dam around sump pit


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 ideas?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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 flooding.
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Joseph Meehan

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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 example: http://www2.acehardwareoutlet.com /(mwdex145akz0xwylbkvd2445)/ProductDetails.aspx?SKU@65199&Source=froogle
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.
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On 6 Nov 2006 09:43:44 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com 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?
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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
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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.
Pete C.
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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...
Mark
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Mark wrote:

Bigger bucket. Good exercise. What else do you have to do in the dark anyway?
Pete C.
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wrote:

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" cranks.
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mm wrote:

Wouldn't work for me...oh, the pump would but putting in the sink wouldn't. Old house and the sink drain runs to the sump pump. Would get my weeks worth of exercise though :).
Harry K
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wrote:

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 work better.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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.
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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.)
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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/
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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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