Sump Pump Advice

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Collegeville, PA
Hi all.

I live 30 min outside Philadelphia and the rain storms just keep getting worse.

1999 house with inside/outside French drains that discharge to one basement sump.

I have a 3/4hp Wayne and cheap watchdog 12v battery backup + marine battery tied into the same 1.5” discharge with a check in each line before the tee.

I recently added two 50gal dry wells positioned 30ft off to the left rear of my house where it’s flat and slopes to the right that my sump discharges too via 4” buried line. I installed a freeze relief so the sump is free to drain next to house if 4” drain freezes/clogs.

Most recently we had a storm roll through that dumped so much water my main pump barely kept the water level 3” below the rim of the pit. Dry wells worked great and Wayne pump ran for 3hrs straight, beast! I also found out the battery backup pump died - as they like to do when you need them.

I’m installing a whole house generator, but I want to bullet proof this setup. I just finished my basement and I got lucky this time!

So I’m getting rid of the battery backup completely because there is no way that would be able to keep up if I lost power on my primary; so a 2nd 120V primary + inverter & multiple batteries is the only way I can see it keeping up with the deluge. I also won’t consider the water powered backup because it won’t keep up either.

Here’s what I’m thinking;

1. Upsize to a 2” discharge line (7,600gpm vs 4,800gpm). Ditch the crappy watchdog and add another Wayne 3/4” pump (separate 20amp circuit) and set the backup on a brick. Backup would be powered via inverter (in case generator failed to start) and I would alternate the pumps every few years.

2. Punch a 2nd 1.5” discharge and tee into the 4” line outside. Add another 3/4” Wayne and discharge into dedicated line. Benefit is that if either check fails I’m not SOL.

3. Option 2; but add 2x 1hp Wayne pumps. 3/4hp is 77gpm at 10’ and 1hp is 85gpm at 10’.

Wondering if I’m on the right track, if anyone else had a similar issue, and what they did to sleep at night. Appreciate any advice!

Tom in PA


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New Chemotherapy, Enhertu. Started June 20, 2024
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Orlando, 32828
I'm not sure what the two 50 gallon tanks will do unless you will be recycling the water for irrigation.

On the pump side, a pump that can handle the load, such as a Zoeller 5054. Up to 70 gallons a minute. However, it is a 240 v motor and about $1,000+ in cost but it is protecting thousands of dollars in could be damage. You do not want your furnace to go under water with a pump failure or power outage.

As far as backup, if you have natural gas, a whole house Generac generator is the best way. Not cheap but winter snow storm that knocks power out, you'll have heat. They are available for propane gas.

The outside discharge pipe needs to be brought to the curb. I have most of my downspouts outlet buried in a 4" corrigated pipe And at the curb I have a drain basin. As long as the house is higher than the curb. Water will dump out of the basin. I have two basins with this set up and quite common in Florida. Better than cutting the curb. Florida down pours are very heavy rain events.


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Mark James

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Hi Tom, I could have written the exact same post. I am outside Philly as well and am in the process of upgrading my system. For your situation I like option 2. The only concern is for light and moderate rains the main pump will cycle on/off very quickly. To help this I put in a 1/3hp pump on a garden hose that acts as a baseline load that does not cycle on/off quickly. For reference my setup will be a ¾ sump on a 1 ½ line and a 2400 gph watchdog on a 1 ½ line, and the 1/3 pump on the garden hose. Both 1 ½ lines connect outside to a 4” drain line.
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