Water powered sump pumps are an economical solution to the old problems of power failure and pump failure. If you must have a water pump working at all times then a water powered sump is the best choice over a battery back up system.
No batteries, no power, no problem and no moving parts. When called upon, the water-powered sump pump backup pump can run indefinite, as long as municipal water is available and is not dependent upon a battery. With a battery operated water pump system you can expect about 7 to 8 hours of continuous running before the battery is discharged. If you need to run the system longer than that a generator to supply power is the only other option, a rather expensive one, which is why a water powered sump pump is the ideal solution for a backup pump.
The only drawback to a water sump pump is they will not give you the same capacity discharge as your powered pump. But it’s good money spent for peace of mind if your system goes out so they are a worthwhile supplement. In an emergency with a power failure or a failure of your pump system for whatever reason you will still be able to discharge water. If your power is still on a water sump will work in conjunction with a primary pump such as the Zoeller water pump to give a higher water discharge rate.
How A Water-Powered Sump Pump Works
Water powered sump pumps are simple by design that work by normal household water pressure through a small nozzle to make the water flow speed up. As this happens the water pressure drops. Just like a vacuum cleaner this creates suction. The water pump (“ejector”) draws water from the sump pit by suction just like through a giant soda straw.
The operation is fully automatic – it works whether you are home or away. The backup pump has its own float switch, which activates the pump when water level in the sump pit rises too high – above the level normally allowed by the primary sump pump. This simultaneously activates an audible alarm to let you know that it is operating (check to make sure your model has one if not you can easily add one to the pump system) and that there is something wrong with the primary pump or the power supply. See Zoeller water pump information for other options.
Avoid Any Water Powered Pumps That Sit In A Pit
Backflow prevention is about safe water. In spite of regulations and building codes regarding backflow prevention, many products sold to trusting homeowners do not meet these standards. Conspicuous among them are the old school water powered pumps that sit inside the sump pit. Avoid them! Submerged in sump water and with a discharge pipe filled with water, they are sure to contaminate the drinking water during a sudden loss in main water pressure.
Every water company receives each month several calls from homeowners complaining about “blue water” from their faucets. Instead of a “plumbing code approved” toilet flush valve, they had bought a cheap one.If a hydrant is turned on or a water main breaks, the sudden loss of water pressure may cause “backsiphonage” and draw pollutants or contaminants into the potable water distribution. If your neighbor is using his garden hose to fill a swimming pool, or to spray pesticides on his lawn, or to flush his radiator, the contaminants may end up in your drinking water due to a sudden backflow. A serious health hazard is inevitable.
If your Building Department insists on a separate and officially approved backflow prevention device look for an integral Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB) for your water pump. The discharge pipe from the pump should be sloping, self-draining, otherwise, the water would run out of the AVB valve. Just make absolutely sure your water powered sump pump is not the type to be installed in the sump pit.