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    Sump pump power backup

    I have been trying to find an affordable way to have some sort of battery backup for the sump pump in our basement. A few years ago, the original pump and the secondary pump both failed during a wet spring, resulting in about $7000 in damage to the finished basement (thank goodness for insurance!). While we have a brand new pump that's been working great, I'm constantly paranoid that we'll get a heavy rain and an extended power outage that will allow the pump well to overflow.

    Does anyone use/have a battery backup system (that you can just plug into the wall and will automatically work if the power goes out) that they would recommend or am I going to have to have someone install a physical secondary pump? Most of the time when the power goes out here, it's generally for an hour or less, so I don't want a massive generator. I figure if it's a long-term outage, I'm going to have more to worry about than just the pump.

    Money is rather tight right now, so I can't afford hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster28 View Post
    I have been trying to find an affordable way to have some sort of battery backup for the sump pump in our basement. A few years ago, the original pump and the secondary pump both failed during a wet spring, resulting in about $7000 in damage to the finished basement (thank goodness for insurance!). While we have a brand new pump that's been working great, I'm constantly paranoid that we'll get a heavy rain and an extended power outage that will allow the pump well to overflow.

    Does anyone use/have a battery backup system (that you can just plug into the wall and will automatically work if the power goes out) that they would recommend or am I going to have to have someone install a physical secondary pump? Most of the time when the power goes out here, it's generally for an hour or less, so I don't want a massive generator. I figure if it's a long-term outage, I'm going to have more to worry about than just the pump.

    Money is rather tight right now, so I can't afford hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Something I hadn't heard of before until talking with a home inspector, but am thinking of doing: A water powered backup sump. When is your sump pump going to get overran: When it's storming. When's the power going to go out: when it's storming. Sure the battery ones are there, but will run dead after a while. The water one will work as long as you have water. You run a water line to it, the water turns the pump when it comes on, and the water discharges with the pumped water. I think I saw it uses one gallon for every 2 it pumps. That might be a lot of water usage, I guess, but interesting to consider.

    One I found just by going to Amazon and typing "water powered sump pump backup", so not a recommendation, just a "here's what I'm talking about":

    Amazon.com: Liberty Pumps SJ10 1-1/2-Inch Discharge SumpJet Water Powered Back-Up Pump: Home Improvement



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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Agree with water pressure backup. Only problem is it doesn't pump a huge volume of water.

    My second suggestion is a generator. They don't have to be too expensive, they serve a purpose beyond just sump pump backup, and hopefully you have a neighbor who can look after your house in the event where there is an extended power outage while you are gone. They run longer than a battery, also.

    I recommend an electronic water sensor instead of the various types of floats and pressure sensors. They also act as an alarm. Saved me twice in 1 year already.



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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    I looked in to the water power backup, but the water supply line in Ames has to have a backflow preventer that must be inspected annually ($50 to $75 for this). If you want more details I have an email from the City laying this out (they are fine w/ it, but have to have the backflow preventer and inspection).

    I ended up with the Aquanot, which is a DC powered pump with a large battery and charger--also has an alarm that you can have signal when it is running. Pricey, but well worth it (must replace the battery every 2 to 3 years). Ran once Wednesday morning when we lost power.
    Aquanot® 580, 585 | Zoeller Pump Company
    AQUANOT II Battery Back-Up System at Fox

    Also, I would HIGHLY recommend the Leak Frog: Amazon.com: Leak Frog LF001 Water Alarm: Home Improvement
    Gives you a heads up when you have water on the floor (saved us twice already). Great little product!



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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    I had water in my basement a couple times during the summer of 2009. The last time happened on an early Sunday morning. Lost power for a couple hours. I pulled all my carpet back, got the fans out and started cleaning up. My neighbors had been out of town and arrived home later that morning while I was still cleaning up. I warned them that their basement was probably a mess. They had a battery backup that did it's job without missing a beat. I dropped what I was doing, drove to Menards and bought the last "Super Ace in the Hole" unit they had. I also bought a new primary sump pump for piece of mine since they existing unit was there when I bought the house. I was out around $600 and had to Frankenstein the piping together since I have a 13" sump rather than the standard 18", but it has worked great so far. I live in an area that was originally marshland, so my primary runs year round. During storms the water runs in far too fast to bail with buckets. The few outages we've had since the unit has been in place have been complete non-issues. Money very well spent given what I invested in finishing my basement and given how quickly (5 minutes or less) the water was across the basement.



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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Quote Originally Posted by saf View Post
    I looked in to the water power backup, but the water supply line in Ames has to have a backflow preventer that must be inspected annually ($50 to $75 for this). If you want more details I have an email from the City laying this out (they are fine w/ it, but have to have the backflow preventer and inspection).

    I ended up with the Aquanot, which is a DC powered pump with a large battery and charger--also has an alarm that you can have signal when it is running. Pricey, but well worth it (must replace the battery every 2 to 3 years). Ran once Wednesday morning when we lost power.
    Aquanot® 580, 585 | Zoeller Pump Company
    AQUANOT II Battery Back-Up System at Fox

    Also, I would HIGHLY recommend the Leak Frog: Amazon.com: Leak Frog LF001 Water Alarm: Home Improvement
    Gives you a heads up when you have water on the floor (saved us twice already). Great little product!
    Leak frog: How big is that thing? Kinda looks like a toy, be a bit silly looking next to the sump pit. I guess worth it if it works, but sheesh, why not make it look less silly? Thanks for the tip though. Wasn't aware this stuff was available. No water problems now, but I'm moving, so nice to know in case it's an issue at the new place. Now if I could just get one that would tweet me on the twitter thingy if I'm gone so that I know.




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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    I had a water powered backup when I lived in Cedar Falls. The area I lived in had a lot of water issues. We had an incredible storm one night and the power went out, the amount of water was too much for the back up, it was coming in faster than it could pump it out. That said, I'd buy another one, that house just needed a whole house generator.


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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Quote Originally Posted by 00clone View Post
    Leak frog: How big is that thing? Kinda looks like a toy, be a bit silly looking next to the sump pit. I guess worth it if it works, but sheesh, why not make it look less silly? Thanks for the tip though. Wasn't aware this stuff was available. No water problems now, but I'm moving, so nice to know in case it's an issue at the new place. Now if I could just get one that would tweet me on the twitter thingy if I'm gone so that I know.

    The Leak Frog is 3" or 4" across--not very large.

    They do have monitors that will call numbers, so I'm sure that they can send emails or tweet, but that may be part of a whole home setup.



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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster28 View Post
    Money is rather tight right now, so I can't afford hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    We finally bit the bullet, so to speak, and bought a new sump pump with the battery backup earlier this spring. Needed a new sump anyway, and didn't want to keep running to the basement with a bucket every time it rained.

    We didn't want to spend a lot of money either, but insurance claims drive rates up and if you don't file claims and take care of water damage/recovery/restoration yourself, you'll probably spend a lot more than the sump and backup would cost.



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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    I had some water issues several years ago and I ended up installing this system:

    Sump Pump Systems in Iowa | Patented Sump Pump Systems Installation in Des Moines, Ames, Waterloo, IA

    After the instal, I waited two springs before I refinished my basement, to make sure it stayed dry. So far it has worked great. The battery back up is basically a deep cell battery. If that fails, I'll take the one off the camper and use that. Fortunately it hasn't failed me yet. It even has an alarm to let me know it has begun to use the battery back up pump. Only once have I heard it.

    You have to change the alarm battery every year or so (9v) and I open the sump well up and clean out any debris as well. Very pleased.


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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Quote Originally Posted by bufante View Post
    I had some water issues several years ago and I ended up installing this system:

    Sump Pump Systems in Iowa | Patented Sump Pump Systems Installation in Des Moines, Ames, Waterloo, IA

    After the instal, I waited two springs before I refinished my basement, to make sure it stayed dry. So far it has worked great. The battery back up is basically a deep cell battery. If that fails, I'll take the one off the camper and use that. Fortunately it hasn't failed me yet. It even has an alarm to let me know it has begun to use the battery back up pump. Only once have I heard it.

    You have to change the alarm battery every year or so (9v) and I open the sump well up and clean out any debris as well. Very pleased.
    About how much did this cost? I've been looking at back ups for mine, and was thinking about installing it myself, but if it's not too bad, I might consider hiring it done.



  12. #12
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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Many thanks for the replies so far! There are some options that I had not yet found on my own, so that's exactly what I was hoping for. I have some considering to do... (but please don't let that stop anyone else with additional ideas from posting!)

    Thanks again!


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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Side question - what's the expected life on a primary sump pump? I bought the house in 2005 and I'm guessing the sump pump goes back to '90 when the house was built. Don't have many water issues and never have had an issue with the sump.

    Should I leave well enough alone? Or should I replace it being it's 22 years old? Also, what's the meaning of life?


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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Quote Originally Posted by Incyte View Post
    Side question - what's the expected life on a primary sump pump? I bought the house in 2005 and I'm guessing the sump pump goes back to '90 when the house was built. Don't have many water issues and never have had an issue with the sump.

    Should I leave well enough alone? Or should I replace it being it's 22 years old? Also, what's the meaning of life?
    If it has any substantial rust or calcium deposits on visible surfaces, I would get a new one installed. When ours failed, it was in pretty bad (ok, really bad) shape - I don't even know how old it was to begin with. That was on us for not being more pro-active about it.

    Also, the meaning of life is.


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    Re: Sump pump power backup

    Here is one that is carried in our stores.

    http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...631240.1260923



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