How do Water Powered Sump Pumps Work?
Saturday, October 8, 2011 • 3:26pm
An Emergency Sump Pump is a back-up sump pump for emergency use during pump failure or power failure for homes with or without a full perimeter drainage system, A.K.A. French Drains. If you have a sump pump you may want to consider a back-up for when you lose power or for when your main pump fails. It’s good peace of mind to know that you’re covered in case of an emergency.
Your home has a primary sump pump which is powered by electricity. This is the pump that will be working during normal rainy conditions when you have power supplied to the house. The best backup option to your primary electric sump pump is a water powered sump pump which is used as an emergency pump when there is a power outage or pump failure. Water powered sump pumps are configured to turn on automatically, only in the event of a primary sump pump failure. Years of professional experience with primary and backup basement sump pump systems leads to the following conclusion: for the vast majority of homes, water powered sump pumps are the best solution.
There are many differences between the primary electric and water powered sump pumps. Electric and water powered sump pumps both evacuate water from the sump but the electric pump is more efficient, cost effective and environmentally preferable. A water powered sump pump is a unique back-up pump that is powered by your houses city water supply. For this reason it will not work off of a well unit during power outages. One major drawback to the water powered sump pump is that it costs considerably more money to run over a specific time period than an electric sump pump, since it is less efficient considering the cost of water. This is why it is intended for use as an emergency pump.
Water powered backup pumps are much simpler than battery powered backup pumps, and require essentially no maintenance, so they fundamentally have less to go wrong. However, you must have a reliable municipal water supply, consistently achieving 20psi pressure or more. Water powered emergency pumps work best with a full size, unrestricted water supply directly from the house water meter outlet to the pump. In an unfinished basement it is usually not a problem to run the required water line to your emergency backup pump, which must be located above the sump pit.
How do water powered sump pumps work?
A water powered sump pump functions by taking the existing water from the city or town supply. The city water flows through a constricted area, and is forced through an ejector. At that constriction water speed increases causing a pressure reduction. This pressure reduction literally sucks water from the sump crock. Sump water then combines with the flowing city water and exits your basement via a discharge line.
A water powered sump pump employs the Venturi effect. The Venturi effect happens when city water under pressure is converted into a high-velocity jet at the throat of an ejector nozzle (a nozzle is made by pinching a tube in the middle, making a carefully balanced hourglass-shape) which creates a low pressure at that point. The low pressure creates a vacuum that draws sump water into the nozzle where it mixes with the city water and together are discharged from the sump. The water powered pump removes two gallons of water from the bucket for every one gallon of water supplied.
Unlike battery backups, water powered sump pumps will operate as needed for an unlimited amount of time. No battery is needed and no maintenance is required. If you have prolonged power outage you don’t need to worry about this back up pump quitting. The water powered sump pump is very reliable during extreme situations. Water powered emergency pumps will run as long as there is adequate municipal water pressure, typically greater than 20 PSI. This means it does not take a break and will continue to work no matter what.
What homeowners will love about this pump is that it is worth the investment. A water powered emergency sump pump is your best choice for a cost-effective emergency sump pump. With this ultra-reliable backup pumping system in place, you will always be able to protect your basement - even if the electrical power fails for an extended period. Additionally, there is effectively no required maintenance and no battery to worry about. As long as you have city water you'll have a working sump pump and a dry basement—even if the power fails.
Doug Lynch is from Westfield, NJ where he lives with his fiancé Kelli and their dogs Zoodles and Sammy. He is the owner of A-1 Basement Solutions in Scotch Plains. Doug has been in the basement waterproofing business for 12 years and takes pride in helping people have a dry and healthy basement. Doug is a member of the Fanwood/Scotch Plains Rotary Club and is an active member of B.N.I. in Westfield.
Doug Lynch is a basement expert from Westfield, NJ where he lives with his wife Kelli and their dogs Sammy and Angie. Doug teaches a class at Westfield Adult School “Keeping Your Basement Dry” and is the Author of Basements 101 Everything You Need to Know About Your Basement. Doug has testified in NJ Superior Court as an Expert Witness in Basement Waterproofing and does seminars for local Real Estate Agents to educate them about basements. Doug is the owner of A-1 Basement Solutions in Scotch Plains and authors the popular BASEMENT SCHOOL Blog.
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