should help.

These pumps draw serious juice though - any ideas on a good UPS? I know APC makes a ton of different kinds - but are they the right choice for sumps?
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:07 PM   #8
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Hey guys - I was thinking about putting a 2nd pump in there as well..

but I would want to know if it was being used.

Something like a switch were when the 2nd pump came on, it sounds and audibly alarm - letting us know the first pump has failed.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:19 AM   #9
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If the water gets that bad enough and gets that high that it engages the 2nd pump I doubt you would be waiting for the audible noise.. if you care about your house as much as it seems like you do you will be obsessed with watching that water and nothing else..
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordX View Post
any ideas on a good UPS?
I would not use an AC pump on a UPS. A UPS is inherently inefficient when it inverts low voltage DC to line voltage AC. A better solution is to get a pump that runs directly on DC.

Also, most cheap UPSes have a modified square wave output, which motors do not like. The motor may fail to start or run hot. You really want a true sine wave UPS for motor loads.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:57 PM   #11
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You could just mount 2 pumps in the same pit one above the other. And keep a small honda generator in the garage with extension cord in case of power outage.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostmaker View Post
You could just mount 2 pumps in the same pit one above the other. And keep a small honda generator in the garage with extension cord in case of power outage.
That would be my choice, but if you're going to be away from the house a lot, you might want to consider (besides the dual pump system), a stand-by generator powered either from the city gas mains, or propane or gasoline tank kept full at all times - and an automatic transfer switch so that no one has to do the actual switchover from city to back-up electricity.
I think that any of the stand-by generators will provide a decent sine-wave output.

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Old 07-01-2015, 07:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostmaker View Post
You could just mount 2 pumps in the same pit one above the other. And keep a small honda generator in the garage with extension cord in case of power outage.
Thats what we did. Storm sewers would back up in our building. Put one way valve in pit, two pumps in pit, one above the other. "Mounting" the second pump was simple. We put a cinder block in the pit and put the second pump on top of the cinder block. First big rain, the lower pump went out and the second one kicked in, worked like a charm. All pumps are wired to a propane generator
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:22 PM   #14
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This sounds like a good idea - how do I go about finding a generator that will kick on in the event of a power outage?
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:50 AM   #15
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Automatic generators are available from electrical,contractors and even the orange and blue apron guys. Generally these are not a DIY project and they are not cheap. Installed they are going to be several thousand dollars. More if you need the natural,gas supply or propane supply installed or upgraded.
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