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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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!
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!
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
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.
I would definitely have separate discharge pipes installed, and run
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,
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.
On 3/7/2014 4:50 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
As a matter of principal I will never buy a house that depends on a
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
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.
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
The mandate for builders: Grade the lawn so that water runs across it and
eventually (hopefully) seeps down in --- never reaching a storm sewer.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.