$800 sump pump ????????

I have an out of state rental property. There have been some heavy rains and the basement flooded. The water was almost 4 feet deep when the tenants called. They said the came home from work and it was flooded. I assumed the sump pump was clogged with debris on the intake, but it was not safe for them to go into the basement in the water with the electric stuff under water. I thought about having the power company come and pull the meter, but I called the fire department and they said to call a septic pumper. I got one to come and he pumped out the water.
But he said the standard sump pump I have (just a basic model), could not handle the amount of water coming in. He said he can install an really good pump, but it would cost $800, just for the pump, labor not included. I was shocked. I paid about $100 for the pump that's there (about a year ago). I have seen sump pumps sold for $250, but $800??? That's insane.
Do they really make and sell $800 sump pumps? He has a temporary pump down there now, and wants me to buy this $800 one. I can not imagine what it could be.... I will speak with him later today, because he's working 24 hours a day with all the flooding. I told the tenants to ask him if I can just rent this "temporary" pump until I can drive there on Monday.
What kind of pump would I need? I guess the standard one I have cant handle the capacity from this storm, but I've owned this house for 30+ years and never had this problem before. I'm on a fixed income and dont have flood insurance, so I dont have $800, plus this sounds extremely high priced. I'd rather put in TWO of the cheaper pumps if I have to.
Anyone know anything about sump pumps?
Frank L
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They make them twice that price, but that does not mean you need one.
Take a look at www.mcmaster.com and see what they offer. I think you can find one for a lot less money that will do the job for you, much better than the $100 models.
What you do have to find out is what you really need. 4 feet is a lot of water and it would take a massive pump to keep up with it if you have a stream running through the basement. My first step would be to find out the cause of the flood. Do you have to do grading? Drainage work? Did a dam break or release water?
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Sure, you can spend $80, $800, or $8000. The important thing is to know what you need before you buy anything. This current flood may be the 100 year flood, and you don't necessarily need to protect against having another one like it. You have to have someone determine how many "gallons per minute" pump you need. Once that is determined, you can buy the lowest cost most reliable pump available.
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Sorry that you couldn't understand the intent of my message. You want to buy the best pump you can, for the least amount possible.
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Yes, he was being a bit of a smartass, but he's still right (and it applies to most things you buy). The best will be expensive and the cheapest will not be that good. What he needs is some balance between the two that will depend on how much he needs and how much he can afford. There may turn out to be some fairly clear point where price starts rising much faster than usefulness, but he's likely to have to just go with the best one he can afford... There is certainly no such thing as the "best and cheapest". (It may occasionally exist in some VERY simple items, but not in something this "complex".)
It may very well be that he can't afford a pump big enough to have mattered in this situation, in which case the right answer may be to clean out the one he has and hope it doesn't happen again (as others have suggested).
On the other hand, if the flooding has done $10,000 dollars worth of damage that an $800 pump would have prevented.... And if it's going to happen again next year.... (Not saying that's the case, just something to consider.)
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Yes, he was being a bit of a smartass, but he's still right (and it applies to most things you buy). The best will be expensive and the cheapest will not be that good. What he needs is some balance between the two that will depend on how much he needs and how much he can afford. There may turn out to be some fairly clear point where price starts rising much faster than usefulness, but he's likely to have to just go with the best one he can afford... There is certainly no such thing as the "best and cheapest". (It may occasionally exist in some VERY simple items, but not in something this "complex".)
It may very well be that he can't afford a pump big enough to have mattered in this situation, in which case the right answer may be to clean out the one he has and hope it doesn't happen again (as others have suggested).
On the other hand, if the flooding has done $10,000 dollars worth of damage that an $800 pump would have prevented.... And if it's going to happen again next year.... (Not saying that's the case, just something to consider.)
Another thing to consider is power failures due to the storm. At least in my area power failures often accompany bad storms. It doesn't much matter how many GPM the pump can do, if the power is off.
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You want to buy

That original $100 pump sure turned out to be a bargain, didn't it?
Steve
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On Sep 25, 7:37am, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Some areas only flood with 100 yr rains, when sewers back up. How did the water get in. I sealed all my basement drains and only take out plugs to clean. 800 for a sump, forget it. You can probably do with a good 150$ pump if its not from the sewer backing up. I would get someone different like a handyman to clean and check out the old pump first. Look at pumps and their capacities www.zoeller.com makes good pumps and has all the specs for you to read. if it came in the sewer maybe the pump he wants to instal would not keep up and at 800 its probably 220 and overkill. .
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*Before you spend any money, find out why so much water is coming in. Since you are a long distance landlord you may not have noticed that something has changed. Maybe your gutters are clogged and water is pouring over the top and pooling adjacent to the foundation. Maybe the foundation has cracked. Maybe the tenants did something to prevent water drainage. Maybe the existing pump has a problem.
The guy probably gave a quote for a good pump that could handle a lot of water based on his initial visit and because of his current schedule did not have time to investigate why you have so much water coming in. I think that you should figure out why so much water came in before you take any preventative action. Talk to as many people as possible: plumbers, waterproofing specialists and landscapers will all have ideas and suggestions for spending your money. You need to choose the correct course of action.
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On 9/25/2010 3:59 PM, John Grabowski wrote:

I agree here. A good ol' 1/2 hp sump with a 1 1/4 discharge should more than handle any normal about of basement input.
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Steve Barker
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Two pumps one over the other in a standard pit will handle a hell of lot of water.
I really can't imagine you needing more than that unless you are pumping a great distance up (rise). The flow rates (GPM or GPH) for a given pump are rated at X feet of rise and drop greatly as that rise increases. The more expensive pumps should deliver more GPM at a greater rise.
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Colbyt
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It's interesting, so many answers, and to a large degree, each addressed different things.
On Sat, 25 Sep 2010 17:25:42 -0400, "Colbyt"

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And, most of the answers polite, and helpful.
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wrote:

Others had already posted the generalized comments. I thought giving the OP some method to compare what he was buying might be more helpful.
I had no way of knowing what BORG pump the OP had installed. Even the BORG sell good, better and best (for them).
The cheapest sump pump on page 3542 Grainger catalog 401 is $128 and pumps 16 GPM at 5' head, increase the head to 10' and it only pumps 11 GPM so it loses 32% of the GPM when the head doubles.
The $387 Dayton pumps 113 GPM at 5' and 101 GPM at 10' for a lose of about 11%.
So there are 2 ways to increase GPM, more horsepower or higher quality. Both cost more. They all cost more than the $59 BORG model.
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Makes me wonder if he needs a pump with a higher HP, more power to push the water. Harbor Freight sells some cheap sump pumps. I wonder if a 1/2 HP instead of 1/4 HP would help.
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That's tragic, considering the situation you described.
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On Sat, 25 Sep 2010 07:37:45 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Isn't this like buying tires at a gas station, where iirc they are twice the price of a tire or autoparts store?
You're paying for convenience. OTOH, if you buy it somewhere else, I think to get someone to put it in, you have to pay him more, to make up for the profit he didn't make on the parts sale.
How much did you pay for the 100 dollar sump pump to be installed.
If he was not that much, maybe you can call that guy, order the pump online and have it shppped to him. Of course if it's bad, you'll have to pay labor twice and pay him to send it back. But even if you bought it locally you'd have to pay the labor twice. The other charge is for having out of state rentals.

When my support pipe on the pedestal pump rusted through I bought an exact replacement for mine, 1/2 HP maybe, or 3/4. I wish I had bought one size bigger. Once in 31 years there has been enough rain that my sump pump couldn't keep up with it, and the bottom of some boxes got wet (and soaked up the water)
It would be nice to know how much less capable than it should have been was the pump there now. Just making up numbers, say it puts out 20 gallons a minute which is normally enough, but that night 30 gallons a minute were coming in. a pump that coudl do 35 gallons would have benen enough, but if it only does 20, that's 10 gallons a minute shortfall, 600 gallons an hour. Okay, that's not enough to be four feet deep, but my ppoit is that if they had been away for 12 hours and it was the full 30 gallons a minute the entire time(not likely) that would be 7200 gallons. Now you don't need a pump that does 100 gallons a minute, just enought to keep up with the worst-case entry amount.
I know that even one notch bigger would have worked for me, but my pump was almost keeping up (I went outside to look at the output and it was plenty, like 5 bathtub faucets fully open.

Is this Wisonsin/Minnesota?

Don't forget check valves in each one then, so one pump doesn't just pump back into the sump.
You could get a pump and a abakcup electric, but I don't recall the capacity of the battery backup. I know it's not as many gallons as AC, but I don't remember how much less.

A little.

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On Sat, 25 Sep 2010 07:37:45 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

BTW, I live next to a stream that in 8 hours can go from 8 inches deep and 6 feet across to 10 feet deep and 25 feet across. When the stream gets higher than the manholes of the sewer that parallels it, the basement sink backs up (not now that I keep it tightly firmly plgged>)
But the flood I told you about wasn't the result of that. It was water seeping down the dirt aournd this end-of-group townhouse, into the perforated corrrugated 4 inch pipe that surrounds 3 sides of the foundation and pours into the sump.
I've spent 27 years trying to predict when the stream will rise to flood stage, and I havent' learned. It has something to do with raining over days, so that the soil is soaked, and not much to do with a heavy rain, certainly not if the heavy rain follows a period without much rain.
But this time wasn't the stream flooding, and the rain didn't seem much heavier or longer or more days than at many times. Like I say I try to notice how much it is raining, but maybe I do a bad job of that.
Anyhow, my sump pump overflow was the result of only 50% more water or less than many other rains. Probably 20 or 30% more. So in my case, I know that a pump that does 51% more would do it.
Ah, if 100 year floods really only came every 100 years. Rather I think that is a predicted average and they can come 2 years in a row, or not.
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