Sump Pump Battery Backup System - Recommendations?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Bronco638, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I did a search and came up empty (on Adv Rider).

    Is anyone using a Sump Pump Battery Backup System? If so, can you recommend a manufacturer and perhaps state what the total cost was?

    I am handy enough that I can install the system myself. So, I'm really curious about who has what, how it's performed (good or bad) and if you think it's worth the time, effort & money.

    Full Disclosure; I live in a townhouse community. Each of the buildings has four units. Each unit has a basement with a sump pump. I have heard some of my neighbors state that all of the sumps, in each building, are somehow tied together. I'm guess this is some type of 'emergency' system so that if one pump fails, theoretically, the water will make its way into the neighbor's sump and be ejected by that (working) pump. My t-house is internal (not one of the two end units) and my sump does appear to have ports that run to the neighboring units, on either side. However, if I peer into them, they dead end. So, if the sumps are tied together, it's external to my basement. My sump pump does not seem to run as much as all of my neighbors (based on their observations). I do not know why it runs so little but I do know it works as I test it occasionally. My t-house will be 13 years old in November. I have been thru one pump already (I'm pretty sure it was some crap unit used by the builder - based on it's appearance, when it failed, it was quite old). The current one is sold by Ace Hardware and is either 1/3 or 1/2 hp. I have no reason to expect it will fail any time soon. But, my basement is finished and I would like a little extra piece of mind especially if the power fails during a big Midwest t-storm. I have never had any flooding issues since moving in. Even when the first pump failed, I was lucky enough to discover it before 'bad things' happened.

    So, what do you recommend based on your experiences?

    TIA, Dave.
    #1
  2. pelvis_98

    pelvis_98 Havin A Time

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    I have a flowtec. I think that is the make of it.

    I have had to for 5 years now and i have only used it once. So i have no real recomondations on it or how well they work.

    I do like that it not only works if the power goes out, but if the other pump fails for what ever reason. It has a little alarm on it so that you know that the main pump has failed and your back up has run.

    Once a month i give my backup pump a test. It has a button to pust to test it and once a month i check the water level in the mattery. I have a deep cycle marine battery on it but have gone through two of them in the last 5 years.

    I think because its always on some sort of charge and never gets drained it doesnt last as long?

    I paid about 300 Canadian for the pump and around 100 for the battery for it.
    #2
  3. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I think a deep cycle battery requires "draining" and then a full recharge to stay 'healthy'. So, that would make sense. I was thinking of going with an AGM battery.
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  4. pelvis_98

    pelvis_98 Havin A Time

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    I agree with you. I just used the battery that was recommended in the paper work.

    I will likely be switching battery types when its time to replace it.
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  5. Wasser

    Wasser Spilt my beer

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    I have a domestic water operated sump pump as a back-up.

    LINKY

    Never have to worry about a battery.
    #5
  6. Just Max

    Just Max I put the F in luck

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    Move..?
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  7. BrittC

    BrittC Been here awhile

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    I recently upgraded my backup sump pump from a crappy Basement Watchdog to a Wayne Emergency Backup Sump Pump — 3300 GPH, Model# ESP25. The pump is MUCH more substantial, flows over three times as much water as my old backup pump, and each time I've tested it there has been no issue at all. Running on battery power it empties my sump pit nearly as quickly as my main pump.

    I got mine from Northern Tool for about $250 (without the battery).
    #7
  8. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Long timer

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    This is my thought as well. Battery only lasts so long. Big storm, extended outage, screwed.
    So long as you have water service this will work.
    Battery maintance sucks. Hate having to replace a $100 battery that was never used for anything other then an occosional test of the system.
    #8
  9. pelvis_98

    pelvis_98 Havin A Time

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    I hate the battery too. But I am on a well so I dont have much choice.

    Though your back up will last fairly long as your sump pump does not run non stop. Only runs when it needs to pump water out.
    #9
  10. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Been here awhile

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    A few years ago when we had some area flooding, I hooked up a bilge pump with a float switch to a deep cycle battery. It worked fine and moved plenty of water. I just routed the hose out a basement window.
    #10
  11. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    This is a neat idea but that means I would have to run a water line to that corner of the basement. For me, that means turning off the main and draining the house.
    This sounds more like what I'm looking for. I have a source for deep cycle batteries. Given the weather, in Chicago-land, this Spring/Summer have you had to use your back-up Britt?
    #11
  12. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Long timer

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    Do you have a washing machine in the basement? Run a splitter off the water line.

    As long as it doesn't mess up your neighbors, shutting off and draining a water line is not that big of a deal.

    I just hate maintaining batteries that are rarely used.
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  13. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Nope, the washer & dryer are on the second floor. There is a slop sink but that's in the opposite corner (~40' away). My basement is also partially finished (that is, about 60% finished and 40% storage/mechanical space). I would need to remove a lot of ceiling tiles to run that line.

    Each townhouse has it's own water supply so I don't need to worry about "messing up the neighbors". :D It's not that big of a deal (to run a water line) but enough of a deal that I think the balance is tipped towards the back up system with battery.

    I hate maintaining rarely used batteries as well. I wonder if a regular car battery, on a trickle charger, would work just was well.
    #13
  14. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    Negative on the regular car battery.........they do not tolerate deep cycling and generally do not have the AH capacity needed to run the pump for long periods.
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  15. pelvis_98

    pelvis_98 Havin A Time

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    The backup pump does have a trickle charger built into it.

    I think the problem with the deep cycle marine battery is they work best if they go dead and charged again. (at least i believe thats the way they are designed.)

    The problem is the battery is never used unless the power goes out, and even then that does not mean the pump actually needs to run.

    So in the 5 years i have had the back up pump it has never run on the battery. Other then when i have pressed the button to test it.
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  16. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Thanks Bob.

    I guess the deep cycle batteries go bad from the constant charging. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
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  17. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    That going " bad" is a function of the charger.........as the other poster did I also replaced the charger with a better quality unit that does not force water out of the battery.........I also think the supplied charger would "cook" any battery, but some deep cycle allow you to check the water level and check specific gravity to check the health of the battery before you really need it.:eek1:eek1 at midnight on a Sunday.

    My guess that some of the cheaper wall chargers (that are supplied with some pumps) do not have a maintainer or charge tamper function.
    #17
  18. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    When I get closer to actually doing this, I'll touch base with (via PM) to see what you used. Thanks again.

    BTW, I traded the VTR250 for a '04 Reflex (NSS250 - Italian Red) with 4300 miles. It needs a carb cleaning but is much more fun (to me) than the VTR. Kasey's Reflex is an '02 (the one you saw).
    #18