Questions About Battery Backup for Sump Pump

doyledhJune 3, 2010

Outside our house is a ramp to my basement workshop that descends below grade. We have a sump pump installed within the drain. I do not know the brand or specs. It plugs into an outlet nearby.

I'm in Columbia SC and am concerned with the combination of heavy rain + extended power outage leading to flooding of the workshop.

What is the best solution?

I see the Zoeller 507-0005 Basement Sentry Battery Backup Pump System, which is recommended elsewhere on this forum.

But what I think I need is power back up rather than a second pump backup.

Is there a battery back up system that will do the job/


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Check at Lowe's. They have one. I don't know if it's like the one at Lowe's, but my neighbor has one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lowe's

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 8:05AM
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I have installed the zoller sump pump,along with their battery back-up pump at my parents house.My parents love it, if power goes out they have nothing to worry about,and also if the pimary pump dies as soon as the battery kick's in there is an alarm so they will know something is wrong, and will not get flooded.The only thing i have them do is run the batery pump every once in a while so that if they need it it will not be seized, as they do not lose power as often as they used to,get a good deep cycle battery and you will be worry free for at least 3 years.The battery can cycle the pump about 1000 times,i really was impressed with this setup, in fact i am in the slow process of doing the same thing at my place!!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 11:43PM
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My spouse cobbled together one from solar panel kits and marine batteries. Uses it to power the pumps in a koi pond. It wasn't by any stretch economical. She did it this way for her amusement. Don't the people with boats do this quite a bit?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 10:42AM
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Yeah those solor panels are not cheap.The Zoller back-up pump kit comes with it's own charger for the battery by the way ,all you will be missing is the actual battery itself!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 2:31PM
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The only difficulty w/ the Zoller back-up is getting it all in the pit, especially because of the tether switch for the back-up. Rather than repurposed water feature pumps, Zoller uses marine bilg pumps. It really moves a lot of water.

When installing a Zoller back-up, watch where the weep holds on the check valves are pointing and dry fit the whole assembly in the pit before breaking out the PVC cement.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 11:02PM
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What about a Ups?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 8:56AM
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These pumps take a lot of current when they operate. You'd need a very large and expensive UPS to be able to deal with the surge current of a sump pump motor starting. You're better off buying a battery backed sump pump system designed for this purpose.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 1:31AM
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Here's an off the wall solution. A friend of mine lived in an area where there were almost no power outages, even in bad storms. They've experienced maybe 4 outages in 25 years. However, if there was an outage, it might last only 30 minutes at most. In that 30 minutes, their sump would fill up and water would start flowing into the basement. The expense of a full fledged back up system wasn't that justifiable. He kept a oil drum crank handy just in case but wanted something less labor intensive. He was more concerned about the few times a hurricane might come through and, just something as an alternate course of action.

We picked up a Xantex 2000 watt inverter with a 4000 watt surge capability, a marine battery and a small solar panel to keep the battery float charged. During one heavy torrential down pour, we put it to the test. We unplugged it from the power and plugged it into the inverter. It worked great for over an hour (when the rain stopped.) Just knowing he had an alternative was good enough for him. With a little more work with a relay, we could have made the system automatically switch over. The good part is, when the battery starts to run down due to long use, you just hook up jumper cables to a car or tractor and you're back in business. We also tested it on his pellet stove and it worked great. Of course this is an "un-packaged" UPS. The cost was around 175 bucks total. He has an area where he uses a hedge trimmer and needs 150 foot extension cord to get to it. He took the setup out to the location and used his hedge trimmer with it and needless to say, it worked great. I personally think running the extension cord would have been easier but I mention all the other uses as another example of the setups' capabilities where it can be applied to other emergency or short term uses as well.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:56AM
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That is a neat solution, but if ever you are not at home you will get flooded.The battery back up pump is your best solution if you do not want a headache later.And also the battery pump is 12volts, and will run about 1000 times(on/off) before the battery dies,unlike the inverter which is using a great amount of battery power to run a 120volt pump ,i am sure that pump would not run anywhere close to 1000 times.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 8:22AM
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You're right about not being there when you need to do a switchover. I wanted to do a relay setup for him but he was happy with what was there. I would have opted for automatic switchover. Cost was the factor here too. A packaged system was way out of his desired cost range even though he could well afford one. His sump didn't fill up frequent enough for 1,000 pumps but the inverter in the ready mode wouldn't have run the battery down that much. We used to laugh a him when it would start raining though. He'd say "it's raining, gotta get home in case the power goes out". This is a guy who surf fishes, wade fishes without waders, swims like a fish. Like I said, he has very few outages but, it's his thing to worry about. Some people worry about ants getting in, some worry about squirrels in the attic, sap on the hood of the car, leafs on the lawn, one grass blade that sticks up higher than the rest, he worries about the rare time the power might go out and water comes up from the sump. His basement is just that, a basement in an older home with a 5 foot ceiling with nothing in it. When the power comes back on, the water drains immediately right back down and out, no standing water.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 10:56AM
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