During last rain storm we had water backed into our basement through
the sump pit.......it was caused by the pump not working for over four
hours due to loss of power. We had significant damage that was also not
covered by our insurance. We certainly don't want to repeat this
incidence. Besides having some type of a back-up power supply, what
other inexpensive options do I have? One that comes to mind is may be
building a safety dam around the sump pit (say 3 ft X 3 ft X 1ft tall)
that would contain the water for a brief period of time in case of
extended power loss....does any one of you have any creative / simple
Bad idea. What would happen is you would have one foot of water filling
your basement BEFORE the sump pump could start getting rid of it.
Some sort of backup is what you want and maybe some sort of work outside
to make sure no water from the roof or from somewhere up hill from your home
ends up close to your foundation. Get the water away from your home before
it gets to the sump pump.
You have a choice of manual (not a very good choice unless you have a
high school football team to power it.) Or battery (the likely choice for
most people, or water powered. If you have city water, it can actually be
used to pump water. Of course if you are on a domestic well, that would not
be a good choice. Then there are generators. They can sever many uses. A
little time on the pump, some time on the frig and freezer and maybe a
little time two watch TV and see the news reports of the power outage and
The safety dam will also keep water from draining into the sump pit
like if you have a plumbing leak.
There are back-up pumps that are powered by water here is just one
search for 'water powered sump pump'
These are probably not good back ups if you have well water since your
well pump won't work in a power outage either.
On 6 Nov 2006 09:43:44 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The chances are good that if you let the ground-water around your
basement build up until the water in the sump "well" is a
foot above floor level, that water will just find another way
into your basement besides through the sump pit.
In the absence of any site-specific info, all I can suggest
is keeping everything stored in the basement on rafts....
What do you use the basement for? Where is the water coming
from? What's the topology around your house?
Specifically, is there a low-place to which you
could lead a perimeter drain?
How long a time/period do you want to plan for
being without power, and what's the most amount
of water you can plausibly get in that amount of time?
If you have city water look at www.basepump.com or www.zoeler.com if
you are on a well get a battery powered unit, but they pump less than
city water powered units. or get a generator or gas powered pump
Though it also provides the most chances to kill yourself (carbon
monoxide, flammable liquids, miswiring, etc.), a small portable
generator is likely the best option. Run it outside and just run several
extension cords to your sump pump, refrigerator and table lamp and
you're pretty safe.
If you're home sitting in the dark watching the sump pit fill up, you're
being negligent. If you're there, bail the silly thing out with a
bucket. Four or five hours of periodic bailing is nothing compared to
uninsured losses. If the water is filling faster than you can bail, your
pump probably wouldn't keep up either and you have other problems.
If the water is filling faster than you can bail, your
that is NOT true...
my pump easily keeps up, but when the power goes out, its a run up a
flight of stairs and out the door with a bucket full of water every few
minutes,,, its not that easy to do for hours at a time...
after doing that twice, I got a big inverter and a car battery for
short term and a small generator for long term outages......... so now
since I am ready, I have never needed them...
BTW ..... DO NOT EVER run a generator indoors... EVER...
My bucket wouldn't fit in my sump.
But if one is considering doing that, a hand pump with a large hose to
the basement sink might be a good idea. I've only seen pumps that fit
garden hoses, but they must make them with bigger hoses and 14"
Boating stores, find a manual bilge pump.
Or get a regular crank-pump from lehmans.
They've got a rotary transfer pump,
but I think for a long-duration pump-out,
I'd go with the lightweight cistern
pump instead, because the body mechanics
The dam idea could work in theory if your basement is otherwise
completely watertight. People sometimes install such a device on a
floor drain to prevent water coming in via sewer backup - called a
standpipe. But those rely on the integrity of the sewer pipe to contain
the water. In your case, if the water table is a foot (or an inch)
above your basement floor, almost certainly it will seep in somewhere,
like at a seam between the basement floor and wall. Also, as others
have mentioned, the dam would mean the sump pump would not help you
when there is an internal source of water, such as a burst washing
machine hose. In your case it would seem the expense of a battery
powered backup ('ace in the hole' type gizmo) would be well justified.
If there is an extended outage and you are there, you can recharge it
with your car.
Why not just fill the sump in with concrete? No way it can overflow then!
I am thinking about doing that with mine. (of course, I haven't had any
water in it in the 13 years I have own the house. YMOV.)
Does the OP have a place anywhere on their property thats lower than
thjeir basement floor?
if so dig a drain line so that a over filled sump spills or drains the
water to a low place well away from the outside of your home.
its a permanent no energy let gravity do the job solution/
Don't know, but it is unusual to get that much water if there is a lower
place around to drain it to.
15 years ago the creek behind my house flooded during a week long power
outage; I had 4' of water in my basement. My mother recommeneded I use a
garden hose as a siphon to empty it. Thanks Mom...
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