Adding Redundant Septic Pump

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HiQ

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So our main (only) septic pump must have gave up the ghost yesterday and I was woken up with a little backup in our basement. Nothing crazy thankfully as the water alarm beside the floor drain went off. For some reason our high alarm float didn't alert us (PumpSpy device, but it seems very unreliable). I'm thinking about spending some money and getting a better setup installed so we hopefully don't have this again. I had a Monarch 1/3HP, but have since replaced it with a Red Lion (Chinese clone?) in 1/2HP. This is the pump:

We have an ejector setup so no submersible pumps work. We just have a 1-1/4" poly pipe in and out of our basement. This pump sends the black water out to the field. Weird setup that isn't used much any more, but it's simple and cheap.

It would be nice to move to a redundant setup with two of these that alternate. Is it just as easy as putting a wye connection on their inputs and outputs? Anything I need to be careful of as far as check valve or filter placement?

Also any recommendation on control box for a duplex setup? Something that only needs one float for pump control and one for high alarm would work as we don't have a ton of space for a bunch of floats. It would be nice to alternate between pumps and have the second one kick on if the high alarm float goes off. Wifi or network with email/sms alerts would be perfect as we're away a bunch.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Whoa! I've never seen a system like that. So your pump sits outside the sump somewhere? How big is the sump?

Typically a control box receives the signal from 1 or 2 pumps floats to kick on or off depending on the height of the float. They make floats with High and Low built in so you would only need 1 for each. The zoeller controllers I've installed can alternate between the two or use one as a primary and the other as a back up sending an alarm when one stops.

The plumbing would need to have a check valve and isolation valve for each pump and they can connect downstream of those.

One float switch for each pump SJE Rhombus
 

Jeff H Young

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Ive only done a handful of what we called duplex systems the pumps alternate if either pump quits some sort of alarm goes but the good pump will keep handleing it so you can fix at leisure.
 

Reach4

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Whoa! I've never seen a system like that. So your pump sits outside the sump somewhere? How big is the sump?
I was first thinking you were talking about a pump in the yard inside the septic tank. But now it sounds like you have a septic pit in the basement, which feeds into a passive septic tank in the yard.

If this septic pit serves a toilet, you woudl want a grinder. pump.
 

HiQ

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It's an ejector system. The house all passively flows out into a two chambered septic tank. Solid stay on the one side and are pumped every two years. The black water flows over to the other side. That side has two floats. One that runs the pump an one that is a high alarm. From that side a 1-1/4" poly pipe come back up into our basement and connects to a surface effluent pump (that Red Lion up above). The pump float cycles the pump which pumps the black water out about 2-300' away from our house and up through a pipe. It basically just spews out the top and all over the field out that way. Super basic septic system that was popular here when our home was originally built 1979/80. It's still working great and doesn't have a field to worry about or anything like that. Just floats and a pump and you're golden. But obviously it's not the nicest in that field and there are obvious downsides as well.

Anyways, I've been poking around online and have found a few things that might fit the bill.
Basic Duplex Controller: https://www.libertypumps.com/Product/5050-Series
Wifi Alarm: https://www.sumpalarm.com/products/level-sense-pro or https://www.sumpalarm.com/collectio...cts/wireless-wifi-sump-alarm-high-water-alarm

I haven't looked too much into these, but after some quick Google searches they're in my short list.

As far as actually plumbing it all in, I guess just incoming poly -> filter (could put one right before each pump to have one less common failure point -> wye -> shut offs for both -> pumps -> check valves for both -> shut offs -> wye back together to output poly. Makes sense? One won't pull the other one dry or do anything weird like that, will it? Seems almost too easy. Also want to find some nice metal elbows and barb fittings, etc. The plastic ones I have now are frustrating as you have to be really careful over tightening them for fear of cracking something. Also would you put unions between the shut off valves on each for easier swapping of a wrecked pump? I've never have much luck with unions not leaking, but I'm sure there are better ones out there. Would just make swapping a pump incredibly easy. Shut two valves. Undo two unions and slap a new pump in.

Thanks again for any and all input.
 
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