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Old 12-10-2019, 11:01 AM   #1
FlyingScot
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Default Sump pump life

A question for those more experienced in plumbing, drainage, etc:

Let's say I have a sump pump in my basement that activates in heavy rain or periods of snow melt. It works beautifully. But if I live in the same place for decades, it's almost sure to fail at some point, isn't it? And the failure is most likely to come when it's needed most, right? So 5, 10, or 15 years from now, I am likely to have a broken sump pump, and water rising faster than a new pump is likely to arrive? And even if I buy a pump and put it in the closet for a rainy day, how does an amateur install a pump, when the water has already risen, without getting electrocuted?

Have others contemplated this? What's your plan?

Thanks
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingScot View Post
A question for those more experienced in plumbing, drainage, etc:

Let's say I have a sump pump in my basement that activates in heavy rain or periods of snow melt. It works beautifully. But if I live in the same place for decades, it's almost sure to fail at some point, isn't it? And the failure is most likely to come when it's needed most, right? So 5, 10, or 15 years from now, I am likely to have a broken sump pump, and water rising faster than a new pump is likely to arrive? And even if I buy a pump and put it in the closet for a rainy day, how does an amateur install a pump, when the water has already risen, without getting electrocuted?

Have others contemplated this? What's your plan?

Thanks
If you have a really good sump pump like a Zoeller they will last for a very long time. The cheap Home Depot pumps, not so much.
If it's really old and you are that worried about it then have it changed out with a quality pump and you'll be good for another 20 years.
I have a Zoeller that's really old but still works great. I just check it every spring before rainy season to make sure 't's still working. I just lift the float and make sure it turns on.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingScot View Post
A question for those more experienced in plumbing, drainage, etc:

Let's say I have a sump pump in my basement that activates in heavy rain or periods of snow melt. It works beautifully. But if I live in the same place for decades, it's almost sure to fail at some point, isn't it? And the failure is most likely to come when it's needed most, right? So 5, 10, or 15 years from now, I am likely to have a broken sump pump, and water rising faster than a new pump is likely to arrive? And even if I buy a pump and put it in the closet for a rainy day, how does an amateur install a pump, when the water has already risen, without getting electrocuted?

Have others contemplated this? What's your plan?

Thanks
About the only thing you can do is have the backup sump pump on hand.
Get a good extension cord and donít worry about hardwiring it in (if the old one is hardwired) until things calm down. Plop the new one in the old ones place and plug it in. If youíre worried about not being at the residence in question, (summer home) hire a person to check the pump at risky times when you arenít there. Either that or buy one from a reputable plumber or whomever installs them and create a contract with him/her to replace it on call.
Personally, I donít have water problems but if I did, I would simply buy a backup pump and install it myself when needed.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:05 PM   #4
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If there's room, you could install the backup pump right in the same pit as the existing pump. If I were doing this, I'd set the float switch on the backup pump just a bit higher than what the existing pump is set at so if the main pump fails, the backup is installed and ready to go.

A simple 120v plug is about all the wiring that's needed in most cases.
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:28 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the tips. I especially like the two pumps in one pit approach, but that probably will not work in my particular pit, so I'll go with a combination of the other ideas. Stay dry!
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:22 AM   #6
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There are integrated units which contain both an AC pump and a 12 volt back up pump. We had one of these in a former home and it provides both a battery back up for when the power is out and since the float for the back up pump is set at a lever higher than the float for the AC pump, it provides pumping if the primary pump were to fail.

See, for example:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Wayne-Up...30VN/307352334
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:04 AM   #7
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My sister had a sump pump professionally installed. Good quality pump with a batt backup. Don't recall the brand but not a box store special.

First one lasted about 12 years.... reason for that is that it runs almost constantly for about 6 months out of the year and the water it's pumping is very high in iron content. Both contributed to a lower life expectancy.

One note on the batt backups they are typically good for 24-48 hours depending on use. Weigh that against frequency and length of power outages and consider a generator to recharge the battery pack.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winni83 View Post
There are integrated units which contain both an AC pump and a 12 volt back up pump. We had one of these in a former home and it provides both a battery back up for when the power is out and since the float for the back up pump is set at a lever higher than the float for the AC pump, it provides pumping if the primary pump were to fail.
You can also just purchase stand-alone 12V back up sump pump (such as the one below). The one I had was coffee-can sized, so I could fit it in the same pit as the primary pump. I now had backup for either power failure or primary pump failure.
https://www.amazon.com/Basement-Watc..._df_B000NZKR50
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