Sump: confused - need primary and backup.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Rather-Be-Boating, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Rather-Be-Boating

    Rather-Be-Boating New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago SW Suburbs
    Chicago metro area - SW burbs, typical "former farmland" subdivision. Primary pump does not activate often - just heavy rains, snow melt, etc. Everyone in the Chicago area knows what we just experienced in the past several days. Power failures are minimal, but do happen.

    I have a simple Sears primary unit in there for now, so I do not need to rush a decision (but I would like to solve this in the next several days).

    I do not have an unlimited budget, but will pay a premium for quality.... just not "rolls royce" quality.

    Basement is finished - entire vertical run (9 feet or so) of 1-1/2" discharge is concealed behind drywall (prior owner). Sump pit is enclosed in a 12" tall box with a hinged top.... visualize "piano bench". Pretty cool in a way since this "box" makes a nice end table for the adjacent couch, but pedestal pumps are NOT an option. Pit is 16" dia. x 24" deep.

    Primary:

    What size pump? I realize gph is more important than hp. Big box stores seem to push the 1/2 hp models. Single cord switch & pump? Separate switch? I have a buddy willing to give me a Zoeller M-53, which I think is a single cord... should I avoid this because the switch and pump are combined? If I took a pass on the freebie, what would be a good choice on pump & switch for maximum reliability & lifespan?

    Backup: Again, pedestal pumps are out of the question. As a boater, I like the idea of possibly using AGM unless there is a compelling reason not to use them. 16" dia pit is still quite constrained, so I'm not sure side-by-side is going to work. Plus, I am limited to a single discharge because it is already buried in the wall.

    Any input sincerely appreciated.
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would consider the Zoeller M-53 to be a very good sump pump.
    It would serve you well.
  3. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I like the HydroMatic DA1 sump pumps , they work very well .
  4. Rather-Be-Boating

    Rather-Be-Boating New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago SW Suburbs
    Thanks guys & Happy New Year!

    So I should not be concerned that the M-53 has a built in switch? What kind of service life should I expect from the switch and pump, and is the switch easy to replace in the event of failure?

    How about battery backup systems? All I have seen is Basement Watchdog systems of various price points, and something at Sears.

    I would prefer to use a generic, AGM battery, not anything brand specific.
  5. carmel corn

    carmel corn New Member

    Messages:
    52
    If you decide to keep the M-53, I would recommend zip-tie it in the up or on position and buy an external switch such as an SJE Rhombus Vertical Master model. The pump motor itself is capable of long reliable life....it's just the built-in switch that I don't like....only good for a maximum of 200,000 cycles...or less. If you are considering a new pump purchase, the Hydromatic VA1 is a good .3 HP model that is cast iron and uses a shortened vertical master switch. The DA1 is the same pump motor, but features a diaphragm switch. I am not sold on diaphragm technology and feel this is a weakness of the Hydromatic pumps. I personally like the Hydromatic VS33 because it has an upper sleeve bearing on the shaft to help prolong smooth motor operation. It too features an shortened SJE Rhombus vertical master switch. It is a better version of the VA1.

    IMHO - Basement Watchdog is okay, but the Zoeller Aquanot II backup system is the best unit available....plenty of pumping GPM per minute plus a reliable design. As far as AGM batteries, I too prefer using them. Make sure they are a deep cycle type (not starting batteries) and that they have at least 100 amp hour capacity....usually a type 31 size. Good luck!
  6. Rather-Be-Boating

    Rather-Be-Boating New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago SW Suburbs
    Thanks Carmel Corn - but a pedestal style is out of the question due to vertical space limitations. The sump pit has been concealed under a 12" tall hinged box. I have plenty of room to place a battery and charger next to the pit, but the pump itself will have to be contained within the pit itself.
  7. bubb1957

    bubb1957 New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    Pro Series 2200

    If you cant use the Aquanot 2, The Big Dog or the Pro Series 2200 is a great choice. It will provide you with a very reliable back up, and will run off of AC power if you have a primary pump failure, or switch failure, and will also run off of battery back up during a power outage. Will also test itself weekly and will alarm if if fails or if you need to add water to the battery.
  8. Rather-Be-Boating

    Rather-Be-Boating New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago SW Suburbs
    Thanks for the input. Does the Big Dog system work with AGM batteries? I thought the Basement Watchdog systems only use their batteries....

    And I am really surprised at the lack of battery backup systems available.
  9. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Basement watchdog will work with any battery. It just will not monitor the fluid levels. Also you need to take the fluid sensor and attach it to the positive side of the battery to keep it from sounding off the low water level alarm.
  10. Rather-Be-Boating

    Rather-Be-Boating New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Chicago SW Suburbs
    Thanks everyone responding so far... On this page: http://www.basementwatchdog.com/batteries.htm

    It says this:

    I was liking the concept of sealed, AGM batteries. I use them in my boat, and so far, absolutely love the concept. In the application of a battery backup system, I like the notion that the combination of the watchdog electronics (logic, monitoring, pump test, etc) combined with an AGM battery truly made the combo much more "set and forget". So is their warning not to use a sealed battery just to keep their battery sales up, or is it more than that?

    Also, any opinion on their dual float switch: http://www.basementwatchdog.com/dual_float_switch.htm

    Thanks again everyone, and sorry for the overly-anal questions.
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