Generator idea

I'm thinking about buying a small (3-5K Watt) generator for emergency sump pump power only and was wondering about hooking up a dedicated plug just for the sump pumps to be fed by the generator. In other words, running wiring from where the generator would be used down to the sump pump but NOT having the wiring hooked into the house wiring in any way. That way the generator could power the pumps but would not interfere with the rest of the house.
Thoughts?
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Rthomps9



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I like the idea but how would you connect the generator to the other end ?
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It would work but you probably don`t even need 3000w.Or you can do something totaly automatic if you have city water www.basepump.com or www.zoeller.com water powered sump pumps can perform as well as electric if you have good pressure and won`t stop and are automatic , used in the same pit but set at a higher turn on level. But if electric goes so does the frige and lights etc. Why not set up the house, transfer panel complete kits are only 200 from Generac, Lowes often gives them away free with a 600$ 5500-7500 Generac generator. Real cheap gens have poor quality lawnmower engines only good for 200- 350 hrs. And no gen should be run in the rain , likely when your power goes.
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Do you get much water in your sump? If not, a battery powered backup pump will be much cheaper and easier than a generator; and automatic to boot. (Someone else suggested a waterpowered pump. I just installed one for someone; it feels like a POS. I wouldn't want one in my basement.)
If you get more water in your sump than a battery backup would reasonably handle, think about a gas powered pump. They are not automatic and priming can be a pain, but they will pump much more water per gallon than a generator/pump and will cover you in case your sump pump breaks.
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The words "extension cord" comes to mind. Just run it from the generator location to near the sump socket. Can hang it up permanant like, if you want.
Plug the EC into the generator. Plug the sump into the EC.
I saw a 250 foot EC one time, somone had put a socket one end, plug other end of a roll of Romex. Neat idea.
But the advantage of an EC is that it probably won't upset building inspectors or safety guys.
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Toller , I dont think Zoeller makes anything that is junk, and basepump is probably just as good. If you mean lightweight and plastic , well there is no motor. The other day I saw a little Echo gas pump, but primimg would be the issue. Battery power= junk , how long do batteries pump, how long till the battery is junk and won`t pump, 4-6 yrs?. And how will you know when the battery is trash unless you take it and get it load tested every year. And who will remember or want to. I still say water powered for city water.
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how much extra water do the water powered pumps use.
lets say i pump out 1 gallon from the sump..how many gallons of water does that take from the water line?
Mark
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It depends on the water pressure, pipe diameter, and head. Roughly 1 gal to remove 1 gal. The problem with the two I have installed is that everything is really flimsy plastic. They feel like they will fall apart if you breath on them. But, if you are comfortable with that, they do work. Bear in mind they require a $100 backflow preventer to meet code. I think that requirement is a little silly, as I can't see any circumstances under which there would be backflow, but that is the code; at least in NYS.
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I think there may be a code thingy about tacking down an extension cord, esp so that it runs through a wall. Not sure it matters, if you sell the house just rip it out.
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by the way, I have a small 2500 watt generator i kkep around and also a car battery with an inverter.
the inverter and car battery will run the pump for a while
P.S. Do NOT EVER run the generator inside the house...!!!!!! The CO will kill you.
Mark
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Don't do this.. extention cords are intended for temporary use, not permanant installation.

This is a Kludge. Romex is not designed, or rated for this application. If I find this kind of crap around any of my facilities, I cut the ends off, and put everything in the parts bin.
If you're going to build an extention cord, use the proper wire (type S/SO/ST/SJ/SJO/STO/etc). It's fine to use an outlet box on the load end, but make sure to use one that can handle the abuse.. I like the cast aluminum outdoor types, with gland type strain reliefs, sometimes with basket grips as well.

Only if it's properly run on a temporary basis.. a permanantly installed extention cord will upset the inspectors and safety guys, while a properly installed extention circuit will not.

You can certainly do this.. run a circuit from a plug where the generator will be (can be flush, to be used with a extention cord, or a pigtail), to the sump pump.. label it at both ends. make sure to follow all applicable codes, and pay special attention to grounding.
Alternatively, depending on where your breaker panel is in relation to the generator, and if the sump pump is already on an isolated circuit, you could have a simple 2 pole transfer switch installed on just that circuit, to allow feeding it from an external outlet. You will want to transfer both the hot and the neutral, but tie the grounds together.
You could also install a small transfer panel, to allow feeding of selected load circuits from the generator. For instance, you may want to power a couple of lighting circuits, and your refrigerator in the event of a power outage. If you have gas heat, you may want to power the furnace blower.
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I posted here a couple of years ago about how one of the Zoeller water powered backup pumps saved my finished basement after a 5 day outage from an ice storm. Worked just fine.
In the intervening 2 years, though, we've gone through two of them. The first one was replaced under warrenty - the float switch started leaking terribly when it activated. Now, a year after getting the new one, the float switch started leaking terribly - WITHOUT being activated. I'm damned glad I was home at the time, or I would have been in a very bad way, as a continuous stream of water was shooting out horizontally about 6 feet. The plumbing supply house response was basically, "Yeah, they do that after a while." Their suggestion was basically to buy a complete new pump kit, as it wasn't much more than the replacement switch, and "You can use the rest as spare parts. You'll need them."
I guess we're back to using a battery backup pump. Since we now have a generator, it's less of an issue when it comes to powering it.
So I used to be a fan of water powered pumps - but not any longer.
- Rich
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