sump pumps

I currently have a sump pump system with a battery back-up. I noticed at the store there is a "gravity-fed" sump pump and there is no back-up pump needed with it. Does anyone know about this-how well they work? If my basement floods it is due to the city system overloaded and backing up not a leaky basement. Thanks. Oh, my main pump is connected to the street piping and the back-up goes outside thru the wall and into the yard. What do you think would be the best way to pipe this other system?
  9 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jun 01, 2012
    This depends on how frequent your power outages may be and what the system demands are. Are we talking gallons per day...or gallons per week?

  • If the city water system is backing up into your system, you need to get a back check valve installed assuming you do not have one now that does not work. You can purchase a pump system that connects to your regular water system if you not on a well. This siphon type pump uses house water pressure and draws the water out of the sump pit when its turned on. Works real well for that once and a while issue when power goes out and your dealing with a back up in the basement.

  • Dee W Dee W on Jun 01, 2012
    KMS-outages are 5 or more spring thru autumn and can last from 30 min. to a couple of days depending on the storm. The back-up pump will usually keep up until the rain stops or power is restored; but when it floods it is fast and hard-can't keep up with bailing. Woodbridge-I think the siphon type pump might be the one I saw-I thought I was told I don't need a back-up pump for it. If not I would pipe it out to my yard; if I do then I would pipe it to the sewers and keep my back-up piped to the outside. Does this sound right? How do I know if I have a back check valve?

  • The siphon pump is a separate pump that would connect to a hose. As the hose is turned on it creates a suction and pulls the water out of the pump pit. The hose would run out a window or you can have a plumber install a separate line just for this device. A back check valve for a sewer system would be located just before it leaves the basement. There would be a special fitting that is removable to access this device as sometimes they become stuck and do not work. Other back check valves are normally placed directly on the discharge pipe of the sump pump itself. Its a black fitting normally with hose clamps to hold it on the pipe. But depending upon your system it can be one or the other.

  • Dee W Dee W on Jun 02, 2012
    I do have a back check valve-so maybe it needs to be checked. Also am I right that the siphon system takes 1 gal. of house water to remove 2 gal. of incoming water? If this is the case I truly don't know if I would want it. Even tho' my basement doesn't always flood my sump pump does run every time it rains and about every third rain the back-up kicks on not due to a power outage but because the water level has risen above the main pump. My water bill would go way up.

  • Your correct about the amount of water needed to pump out, but realistically if you do not have power for any great length of time and the battery goes dead, Its nice to know you have another way to remove water to prevent damage. Water is not that expensive as compared to the damage it causes. If you have this check valve, your better off changing it if its been there for a while. The rubber flapper oftentimes becomes stiff and not functions correctly after a while. A new one is about $25. and easy to replace. But to check it, simply turn on the pump manually, let it pump some water. Then wait a little bit then unplug the pump for safety, and remove the bottom hose clamp from the valve. If water comes running out from the pipe, the valve is not working, If no water comes out the valve is holding, To check to see if water is in it, push a long screw driver up slowly to see if water runs out when you push the back check valve open.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jun 03, 2012
    my experience with smaller scale vacuum pumps is more in the neighborhood of using 3 gallons to move 1. These are a bit like RO (reverse Osmosis) systems in that they use tons of water to get the job done.

  • Dee W Dee W on Jun 03, 2012
    In talking with my husband he says the issue is our pump(s) can't keep up on occassion with the inflow. We appreciate you feedback and you both have given us info to mull over. Thank-you.

  • If your having that much inflow, you need to address that issue. If its coming back in the pipe then you need to change where the discharge is going. But if the water is coming in from around the footing of the house, this amount of water can erode the footings causing all sorts of structural concerns. You may need to look into an outside drain system that addresses the water before it enters into the home. A 3/4 hp pump can move an awful lot of water against a pretty high head pressure. Keep us posted on what you decide to do.