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Old 12-03-2012, 11:41 AM   #41
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A major problem with the water-powered sump pump, due to its concept...

The ones I saw all worked by the venturi principle, with something like for every X gallons of city water used, Y gallons of sump water were moved out, where X was less, near or greater than the value of Y. Not only does this dump a lot of water out total, but if the output hose gets plugged, or moved too high, or anything that restricts its flow, then all the city water reverses course and goes into the sump pit!

And since the float is still high, keeping it "on" it continues to "pump" forever, flooding the area that it was supposed to be pumped out. Not good.

In a northern climate, a frozen output hose is a real possibility. Often, after a heavy rain the cold front would finally move through and turn to snow, then snow stops and temperature plummets. In the meantime, the sump pit continues to fill with ground water from days before.
Telly,

What would you suggest instead?

omni
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #42
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I ordered the Water Siphon Pump (link above). There was a special coupon code offer today so with shipping it was only $17.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:48 PM   #43
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Telly,

What would you suggest instead?

omni
After seeing the problem with the venturi idea, I bought a battery-powered pump. The control unit for it included an AC powered battery charger. I set it up with a big new battery.

I also came up with a backup plan for it, in case power was off so long and water amount so great that the battery would run down. I bought a cheap pair of automotive jumper cables, cut into the middle of them and spliced in via crimp connectors more wire of the same gauge. With the higher resistance of the extra wire, they would be unsuitable for starting cars, but they were good for powering the pump from a car pulled up into the back yard.
Clamp onto the car's batttery, slip a piece of 2x4 in over the radiator support to hold the hood open just enough to pass the cables through (would keep rain out from engine).

Because I made a backup of the backup , of course I never needed to use it, but the battery pump was used a few times on its own battery.
It was good peace of mind and did the job.
Then I moved to the land without basements, and it didn't matter anymore. But I would sure like a basement for storage, workbench and the like!
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:05 PM   #44
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After seeing the problem with the venturi idea, I bought a battery-powered pump. The control unit for it included an AC powered battery charger. I set it up with a big new battery.

I also came up with a backup plan for it, in case power was off so long and water amount so great that the battery would run down. I bought a cheap pair of automotive jumper cables, cut into the middle of them and spliced in via crimp connectors more wire of the same gauge. With the higher resistance of the extra wire, they would be unsuitable for starting cars, but they were good for powering the pump from a car pulled up into the back yard.
Clamp onto the car's batttery, slip a piece of 2x4 in over the radiator support to hold the hood open just enough to pass the cables through (would keep rain out from engine).

Because I made a backup of the backup , of course I never needed to use it, but the battery pump was used a few times on its own battery.
It was good peace of mind and did the job.
Then I moved to the land without basements, and it didn't matter anymore. But I would sure like a basement for storage, workbench and the like!
Telly,

Perhaps I'm unclear on this setup... what happens when you are gone for several months, and the power goes out for an extended period & the water amount is so great that the battery dies, when you are not at home to activate the backup to the backup?

omni
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:16 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telly View Post
A major problem with the water-powered sump pump, due to its concept...

The ones I saw all worked by the venturi principle, with something like for every X gallons of city water used, Y gallons of sump water were moved out, where X was less, near or greater than the value of Y. Not only does this dump a lot of water out total, but if the output hose gets plugged, or moved too high, or anything that restricts its flow, then all the city water reverses course and goes into the sump pit!
....
They have a check valve on the sump side to prevent that.

http://www.pumpsselection.com/images...sump_pum_1.jpg

Quote:
In a northern climate, a frozen output hose is a real possibility. Often, after a heavy rain the cold front would finally move through and turn to snow, then snow stops and temperature plummets. In the meantime, the sump pit continues to fill with ground water from days before.
Yes, but the drain hose should be on a continuous slope to prevent this.

-ERD50
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #46
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P.S. Also I found a nice standing water alarm here: Amazon.com: Glentronics, Inc. BWD-HWA Basement Watchdog Water Sensor and Alarm: Home Improvement
Will have to test it to make sure it's loud enough to hear from the basement level.
I use two of these with my sump pumps. They are ok for the standing water alarms (and quite loud too), but they are too sensitive to put the sensor inside the sump pump pit - water spray from the weep hole causes false alarms. So I have them positioned on the lid of the sump pump pit.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:21 AM   #47
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Telly,

Perhaps I'm unclear on this setup... what happens when you are gone for several months, and the power goes out for an extended period & the water amount is so great that the battery dies, when you are not at home to activate the backup to the backup?

omni
Well, if I was gone for months, I was surely dead and wasn't coming back
But there are ways to get around that (the months, not the dead!) in increasing levels of cost and complexity...

(A) Another battery(s) in parallel with the first will extend run time, if the charger can handle multiple batteries in discharge without cooking. A robust design that current-limits the charge current, with adequate heat-sinking would do that with no problem.

(B) With multiple batteries, a battery that developes a shorted cell will defeat the concept. Likewise, a single-battery system would be SOA if it developed a shorted cell. Diode-OR'ing the multiple batteries together to the motor side would solve this, at the cost of lowering the usable charge-per-battery due to the voltage drop across each diode. With one common charger, the charger would have to be diode-OR'd too to make the discharge isolation scheme complete. But it has a problem in the charge direction, as a battery with a shorted cell would have a lower charge impedance, hogging the charge current and starving the other usable batteries of receiving charge. So this scheme would reliably help on the total battery charge first use (and further uses if there is no shorted cell across all the batteries).

(C) A truly Fault-Tolerant scheme:
First, there needs to be a certain level of quality across all of the components of the system. The cheap DC motor of the pump is a question. As may be some of the less than even consumer grade electronics that are possible today. But if they are of reasonable quality, (don't need to be MIL level!), proceed to:

Two copies: Copy 0, and Copy 1.
They are identical, but totally separate systems. They only share the source of water to be pumped (via separate intakes, of course). They can have multiple batteries, but since there is a 1 for 1 system redundance, can dispense with the diode-OR'ing. Of course they have totally separate water discharge pipes/hoses too.
Now the only common fault that I can think of off-hand is the AC power to charge batteries. Could put each controller on separate AC branch circuits, but that doesn't solve a whole-house AC outage. But if one of the copies was powered by a long extension cord from a neighbor behind that was on a different transformer or even better, a different lateral, that would increase fault tolerance. And if the neighbor had the same setup, his other copy of AC could come from your house, sort of one hand washing the other.
So there you go, a fault-tolerant sump-pump backup system, with no consulting fee!

Quote:
They have a check valve on the sump side to prevent that.
ERD50 - glad to hear they finally wised up a bit. For years when that concept first came out, they didn't.
I still don't like the idea. If a battery or electronics or motor quits whether in use at the time or not, it itself does not flood the place. The water-powered scheme does have the capability to do that. I trust a decently constructed house water system for the low chance of breakage/leak, but not one of an aftermarket consumer setup like the water-powered venturi. If it has a fault, the high float says "flood me with more water, more more more!"
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:39 PM   #48
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A major problem with the water-powered sump pump, due to its concept...

The ones I saw all worked by the venturi principle, with something like for every X gallons of city water used, Y gallons of sump water were moved out, where X was less, near or greater than the value of Y. Not only does this dump a lot of water out total, but if the output hose gets plugged, or moved too high, or anything that restricts its flow, then all the city water reverses course and goes into the sump pit!

And since the float is still high, keeping it "on" it continues to "pump" forever, flooding the area that it was supposed to be pumped out. Not good.

In a northern climate, a frozen output hose is a real possibility. Often, after a heavy rain the cold front would finally move through and turn to snow, then snow stops and temperature plummets. In the meantime, the sump pit continues to fill with ground water from days before.
For this reason, each pump should have it own discharge port. I know someone who got a basement flooded inspite of a back-up sump pump because the pumps shared a common discharge port that got frozen.
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