Backup Sump Pump

Like many houses, our home has a sump pump in the basement.  99.99% of the time, it works very well.  Except for that one time…  when it didn’t.

Several years ago “it didn’t”, and I made the late-night run to the hardware store to buy a new sump pump.  I invested and installed a higher end model that has been serving us very well ever since.

I’ve always lived in fear that it would fail again,  or that our power would go out long enough for our basement to flood.  I’d seen a new pump technology on This Old House where Richard Trethewey installed a water-powered backup sump pump.

Sump Pump Diagram

I purchased one of these pumps and installed it this weekend.  I spent several hours soldering the copper pipes to the main line, and then several more hours installing the new PVC lines and backflow preventers.  After 4 total trips to the hardware store to get all the right fittings, I finished.  Now I don’t have to worry about power outages or my primary pump failing, because I have a backup always ready to take over.

Below is a picture of my installation:

Backup Sump Pump

The city-water is fed from the left copper pipe, that transitions to white PEX.  It pulls sump water up into the grey colored pump, and ejects it into the white PVC pipe up and out the side of the house.  The black ABS comes from the existing Electric-powered sump pump.  The water-powered sump pump will never run unless the Electric pump fails, because it’s trigger point is 3-inches higher than the float on the electric pump.

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