Water-powered back-up sump pump ?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by cmw, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. cmw

    cmw New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    New York
    I installed a sump pump that is functioning OK. Now I am worried about a power failure when I need the pump to be working. I'm reading about water-powered back-up sump pumps.
    My question is: are water-powered back-up sump pumps a reasonable solution or are there better systems to back up a sump pump during a power outage?
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Considering they require the installation of backflow prevention which isn't cheap and the pump out 2 gallons of water while using 1 gallon to do it adding to the water to be disposed they don't seem very attractive to me.

    I would consider the battery powered Zoeller Aquanot II to be a much more attractive method and or, standby generator which brings in many additional benefits. The Battery can also be recharged with jumpers off a car in a long duration outage.
  3. JDE210

    JDE210 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Leesburg, Va
    Hi cmw

    I will be installing a Zoeller Home Guard Max 503 this weekend. I will let you know how it works in my application. I too am concerned about losing power, and opted not for the battery backup systems, since batteries can fail. As far as it using two gallons of water for every one gallon of water removed, I feel that its a small price to pay for a dry basement.
  4. jbiddle

    jbiddle New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Canton, MI
    As far as the Zoeller literature states, the unit pumps out 2 gallons for every one used, not the other way around. I've had mine in for around about 9 months now and it's only turned on when I've tested it. I have a generator that I would turn to before needing the backup pump though. The backup is there for when the primary pump fails or if I lose power when away from home. Here's a pic of my setup:
    [​IMG]
  5. JDE210

    JDE210 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Leesburg, Va
    Nice looking setup

    but the instructions specify to not use flexible material for the water supply. Any concerns with what you are using?
  6. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Well if you are going to use a water powered back up pump, might I suggest you install it to meet your local codes and to the manufactures requirements (not using flexible supply lines). By me most local codes do not allow it. It is a waste of water good drinking water 1 gal to every 2 gal it pumps out. There areas I seen them installed had a RPZ backflow preventer installed on the water supply.

    I have seen these units do some real damage to a basement when the plastic housing breaks and floods the home out with its own water supply.

    As for a good back up system let me refer you to an older post in these forums. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...mp-Pump-system&p=173898&viewfull=1#post173898
  7. jbiddle

    jbiddle New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Canton, MI
    The instructions say not to reduce the water flow to the pump by using a flexible pipe. The pipe I used is similar to a water heater feed pipe and is rated to handle the full-flow of water through a 3/4" copper pipe.

    I was under the impression (mistakenly?) that a RPZ would not be required unless the connection was in the sump pit itself. I can certainly add a RPZ if it is required.
  8. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Its best to check with your local codes. Call your city's plumbing department and talk to the plumbing inspector, he will tell you what is needed for a backflow preventer. Some allow you to just installing a duel check.
  9. zl700

    zl700 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Texas
    If you factor the cost of the battery, replacement over time, cost to charge and maintain battery charge, the cost of 1 gallon of water at what $0.0014 is the better way to go, besides the fact that batteries leak, off-vent gasses, have been know to cause house fires..............
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