Water powered backup sump pumps are explored by many people looking for a way to keep their basement dry in the event of a pump failure or, power outage. Any solution in the event of a power outage has pro’s and con’s to be considered and only you can determine what is best for you and your back up pumping application.
Water supply for a water powered backup sump pump must be a reliable source and in most cases only a municipal water supply would have the reliability and backup pumping capacity to meet your reliability needs in the event of a power outage. Most private well systems do not have any means of pumping water in a power outage and any storage would be rapidly depleted.
There is a possibility of a cross connection between the water in the sump and the water supply causing the water supply to become contaminated. The installation of a Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Preventer on the water supply line feeding the water powered sump pump is required under most codes to prevent the possibility of contamination of the water supply. The cost of the backflow preventer and the annual testing requirements negate the price difference between water powered and battery powered back up pumps.
Using water to power a water powered backup sump pump will use about one gallon of water to pump out two gallons of water from the sump. Depending on how you dispose of the water you are pumping the additional water may create disposal problems.
A problem many backup sump pump systems have is a lower pumping capacity than the main electric powered pump. The flow requirements of your sump pump to maintain a dry basement should be considered in the selection of any backup pump. If your sump is filling at a rate of 22-gallons per minute, which you are keeping at bay with a main sump pump that pumps 32-gallons per minute and you install a back up pump that pumps 19-gallons per minute you will have a flooded basement. Consult the pump capacities on the manufacturers flow chart using the pressure of your water supply and the height you will be pumping the water upwards or, head pressure to ensure the pumps performance meets your needs.
One of the main advantages of a water powered sump pump is that you do not have to worry about maintaining storage batteries, replacement of the batteries and diminished storage capacity of the batteries as they age. You also do not have to worry about recharging the batteries during an extended outage where you would either have to recharge them using a car or, backup generator.
Zoeller Home Guard Max 503
Zoeller has been in business since 1939 and is an industry leader in the pump industry supplying a wide range of pump products small and large to homeowners, industry, and municipalities for pumping water and sewage. The Home Guard Max 503 Water Powered Back Up Sump Pump offers a pumping capacity ranging from 3.4-gallons per minute with 20-psi water supplied to the pump with 10’ of head pressure, up to 19-gallons per minute with 60-psi water supplied to the pump with 5’ of head pressure and higher flows at higher pressures. The Home Guard Max 503 comes completely assembled and ready for installation with a small footprint that should easily fit any existing sump pump installation.
Liberty Pumps SJ10 and SJ10A
Liberty Pumps has been in business since 1965 and is one of the leading manufacturers of pumps for sewage and effluent pumps in North America. Liberty offers the SJ10 pump as the base model and also has the SJ10A, which has an alarm mounted on the SJ10 base pump that will sound whenever the pump is operating alerting you to the backup pump being in operation. There is also an optional module that will dial a phone and transmit an alarm message to you when you are away from home. The Liberty Model SJ10 and SJ10A Water Powered Back Up Sump Pump offers a pumping capacity ranging from about 3.6-gallons per minute with 20-psi water supplied to the pump with 10’ of head pressure, up to 19-gallons per minute with 60-psi water supplied to the pump with 5’ of head pressure and higher flows at higher pressures. The SJ10 and SJ10A has a small footprint and should fit well in most applications, Liberty recommends a minimum pit diameter of 18” to ensure the pump will fit.
Many Plumbing Codes require the use of a Reduced Pressure Principal Backflow Prevention Device when installing a Water Powered Sump Pump to prevent the possibility of contamination of your water supply. Please Install these systems in accordance with your locally used plumbing code and protect the health of your family and others sharing your water supply.