sump pump backup

Well I think I'm going to put in a backup sump pump for my basement. We currently have a two year old Zoeler electric pump that does not need to run too often, only for 3-4 storms a year (as it takes 3 or more inches of rain in a day to even have water start to enter the sump). Once the pump starts having to run it pumps 20 seconds every 3-5 minutes, but once the rain stops my sump pump stops having to run after only a few hours (so I think my neighborhood has slow ground water drainage, maybe we're on ledge or something). I've weighed my options and come up with two solutions/technologies:
1.) Water-powered sump pump (http://www.basepump.com ). Has anyone used/heard good or bad things about this product? Would you recommended another brand? I checked with my local water department and they said in the event of total power loss in my area (say in a hurricane), I have two 3 million gallon water towers servicing my part of town (he said we'd have AT LEAST several days or more or normal water pressure). I prefer this method as it don't have to worry about batteries dying, needing maint. etc. Once my pump does start to run it runs fairly often, about 20 seconds every few minutes, so I don't think batteries would last too long (7-12 hours tops).
2.) Battery backup sump pump. Watchdog seems the popular one here. If I hear bad things on the water powered pumps I would go this route. Installation would be easier (no water service tie in). However run time concerns me. If my pump runs 20 seconds every feew minutes I think that's on the 7 hour time frame for battery life.
I come to this group looking what my best option is. Once you factor in batteries both solutions cost nearly the same. Thanks!!
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First step I'd take: DAGS (do a google search) on "sump pump backup" and then work on filtering the 247k hits with additional search terms.
Much has been written on this, and even a segment on "Ask This Old House" on water-powered pump. Why not tap into that first?
J
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On Aug 14, 11:43 am, snipped-for-privacy@sme-online.com wrote:

I've Google'd around quite a bit and know the pro's and con's of each. I guess I was looking for a experiences good or bad people have had with Basepump or Basement Watchdog (especially Basepump). I'm a little put off that you have to order Basepump direct (why don't any of the big box stores carry them?).
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On Wed, 15 Aug 2007 00:23:42 -0000, grodenhiATgmailDOTcom
<snip>

I've had the big basement watchdog for about a year, and it's saved me a couple of times already. I have a dead flat lot with no way to run the drain tile to daylight and no storm sewers, so I have an outside sump pump that runs to a dry well. If the power quits during a heavy rain, I will get water in the basement without the backup. Also have a generator for long outages.
That said, I have well water, so water powered is not an option. If I had reliable city water, I'd probably go with the water driven pump.
FWIW, with 30% duty cycle, you should get 24 hours backup on the BWD with a good battery, and you can gang two batteries for even longer capacity if you want. Figure on replacing the battery(ies) every 4-5 years.
HTH,
Paul
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On Wed, 15 Aug 2007 00:23:42 -0000, grodenhiATgmailDOTcom

For that, you want to use groups.google.com advanced search, and maybe specify this group.
All in all, I think the Basepump would be best for me. I live in Baltimore and the odds of a water failure or a power failure at the water company at the same time there is a power failure at my house seem very slim.
I have been trying to figure out how to make installation as simple as possible, but I don't think I'll figure it out totally until I order the thing and have it. Like will it fit perpendicular to the floor joists, how hard will it be to run the pipe down to the sump; will I find that pipe to be an obstruction (My basement is stuffed, and I have a shelf two feet below the 'ceiling' there.)
But the basement watchdog uses a much bigger pipe and getting that to fit in the same sump cover would be a problem of its own. The copper pipe for the baseppump will fit in the corner right next to the current plastic pipe for my AC sump pump.
I want a backup 1) for power failures, and 2) once in 28 years, the water was coming in so fast my regular sump pump couldnt handle it. (Of course maybe I should take that pump out and put in a bigger one. That would solve 2 but not 1. I keep thinking of this and then forgetting it a few minutes later.)

I don't konw but it doesn't bother me for some reason. I guess I think they think they have a limited market, and stores don't want to stock it for an occasional sale. So does that mean they weren't in business before the Web? I forget how long they've been in business.
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