Water powered back up sump pump

With hurricane Irene coming, I did not want to take a chance with a wet basement if my power goes out. My sump pump saved me from the last heavy rain, so I know this time it will be worse. I did not want to get a generator right now because I wanted something big and not cheesy and of course thats going to cost some money, but my main concern was the basement. So I picked up one of these from Lowes for $240 http://starwatersystems.com/ProductBenefit.aspx?ProductIDF4
I tested it in my swimming pool, and it seems like it worked great disharging the water. Right now I'm in the process of re-plumbing the existing sump pump to attach this one to it.
My question is, has anyone used one of these and how has it gone so far.
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On Aug 25, 8:29 am, "Stormin Mormon"

Seems pretty high price to me too. As you say, for that price you're in the range where a generator starts to look good because it can power the fridge, lights, etc too.
I've seen others for about half that amount, but don't know how they compare on features, specs, durability.
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wrote:

.
Given the time constraints I'm facing with the Hurricane coming Sunday, I really did not shop around, but in any event, my primary pump is 1/2 HP, and if I remember the specs said it uses 10 amps. So I'm not sure if a generator in that price range would supply power to a sump pump and a few other things. I did see some 8,000+ watt generators at Lowes and HD, but it was a little pricey. Plus I'm not sure where I would store one of those beasts. I really don't have a lot of room in my garage as it is. The power does not go out here a lot, but this time its a different story.
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...
I'll bet it's more like half that in amps. And even if it did take 10 amps, you can get a generator that would run it for $200.

Agree, there are other factors to consider. The thing that would most point me toward a generator would be that it can also be used to run the refrigerator, lights, etc.
Fortunately while I have a basement, it's bone dry and I don't even have a sump pump. I did consult with a friend who has a new house and he doesn't have a sump pump either. But, he does occasionally have a small amount of water in the bottom of the sump pit. So, I recommended he go out and get a battery operated one. He has a spare battery already sitting around. And if need be, can also hook it up to his SUV if needed.
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Not that I'm going to find one now, but if you can point to me a link of half-decent generators in that price range, I'll consider buying one once this storm passes and things return to normal.
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Mikepier wrote:

Put the generator in something that looks like a doghouse. Generators should always be chained to something immovable, lest the thieves make off with them.
Generators should always be run outdoors. Don't worry about the rain, etc., generators are designed to operate in inclement weather.
As to the generator supplying power, you can alternate what the generator supplies. Run the sump pump for a while, and, while the sump is filling back up, power the fridge. A few lights shouldn't make any difference one way or the other.
You can also get a much smaller pump, just for emergency use, and power it by a scaled-down generator or even an invertor run from your car's electrical system.
You're right about hurricanes presenting a different kettle of fish; Three years ago, according to AccuWeather, hurricane Yikes caused 7.5 million power outages. Some 2 million in the Houston area were without power for a week!
Hint: It takes power to run the pumps at the gas station. Stock up on gasoline BEFORE the storm - you can always pour the left-over in your car's tank.
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On Thu, 25 Aug 2011 08:07:18 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

I looked at them. Not much capacity (GPH), and they waste water. Also need (some) a 1" dedicated feed to work to spec. A generator, even a cheap one, is a better bet. Having recently suffered a deluge that flooded basements here, including mine, my advice is to remove anything you can from the basement if a hurricane is coming. If the ground gets saturated and there's standing water outside, even the typical electric sump pump won't prevent flooding. I had 2 pumps going and they didn't make a dent that I could see. I decided my choices for surely dealing with the rare deluge is buy and maintain a 10hp gasoline pump, or avoid keeping anything in the basement that I don't want to lose. Taking the second option. Mike, if you're tying that pump to an existing pump discharge with a Y, don't forget to put a check valve on each pump's discharge. Otherwise if only one pump is running it will just discharge back through the non-running pump and back into the sump. BTDT.
--Vic
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wrote:

Yes, I am using a second check valve.
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Yes! It seems counterintuitive to ADD more water to remove the existing water.

Neither did my two little pumps. Now I have five. (-:

I took both options, sort of. This year, I decided to tackle the problem of the 100 year floods that seemed to be coming about every seven years. The first thing was to figure out what the various holes, drains, sumps, pumps and french drains were doing in the house. I put a garden hose into a small opening near the floor drain in the basement to see if that water would reach the sump pit at the base of the outside basement stairs. It never did, but the basement stayed damp for weeks after that ill-advised test. Near as I can tell, that hole in the floor goes into a gravel bed under the foundation which allowed me to pump a lot of water in, but as you can imagine, very little of it out.
After that, I got two 300GPH pumps (AC and DC 12V) with hoses that could fit into the small hole where the water went in (but never came out). I also bought a pump to sit over the floor drain (a 3HP pump with a 2" output hose that can move some serious water) and two more sump pumps (battery and AC) for the outside sump. Then I used cinderblocks to move everything up off the floor at least 12 inches, with the more valuable stuff stored higher up. I've got 80AH worth of batteries to supply the DC powered pumps and a system to recharge them from the car if they need to be on battery power for more than 12 hours. I've even got a venturi operated garden hose pump if all else fails.
On the day we had 12" of rain (you read right!) the outside stairwell filled up so quickly from the street runoff that only a ship's bilge pump could remove. I made the basement door as watertight as I could and installed the two sump pumps after regrading the yard to prevent that nasty problem from recurring. We'll see.
Of course, I'll probably never see another flood while I live here because I am so overprepared.
-- Bobby G.
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Well, I finished plumbing everything in last night. It turned out nice. Hopefully I won't have to use it, but I have it ready to go just in case.
Good luck to everyone in the storms path. I hope nothing serious happens to anyone.
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Quick question.
I am feeding this pump from my washing machine valve. It is fed by 3/4" pipe. I purchased a 50 foot 5/8" hose to hook it up. I really need only 25 feet but they did not have that size hose at any of the stores. If I shorten the hose to 25 feet, or even less, would I minimize pressure loss?
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That price is too big a chunk of a generator's price for my taste. I've had a "cheesy" $500 4400 watt generator for 15 years now. Since all I do with it is run it when the power is out it's still fine. Looks just like the day I bought it. Lives in my shed.
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That one looks very similar to one I purchased about 12 years ago for just over $100.00. I thought it was over priced at that for what you got. It was flimsy, and the float controlled water valve was very flimsy, it sat in the OFF position for about 6 months and when it was needed it wouldn't turn ON to drain the water. I had to manually play with it and add an elastic band to provide more spring strength.
I pulled it out and trashed it as a loss. Bought a "BasePump" brand, mail order from Buffalo, NY. Heavy duty, robust water valve, and pumps lots of water. They claim 3 gallons for every gallon of water consumed. It has cut in when power failed three times during a bad storm where there was lots of water. My sump flows heavily during spring and storms, the BasePump kept up with easily. I need backup as all my tools are in the basement along with my grown son's office with several computers.
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EXT wrote:

Check your local water distribution system. If water is supplied to your house by a pump, you won't have a water supply in case of a wide-spread power outage. If your supply is gravity-fed (the majority) you should be fine. For a while.
Eventually the water tower will run out of water.
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Our community has back-up diesel equipment for emergencies with water supply and sewage removal. I myself have a diesel back-up generator for power during longer term outages.
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Just wanted to update, its been raining heavy now here in NY, and my pit is slowly starting to fill up. So I decided to test the pump, and it works great. So now at least I can sleep easy tonight. Hopefully the power will stay on.
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For what its worth back in 1989 during hurricane Hugo my friend at work needed a water powered pump. None being available he improvised with what he could still find at the stores using a replacement jet from a jet pump and a float valve for a livestock watering tank. As of this past Friday night he was still using it.
Jimmie.
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After having no power for 5 days, The power finally came back tonight, so now I can comment on what I've experienced.
It started to rain heavy as Irene approached and every hour or so I was looking at the pit to see how much it was filling up. Then at 1:00AM, I lost power, and I was like "OK, here we go". So now I am staying up all night watching the pit get filled more and more with water. Then , the back-up pump kicked on, and took out water from the pit with no problem, and continued to do so for another day and a half , then the water subsided. My basement never got wet. I'm a believer. This thing works.
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On Thu, 1 Sep 2011 21:38:09 -0700 (PDT), Mikepier

You did good.
--Vic
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