Basement Watchdog redundant battery backed sump pump- thumbs up


Had a 3hr power outage last night during a horrendous thunderstorm. The basement watchdog battery backed redundant sump pump did it's thing!
I've had one installed for years but this is the first time it was needed and activated, and it did the job nicely! Had it not been there, I'd have had some carpet to replace for sure.
Best Regards, -- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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Good for you.
Maybe you should consider a large scale UPS to pick up truly essential loads for your house like the sump pump, the freezer, and the ice box.
Alternatively, some kind of manual pump (like boaters use to bail out boats) can also save the day when the power goes out.>

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Do you appreciate how much a UPS large enough to do that costs?
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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loads
Well, how much was paid for the "emergency" sump pump?
How much to replace a freezer/ice box full of food.
If you go the DYI route, the battery and the inverter/charger are each less than $1,000.
I haven't gone that route yet. OTOH I do have a 5 kW generator.
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The Basement Watchdog Special that I have was about $200. I installed one myself, and one came in the current house I'm in. It includes battery, trickle charger, and a redundant pump.
http://www.basementwatchdog.com/sump_pump_comparison.htm

I'm curious now--Can you point me to an inverter/charger system that can handle a refrigerator load? Given the reliability of our system out here (good, underground service, short run to the substation/t-lines, <18 yrs old).

Genset's definitely the way to go, IMO, with auto start and a transfer switch all the better.
I've never heard an inverter/battery system every recommended to protect a fridge before, so I'm curious who markets to that audience.
My internet connection tayed up nicely with wireless access point firing... until the cable company's backup power failed and brought their system down, heh. I so wanted to IM folks and say "Dang, the entire neighborhood is out of power."
Best Regads, -- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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If he has the same one I do... about two hundred bucks.

Irrelevant -- those will survive power outages of several hours completely intact. Ten minutes without power to a sump pump in a finished basement could be catastrophic.

Which also cost less than a grand, I'll bet. If it's such a good idea to have a high-capacity UPS, why don't you have one?
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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During the great ice storm, we lost power for 30 hours. The freezer contents were still perfectly frozen.
The battery power required to run fridge+freezer for 30 hours is a lot more than $1000.
And if your batteries run down in a prolonged outage, how do you recharge them? Putting them in your vehicle isn't enough - you can't keep up with those loads.
UPS has its place in emergencies - we have several. But powering standard fridges/freezers isn't one of them.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Nonsense. Do you have *any* idea what that would cost?
Do you have *any* idea how completely unnecessary that would be?
A refrigerator and freezer will be just fine for four hours or more without power, as long as they're kept closed -- and that's usually plenty of time for the power company to restore power. But considering that power outages are most frequently associated with rainstorms, even ten or fifteen minutes without power to a sump pump can result in significant damage in a finished basement, damage *far* in excess of the value of any freezer or its contents. IOW -- it's much more important to have backup power for the sump pump than for the refrigerator and freezer. And that's what the Basement Watchdog is: essentially a UPS for the sump pump. A generator is fine for the frige and freezer. In most cases, so is just leaving them alone.

What if the power goes out while you're asleep? Or away? The battery backup for the sump pump will still work... but not a manual pump.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Hi John,
I have considered a generator and transfer switch, but given the costs and for how long the sump pump will run continuously on its battery, I decided to forgo it. We very rarely have extended outages, and if we do, I'm willing to self insure with a freezer/fridge full of food as the loss amount.
The manual pump idea is a really good one. Do you have any examples or where I might find some? It'd have to be one that I could get an 8 ft rise out of to get the water above grade and out of the house. I'm picturing though that that may require a pedal powered contraption heh.... Another Basement watchdog battery in parallel might be better still. Hrmmm..
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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Lee Valley sells a manual pump (looks much like an old fashioned lever-action well pump) that would probably work.
--
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snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) writes:

Interesting. Is this what you're referring to?
http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=2&cat=2,2280&p380
Certainly is cost effective. Some thought would have to be put into the requisite plumbing though. A 2nd pipe to the sump would have to be run I suppose to avoid having to pull a submersible pump in an emergency. I don't imagine you can draw water through an electric submersible pump while it's still connected.
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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Yeah, but for some reason I thought there was something useable as a pipe fitting on the outlet. Somewhat more restrictive where you can place it obviously ;-)

Easiest would be to have a separate suction line of course.
There's no great problem sucking thru most pumps - most sumps are impeller pumps which will simply have their impellers spin in the water flow. However, it will be greater drag, which you don't want with a hand pump.
They'll probably also generate a little electricity as they wind (water? ;-) mill, which is probably not a terrifically good idea - it would also increase drag if anything else in the house is trying to source power from that leg of the main feed, and the pump switch is on. Might also give you a tingle.
You'd want the sump switched off.
Nah, another suction line is better.
If that hand pump had a hose fitting on the outlet, then you could tee it into the sump pump's outlet line. Provided you had one way valves for both the sump and handpump.
[This is probably how I'm going to configure my battery backup system. Essentially a truck battery, a marine bilge pump, a scavenged float switch, and a kit-built 12V charger. It won't just do the sump - I'll also have some smallish 12V emergency lights and an 400W inverter running off the battery. Just enough to keep the sump, a few LV bulbs, and the TV/laptop running ;-)] loads.]
--
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Todd H. wrote:

Glad to hear it worked great as I also have one. Fortunately I have never had the need for it to kick on but it sure is great insurance.
Don
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I just wish the one in this house was installed as correctly as I installed the one in the house I sold. I need to fix that-- they didn't put in a check valve, they ran a separate flex line to the outside of the house, no hole at the bottom of the line to drain the water to prevent air lock...
But all the same it seemed to work!
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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they can be great...
but be aware that the standard lead acid battery (car battery) will not last much more than 5 years even if you never use it...
you should check the battery often and replace it when necessary... and just becasue there is 12 volts comming out of it doesn't mean it has enough Amp Hours to run your pump...
Mark
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Glad to hear you're OK. The 15 minutes drive home from Skokie was 90 minutes. Edens Expy completely shut down. Downtown Winnetka had so much water it was lapping at the sides of at least one building. My dad was in Deerfield yesterday, he said the lawns were littered with soaked sofas and carpets just pulled out of basements.
S

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Whoa. Yeah that was a hell of a set of storms that rumbled through Chicagoland. That's a nasty commute increase for sure.
Gotta give props to comed though for getting us back. Dunno what specifically was the matter, but an entire substation went down I think, and their attempts to reclose the circuits kicked out quite a few times, so it seems it took some time to isolate the faults.
Folks in other places in the area weren't so lucky and may be out of power until tomorrow even.
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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