Three sump pumps?

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BoglePablo
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:53 pm

Three sump pumps?

Post by BoglePablo » Tue May 15, 2018 8:11 pm

Hi all -

At my previous house (~2K sq ft), I had a standard 22gal sump pump pit. The drainage was bad, and power would go out regularly during heavy storms, so I had a primary, and battery-backup, pump.

When the battery-backup pump needed to be replaced, I installed a combo https://www.basementwatchdog.com/store/ ... ion-pumps/, so I really had three pumps (two primary and a backup). I had this setup for a couple years till I moved. Never had any problems with this configuration.

I'm thinking about doing the same at the new house (backup needs to be replaced, install another combo). Has anyone else done this? If so, have you had any problems? If not, are there reasons why this is not a good idea? I've ensured the circuit capacity can handle both pumps running.

Thanks for any insight anyone can provide!

- Pablo

ResearchMed
Posts: 7085
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue May 15, 2018 8:19 pm

BoglePablo wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:11 pm
Hi all -

At my previous house (~2K sq ft), I had a standard 22gal sump pump pit. The drainage was bad, and power would go out regularly during heavy storms, so I had a primary, and battery-backup, pump.

When the battery-backup pump needed to be replaced, I installed a combo https://www.basementwatchdog.com/store/ ... ion-pumps/, so I really had three pumps (two primary and a backup). I had this setup for a couple years till I moved. Never had any problems with this configuration.

I'm thinking about doing the same at the new house (backup needs to be replaced, install another combo). Has anyone else done this? If so, have you had any problems? If not, are there reasons why this is not a good idea? I've ensured the circuit capacity can handle both pumps running.

Thanks for any insight anyone can provide!

- Pablo
You are asking about replacing a sump pump with a combo unit (primary and backup)?

Or you are asking about *adding* this combo to an existing sump pump?

Are your main concerns that one (or more?) of the pumps would fail?
That the water would be coming in too fast to be pumped out?
That power would fail?

We've got a dual system, with two separate pumps, but set in separate places in the same [large] existing pit.

We've also got a household nat gas generator, and the sump pump was a primary reason for that (also to avoid freezing pipes in the winter).

We previously had some marine batteries, but realized that IF there were an extended storm and power outage, and a lot of rain... those batteries just wouldn't suffice, so we put in the generator. (It will auto-start if the power goes out, so it will work even if we aren't home, or if the weather is horrible, etc.)

I'm not quite sure I'm understanding what you are contemplating.

RM
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CedarWaxWing
Posts: 594
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:24 pm

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by CedarWaxWing » Tue May 15, 2018 8:22 pm

I just did a complete crawlspace encapsulation of a house I lived in from 1981 to 1990, then used it as a rental. I had one sump in there for years... and the water never came up to the wood so all was fine. Since I am selling however, I felt it would be good (but expensive) to do the complete encapsulation, with a sump plus and a backup sump, and a battery backup. It may be over kill, but I used to keep an eye on the crawl space like a hawk, and for years there were no great solutions for that crawlspace. Now that there is, and prop values are much higher than when I bought the place it seemed to my that to sell the house with a clear conscience I needed to do what I did.

The batt back up was little more.. but in the big picture, not that expensive compared to wishing it had been there when it was needed.

I also put in a dehumidifier in the crawlspace. The entire set up had to have its own electrical circuit set up for it.

One nice thing that became possible after the sump was in... was that I could then close off the outside vents, and insulate the foundation and the floor of the crawlspace. I put in two nice led lights so it is easy to inspect and service the pumps, and the visual of the crawlspace can be down without having to actually crawl down into it.
Last edited by CedarWaxWing on Tue May 15, 2018 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dcdowden
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:42 am

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by dcdowden » Tue May 15, 2018 8:24 pm

Our house has two sumps and we had primary and backup (battery) pumps in each pit. One day I was traveling on business and got a call from home that the basement carpeting was wet. All four pumps had failed. I asked whether my kids (primary users of basement) had heard a high pitched sound which was the alert from the backup, and they said 'oh - that's what that was'. Fortunately, our insurance paid for some of that mess - really just replacing the carpeting. So now I am always quite paranoid about the status of our primary and backup sump pumps. The primaries run alot, so we end up replacing them every few years. Fortunately, we don't have many power failures, so the backups are only used in the event the primary fails.

BoglePablo
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:53 pm

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by BoglePablo » Tue May 15, 2018 8:59 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:19 pm
You are asking about replacing a sump pump with a combo unit (primary and backup)?

Or you are asking about *adding* this combo to an existing sump pump?
I have an existing primary and backup installation in my current pit, like in this picture:
http://www.uswaterproofing.com/services ... 000-deluxe.
I'm thinking about replacing the illustrated backup pump with a combo, resulting in two primaries and a backup in the pit.
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:19 pm
Are your main concerns that one (or more?) of the pumps would fail?
That the water would be coming in too fast to be pumped out?
That power would fail?
Yes, all of the above three. The battery backup pump resolves the latter.
As far as the installation itself: I'm concerned that I might not have considered whether the size of the outlet pipe can handle two primaries running at the same time. However if this were a problem, perhaps I would have found more artifacts (articles, installation tips, etc) about sizing pipes for a standard primary + backup pump installation. So far haven't found any such concerns.

BoglePablo
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:53 pm

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by BoglePablo » Tue May 15, 2018 9:04 pm

dcdowden wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:24 pm
Our house has two sumps and we had primary and backup (battery) pumps in each pit. One day I was traveling on business and got a call from home that the basement carpeting was wet. All four pumps had failed. I asked whether my kids (primary users of basement) had heard a high pitched sound which was the alert from the backup, and they said 'oh - that's what that was'. Fortunately, our insurance paid for some of that mess - really just replacing the carpeting. So now I am always quite paranoid about the status of our primary and backup sump pumps. The primaries run alot, so we end up replacing them every few years. Fortunately, we don't have many power failures, so the backups are only used in the event the primary fails.
My primary only runs when it rains, and it doesnt rain heavily too often (Midwest). I've been in my house ~2 years and just noticed the alarm for the backup went off, presumably due to heavy flow; I think...could also be system failure, it's 15+ years old, which perhaps might be a long time.

Since it's probably time to replace it (based on advice from the manufacturer), I might put in a combo instead of just a single battery backup

Gary Guss
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by Gary Guss » Tue May 15, 2018 9:09 pm

I kind of like these water powered backups .. no battery to go bad, simple operation ...https://www.waterdamagedefense.com/coll ... sump-pumps .. if your power is out for an extended period these things still work

ResearchMed
Posts: 7085
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue May 15, 2018 9:18 pm

BoglePablo wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:59 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:19 pm
You are asking about replacing a sump pump with a combo unit (primary and backup)?

Or you are asking about *adding* this combo to an existing sump pump?
I have an existing primary and backup installation in my current pit, like in this picture:
http://www.uswaterproofing.com/services ... 000-deluxe.
I'm thinking about replacing the illustrated backup pump with a combo, resulting in two primaries and a backup in the pit.
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:19 pm
Are your main concerns that one (or more?) of the pumps would fail?
That the water would be coming in too fast to be pumped out?
That power would fail?
Yes, all of the above three. The battery backup pump resolves the latter.
As far as the installation itself: I'm concerned that I might not have considered whether the size of the outlet pipe can handle two primaries running at the same time. However if this were a problem, perhaps I would have found more artifacts (articles, installation tips, etc) about sizing pipes for a standard primary + backup pump installation. So far haven't found any such concerns.
How long will the battery system continue to work if the power goes off?
(Assume that there is considerable need for the sumps to continue to crank.)

This was our main concern, especially after hearing all the bad news from Sandy. It didn't affect us, but... it was a wake up call.

In fact, our generator kicked in earlier today, after a bad and relatively unexpected storm (unexpected until relatively soon before the system hit locally).
This is now the longest the generator has been running non-stop since we had it installed. Neighboring homes are dark. We were pretty sure no one else had bothered to put one in, and that seems to be correct now.

There was a lot of rain, too, and we are fine, thank goodness... precisely why we put in the generator, obviously.

Anyway, we figure one "backup" pump is enough. That, plus the extra power source.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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Epsilon Delta
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue May 15, 2018 10:33 pm

Dual (or triple etc.) pumps should have separate discharge pipes and separate electric circuits. That helps avoid common mode failures. A shared breaker tripping should be an obvious problem. A shared discharge pipe can be a common mode failure if it freezes or if one of the non-return valves fails open, which can cause the other pump to pump back to the pit instead of up the common pipe.

Some of the questions suggest this is not being done.

ralph124cf
Posts: 1986
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:41 am

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by ralph124cf » Tue May 15, 2018 11:08 pm

After an expensive flood, I installed a second sump pit with a crossover pipe and battery powered backup pump, both pumps powered by separate 20 amp circuits. Both pits have separate discharge pipes. I also have a third pump in the primary pit that is water powered, and will not activate unless both of the other pumps are not taking care of the water.

My flood occurred because when I installed my very first backup pump in the primary pit, the backflow valve failed, and the primary pump was just recirculating water 24/7. The pump eventually seized, tripping the circuit breaker. This activated the battery backup, which ran out of juice when we were away on vacation. Luckily, the overflow ran across the floor to the basement bath ejector pit drain, which limited the damage to about 1 inch of water.

Ralph

steadyhand
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:56 am

Re: Three sump pumps?

Post by steadyhand » Wed May 16, 2018 7:07 am

I had a similar situation. I installed something called TripleSafe.

It has a regular power pump for regular amounts of water. If somehow the water volume gets too high and it cannot keep up (hurricane type storm with over 5 inches rain for example) a more powerful pump turns on. This two pump setup ensures water volume will not be a problem, yet uses the regular one 99% of the time saving electricity and reducing noise over using a high power pump all the time.

In addition a battery backup capable of pumping for 11 hours is added to the installation, which I feel is enough in most situations.

As all these have to fit together in the sump pit, it is enlarged slightly more from the top. But I have had no issues so far and would recommend if water volume is possobly an issue.

I also use a portable well pump in a low lying patio outside to pump water out as its slow drain cannot always clear water out fast enough. I also strategically use sand bags around the house if I know a monstrous rain is coming.

My basement was flooded once, and I do not want to go through it again; hence, all the a ove precautions. I sleep better now.

Of course forst step is to ensure water around your house is draining away by having a good grade all around, and making sure all gutters are clear.

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