Dual sump pumps

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I have a considerable amount of water enter my basement sump pump pit when it rains heavily, and a husky submersible pump which can pump several thousand gallons of water per hour if needed when the pit begins to fill. The pump is powered by 110V current, backed up by an automatic emergency (natural gas powered) generator, so I feel quite confident I will be able to pump water under most conditions.
The concern I have is if the pump fails.
I want to install a second pump which will kick in if the water level rises in the pit high enough to trigger it. My current thought would be to mount it above the current pump, and perhaps share the same outlet / discharge pipe. I'm not sure this is a correct or optimal arrangement, or if there is some better way of hooking up a second / backup pump. An alternative would be to fit 2 pumps at the same height into the pit, let both operate whenever water level rises, and then assume that either or both of the pumps will be working when I really need them.
The basement is finished with a lot of relatively expensive tools, furniture, etc. so I want this to be done right. I welcome any advice or opinions, and thank you in advance for your assistance.
Smarty
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If you have city water look at www.basepump.com
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I am actually quite familiar with these units, since they are not only manufactured a few miles away from me in Western New York but have received a lot of local publicity after the "surprise" ice storm hit a year ago in October which took out electricity for up to 3 weeks here.
I am not really looking to a water driven pump approach, but rather want to have a second electric pump operate as my earlier post indicated. It is my impression that the water-driven pumps handle quite a bit less volume per hour, and also rely on good discharge clearance / drainage for both the basement water as well as the additional water they use for pumping. My water pressure is also on the low side, forcing me to use one of their smaller capacity units.
I'm just trying to find the best way of attaching and mounting 2 electric pumps from both a plumbing and electrical viewpoint.
Smarty
wrote:

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wrote:

without any trouble!
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If your pumps are essential, as having a backup generator would indicate, you should invest in a pump alternator. These things usually can be wired to separate circuits for each pump, and set to fire pump 1, then pump 2, back and forth, and if the water level rises while either pump is in operation, they kick in the second pump

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If you have room in your sump for both pumps, put them in side by side, otherwise it will be impossible to remove a lower bad one without shutting down the one above it.
Do not wire them both into the same circuit. Keep two circuits in case one pump quits and blows the breaker on its line.
Pipe both sumps into separate discharge lines. Don't connect them together except at a point where they both discharge into a drain line that is much larger than the pipes from the pump. 4" or 6" would make a good drainage line to take both pumps.
The alternator switching method sounds good.

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just install a second pit, easy to do and have 2 completely seperate pits with two completely seperate pumps draining into 2 completely seperate discharge lines. all redundant all the time:) add a batery back up pump to one just in case.
A couple thoughts, it amazes me how many people have sump pumps that could drain to daylight! at least in a overflow pump failure mode. if you could, get a backhoe to dio some digging gravity is really reliable.
another thing you should investigate why so much water in a heavy rain? leaking downspout drain broken pipes? clogged gutters filled with debris? could you add a french drain somewhere to minimize flow somehow?
sump pumps work awesome, at least till they fail but you need to look at this as a entire groundwater control system.
the less water traveling thru your sump the better!
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I never cease to be amazed at how many really excellent ideas and helpful people visit this forum. The suggestions are tremendous, and things I would have never considered. Thanks to all for the much appreciated advice!
Smarty

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On Tue, 02 Oct 2007 17:58:17 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

But what about the feed lines to the sump? The perforated plastic pipe that surrounds the foundation? How do you get that water into the other sump? And without removing it from the first sump?

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generally the perforated pipe runs around the perimeter walls. so pick a convenient spot cut concrete and break into existing line install second sump and pump, its not high tech just hard work. digging into concrete etc........
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Simpler, install the sump beside the old one and add a connecting pipe to collect the overflow.

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to the source of the water. that would be my preferred fix
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Your first option will work fine. Just make sure you have check valves on each pump.
s

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I had a similar problem, and my solution was to move. Well actually that was my second solution; the first was to install a second sump. I put a pump in the second sump with a water powered backup, and then put a battery powered backup on the original sump. Amazingly, I didn't have any problem selling the house for a good price, despite all the sump pumps.
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It sounds like you had four! sump pumps. Wow.
Otoh, maybe he thought, Good, he has 4 sump pumps. That ought to be enough for anything.
Or maybe he didn't think at all.
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replying to Smarty, Arnold2303 wrote:

SMARTY, did you ever install your dual sumps? How did it work out. I am in your situation... I have a natural gas backup generator. I want to get a backup sump fore same reasons you have/had.
--


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On Fri, 07 Mar 2014 19:44:01 +0000, Arnold2303

the 2 pumps on sparate circuits. I would set the float switch on one pump a bit higher than the other. I would LIKELY use 2 different sized pumps - the low level pump being slightly lower capacity than the high level pump. For most of the year your, say, 1/3 HP pump can handle the flow with no problem - and runs on lower current, with fewer cycles. If the little guy cannot do the job, big brother ( 1/2hp or more) kicks in - and if the little guy fails, big brother is up to the job, regardless. You NEED separate circuits so if the one pump fails and draws excessive current, tripping the breaker, the second pump is not impacted. You need separate discharges so if one gets blocked, making the one pump in-effective, the second pump still has a chance. Tying both pumps to one discharge means if the discharge gets plugged the one pump just pumps the water back through the other pump - right back to the sump where it started.

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On 3/7/2014 4:50 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

All good points. In my old house, I had an AC pump and a DC battery operated pump. Both were submersible. As mentioned, the AC pump was set to kick in 1st and at the higher level, the DC pump. I had 2 separate discharge pipes. Outside, the pipes, loosely, went into a 4", running downhill to the back of the yard. By loosely, I mean, not actually connected. If something should freeze, the water would just bubble up about 3 or 4' from the house. But with the good slope that I had, it never froze up. In my present house, living on a mountain, I have no sump. A friend once asked what I would do if water went into the basement. As one side is at ground level, I told him that I would just open the door and let gravity take over.
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wrote:

sump pump to keep the basement dry.
The house I grew up in was at the low point of the street (the street was about 8 inches lower than the next catch basin in front of our house), and the main floor was about a foot or so lower than the street, with the lot sloping back to a bank (drop-off) to the riover flats. In a heavy rain, the street would fill with water, and trucks going by (or even cars) would cause a wake that splashed water over to the house. The water would run in the front door, across the linoleum living room floor, down the basement stairs, and out the cellar drain to the river flats. Dad pured a retaining wall along the front of the house, against the foundation and extending up a foot or so above foundation level, and poured a concrete front poach about 8 inches higher than the living room floor, so you had to step down going in - with a raised threshold lip. A brick "railing" around the porch acted as a breakwater, and we had a drop-in "floodgate" that blocked the entrance in rainy weather. Those modifications kept the water out of the house on all but the very worst rainstorms.
Dad bought that house for $2000 in 1957. It was built before confederation (I think it was 87 years old when he bought it). He sold it in 1975 and it was demolished and replaced by several townhouses just last year.
Both my first house and this one are at the high point of the street, in sand, on an open gravel bottom with no sump.
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replying to clare , Arnold2303 wrote:

Thank you for your post. If you know any builders in suburbs bordering major cities, building departments are mandating that NEWLY BUILT homes have their storm water drain onto their property vs going into storm sewers. Many municipalities don't want any more water running into storm sewers; they feel sewers are already maxed out, resulting in storm water co-mingling with waste water.
The mandate for builders: Grade the lawn so that water runs across it and eventually (hopefully) seeps down in --- never reaching a storm sewer.
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