What is the best emergency power supply that can be connected to an existing sump pump?

I have two sump pump pits each with their own pump, but no power supply other than AC. What’s the best alternative power supply in the event of a power failure?

4 Responses to “What is the best emergency power supply that can be connected to an existing sump pump?”

  1. jillolli  on July 3rd, 2013

    I have a generator ready with a long extension cord. Nothing worse then losing power and watching your basement fill with water.

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  2. Wired  on July 3rd, 2013

    If I needed a sump pump to keep my basement or other area dry I would definitely have a generator around.

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  3. sdvond@sbcglobal.net  on July 3rd, 2013

    There are battery back up pumps available for when there is a power failure. These would solve your problem. I recently heard of a pump that works on a venturi system. You hook it up to your domestic water supply. Running water through the venturi causes a vacume and pulls in water from the sump hole. Both of these are fully automatic to function when the power fails.

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  4. James F  on July 3rd, 2013

    There are three choices to fix this:

    (1) Battery backup. A secondary pump that will only come on if the water rises above the level of the first pump that runs off of a car battery. You would need two of these.

    Disadvantage: only works as long as the battery lasts. Fine for a short power outage, but not much help in a long outage.

    (2) Household water powered. These are kind of a cool idea, they are powered off of your city water supply.

    Advantage: no power needed and can run indefinitely without any manual intervention by you. If you are away on vacation when the power goes out, this will keep your basement dry.

    Disadvantage: Will be staggeringly expensive to run if there is an extended outage. It is basically like running your garden hose full blast to power the pump, and doing that over 3 days will give you an eye-popping water bill.

    (3) Generator.

    Advantages: Can be run essentially indefinitely at relatively low cost. Has other uses, like keeping your lights on and the food in your fridge safe in an extended outage.

    Disadvantages: Unless you are buying one of those very high-end, automatic standby generators, you have to be home when the power is out, so you can go set up the generator and connect it to your existing pumps. Expensive to buy initially and has to be maintained regularly like any small gasoline engine so it’s ready to go when you need it.

    So there is no one perfect solution. You need to think carefully about things like how often you are on vacation, how long your pumps can go without operating safely, etc.

    For me, if money was no option, I’d get two of the household water powered emergency pumps AND have a generator to run the regular, main pumps during any extended outage. If you ever have to go four days without power, you will be very glad you have a generator, and not just because of your sump pumps.

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