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paulsiu

Battery Backup opnions

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Problem

In the Midwest, there are days when the ground is saturated from several days of rain and then a big rain storm hits. As a result, the amount of water can overpower a 1/3 hp sump pump, though the deluge usually only last an hour or so. My concern is if the power goes out during that hour. A lot of the backup sump pump usually only pumps at about 900 - 1000 gph on a 10 foot head, not enough to keep the basement from flooding.

I asked several neighbors, one of them a license plumber, most of them have Sumpro. The plumber that he chose the Sumpro solution because the backup won't pump enough water.

1. What's your opinion of using Sumpro + Primary rather than a backup? Are there better alternatives for similar price?

2. How difficult is the Sumppro to install. It appears that it should be sitting on some sort of pedestal (I was thinking about stacking a bunch of bricks) and then just plug in the primary?

3. What would be the continuous runtime if I paired a 1800w sumpro with a 1/2hp Zoeller M98 or equivalent? This is just the worse case scenario. Long power outages are rare in this area, but I have had power loss for a bit over a day and the power outages are not usually accompanied by heavy rain.

I done some research on this forum and notice there was another thread recommending Sumppro, so I am wondering if the recommendation still holds.

Paul

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Thanks for the reply, I have thought of the water power pumps and I am on city water, but rejected the idea on several points.

1. On rare occasion, I have seen the amount of water coming in exceed 2000 gph. A water system probably won't keep up.

2. A water pump probably requires backflow, which means I have to pay at least $100 a year to test the backflow. I have to do this currently for my sprinkler.

3. Water is quite expensive here. The price of water appears to have double in the last couple of years. Running the sprinkler for 30 minutes per week resulted in around $200. It probably takes quite a bit of water to run the sump pump.

4. I worry that if the power goes out, the pumping station may be affected. This may be a unfounded fear, since I haven't lose water pressure in any of the black outs.

In the past 8 years, I haven't actually encounter a situation where I had heavy rain accompanied by a power outage. Even with heavy rain, the heavy load only last at most an hour. I have never had power outage more than a day. The issue is the volume of water. I think water power pumps are better in place where the power is unreliable and the volume of water isn't too high.

Paul

Paul

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Sumpro. It's the only thing I recommend if one is going battery backup; the 12v jobs are garbage.

Installation is plugging it in, then plugging the pump in the battery back. You'll get about 15 hours of continuous duty, which translates into a lot of pumping because they don't run continuously. Get a Zoeller pump to go with it.

The water power jobs are kinda cool, but they don't keep up when it's flood stage.

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Kurt,

I thank you for your reply for Sumpro. This was the info I needed.

Marc and Ghentjr,

The generator idea is intriguing. I didn't explore that option because I thought generators with fail overs were around $10K, but I suppose that would be for the whole house. A smaller one to power the sump, fridge and may be the wireless network (since VOIP won't work without power) would be sufficient. I also like the idea having a backup where I can swap out a tank to continue operation in the event of a lengthy outage.

Maintenance-wise, I would think a propane would be better than gas. Gas has a tendency collect water especially with ethanol blend. I have to dump all of the gas out of my snowblower or the carb rust out even when I used stabilizers.

My first question is do I have to be there to switch over the generator? In my experience, bad things tend to happen when one is away.

Paul

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If there is a good layer of crushed Stone under the slab that shouldact as a reservoir when the water coming in exceeds the pump capacity. I find a lot of shallow pits that allow water to accumulate in the crushed stone.

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My first question is do I have to be there to switch over the generator? In my experience, bad things tend to happen when one is away.

Not if it has an automatic transfer switch.

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If there is a good layer of crushed Stone under the slab that shouldact as a reservoir when the water coming in exceeds the pump capacity. I find a lot of shallow pits that allow water to accumulate in the crushed stone.

That seems to only make sense in a minor or moderate rainfall, where the water SLOWLY seeps into the pit. I think in a heavy rain, water will readily and much more easily flow into the pit through the drain tiles than into and through the stone under the slab, overflowing the pit if the pump can't keep up.

You're right, though. Water will seek its own level, but it needs time to do so under a slab.

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I looked around out back and notice that there is a gas line tap of some kind. Assuming that the line has the capacity, I could probably just install the generator on the gas line, which should work still when there is a power outage.

However, it appears that majority of the generator install uses a manual switch over, which is not acceptable since I need it to work when I am away. Installing one of those things will probably require approval from the Village and the additional electric work is probably going to require time and money. This may be a future upgrade.

So I am thinking of the following setup.

* Primary pump running off a SumPro.

* Battery backup pump, which while a bit anemic works pretty well in normal rain.

Scenarios

1. If it starts raining heavily and the power doesn't go out, the primary sump pump activates and pumps out the water.

2. If it starts raining heavily and the power goes out, the primary runs on sumpro, which should work for at least a day. If that runs out of power, it switches over to the backup pump, which may or may not pump out the water, but should work for light to moderate rainstorms.

3. If the primary motor malfunctions, then the backup sump pump will take over. It won't work in heavy rain, but at least the basement won't flood under normal conditions.

I'll check the system monthly and test it

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I am not sure if there are crush stones. However, the issue occur when the ground is saturated after several rain storms. The pump actually only goes off every 1/2 hour or so in moderate rainstorms. Even brief heavy rainstorm doesn't trigger it.

Paul

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I looked around out back and notice that there is a gas line tap of some kind. Assuming that the line has the capacity, I could probably just install the generator on the gas line, which should work still when there is a power outage.

However, it appears that majority of the generator install uses a manual switch over, which is not acceptable since I need it to work when I am away. Installing one of those things will probably require approval from the Village and the additional electric work is probably going to require time and money. This may be a future upgrade.

So I am thinking of the following setup.

* Primary pump running off a SumPro.

* Battery backup pump, which while a bit anemic works pretty well in normal rain.

Scenarios

1. If it starts raining heavily and the power doesn't go out, the primary sump pump activates and pumps out the water.

2. If it starts raining heavily and the power goes out, the primary runs on sumpro, which should work for at least a day. If that runs out of power, it switches over to the backup pump, which may or may not pump out the water, but should work for light to moderate rainstorms.

3. If the primary motor malfunctions, then the backup sump pump will take over. It won't work in heavy rain, but at least the basement won't flood under normal conditions.

I'll check the system monthly and test it

The generator will be wired to automatically go on when the power fails and go off when the power is restored. It can run on propane or Natural gas.

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In regards to the automated switch option, any idea how much it would cost to install such a setup assuming you have the generator (which appears to cost $2K for the base model).

Paul

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That gas tap is for your barbecue. Pretty common in Chicago. A good Sumpro is about $1800. A General survival system (frig, HVAC, sump, a few lights) running on natural gas is around $10k in your neighborhood. You might get in a tad cheaper depending on a lot of stuff. Installation includes transfer switch and controls.

Mark's stone and retention pond thing isn't a Chicago solution. Maybe somewhere else, but when it dumps here, it isn't gonna work. Good pump and Generac system is your best option if you can swing the dough. Lots of them nowadays in your area, so finding installers and service is relatively easy.

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In regards to the automated switch option, any idea how much it would cost to install such a setup assuming you have the generator (which appears to cost $2K for the base model).

Paul

The switch costs vary.

https://www.google.com/#q=automatic+changeover+switch

The electrician also varies but in CT the cost would be about $600 including the switch, depending on the length of run from the gen to the panel.

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That gas tap is for your barbecue. Pretty common in Chicago. A good Sumpro is about $1800. A General survival system (frig, HVAC, sump, a few lights) running on natural gas is around $10k in your neighborhood. You might get in a tad cheaper depending on a lot of stuff. Installation includes transfer switch and controls.

Mark's stone and retention pond thing isn't a Chicago solution. Maybe somewhere else, but when it dumps here, it isn't gonna work. Good pump and Generac system is your best option if you can swing the dough. Lots of them nowadays in your area, so finding installers and service is relatively easy.

Thanks Kurt,

I am actually in Chicago area. You are not kidding with the retention pond. There are several common retention pond to handle runoffs from the houses. One year, it rain so much that all of the retention ponds merged together.

I am going to go with the Sumpro because it is unlikely that I can get a generator solution under $2k. I may consider the generator at some point in the future. I need a solution that I can implement now.

Paul

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I know...I saw in your profile you're in Itasca. I used to work out there a fair amount; now I'm more downtown and NW side in the hipster 'hoods.

No way are you getting into a generator arrangement all set to go for $2K; not a chance. You could go manual generator for about $800, but you'd have to be home to crank it up.

Sumpro is not technically a battery back up. It's an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). It's a marine grade deep cranking amp battery array with an inverter so it'll run your primary pump. If you don't have one already, get a good pump. I like Zoeller.

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You could always build- it yourself. Buy some batteries and the right trickle charger....

I will admit - this is 120 V DC not AC

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tn_2017130165341_1.jpg

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Not sure what your budget looks like, but you need to consider a "full room" UPS.

Typically, they will have multiple circuit inputs, for redundancy, and then you run your power around the room, like normal. The down side would be typical. (Often a rack unto themselves)

I would definitely plan for 40% over current and / or expansion.

If full-room is not in the cards, APC and generator Tripp-Lite both make some very fine UPSes.

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