water powered sump pump

Any opinions out there regarding a water powered sump pump as a back up for an electrical sump pump? In theory, an independent back up system sounds excellent, as opposed to a battery and/or generator.
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minnew wrote:

A water powered backup sump pump is no more independent than a battery or generator powered one. In all cases the pump is dependent on an external power source. The main advantage of the water powered one is the lack of maintenance required i.e. maintaining batteries or a generator. Of course you have to have city water, if you have a well the water powered pump isn't an option.
Since the backup pump is primarily applicable in a power failure (assuming you maintain the regular pump properly so it doesn't fail), a generator, particularly one of the little residential automatic units can backup not only your sump pump, but also your refrigerator, freezer, lights, heat, etc. so while it costs more than the water powered pump it's worth considering. Those water powered pumps are kinda expensive too. Those little automatic generators run on nat. gas or LP so if you don't have those they aren't an option.
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wrote:

It's independent of the power source for the first sump pump.

But a different one.
Almost everywhere, water pressure fails a lot less than electric power does, and in the last 24 years here, the water has never failed when the electric is out. They're independent of each other.

True.
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mm wrote:

So is a battery pump or a generator.

In all cases.

Yes, but a water powered pump is still reliant on an external power source.

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ideally all sumps would drain to daylight by gravity. amazing so many people use pumps when they could have a ditch dug to a low area on their property or near the street, even if its just a overflow for a existing sump
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So what?? It's a source that almost never goes down.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

That depends entirely on where you are. A lot of areas have 100yr+ old infrastructure that isn't as reliable as you claim. The main thing is not that city water is so miraculously reliable, it's the odds of both the water and power being out at the same time and that usually only happens under conditions where the sump pump is the least of your concerns.
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Water pressure is *far* more reliable than electric service in most places, whether you know it or not.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Not in any of the places I've lived or the areas adjacent to them.
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wrote:

YOu're proving our point. If the sump pump is the least of our concerns, let's not consider those times. So that means according to you, we're not considering most of the times the water and power are out at the same time. That's what we want, the water to be working when the electric power is off.

I would hope that the people considering buying a water powered sump pump know if they live in an area like that. They should know when they open the faucet and water doesn't come out.
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Someone wrote?

they; some sort of venturi jet? Our municipal water supply, is gravity fed. The only thing that 'might' fail is the chlorine injection at the main control station near the lake that supplies the town. In other words we never lose water pressure? And the main lines are sized for fire fighting hydrants. So would it not be true, in our case anyway; a water powered pump would not be reliant on external power? Curious.
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terry wrote:

Yes. Something like a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of water pumped to water consumed.

Gravity feed only lasts as long as the pumps filling the tank are operational. Those tanks don't last very long if they aren't being refilled.

Water mains have been known to break, be damaged by construction work and otherwise fail. When that happens, if you are downstream of the problem you don't have water, even if the rest of the town still does. The duration of the outage is usually pretty long due to the need to isolate / shutoff the water upstream of the damage, pump out the area to get to the damaged main, repair the damaged main and then turn the water back on and go around to nearly every fire hydrant purging the contaminated water out. In some cases the flooding from a broken water main can also take out underground power utilities.
So, yes, the water powered pump is indeed dependent of an external power source, and it is also possible to loose both water and power at the same time. Though the probability of both utilities failing at the same time is very low in most areas, it is not zero.
Regardless of the type of sump pump and backup sump pump you have, if you are dependent on the sump pump to keep your basement from flooding i.e. the sump pump operates regularly you should plan "C" prepared. Plan "C" should consist of at minimum a battery powered flood alarm with the sensor located in the sump pit an inch or two above the backup pump operating level, and a stockpile of wood 4x4s, milk crates or similar that can be used to rapidly elevate valuable items above the soon to be flooded floor while you work to move things to higher ground.
A flooding basement is a known, predictable hazard and you should have a good plan to deal with it, just the same as a house fire, a blizzard, a tornado or a hurricane as applicable for your area.
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