Sump pump recommendation needed
January 20, 2012 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Need a recommendation for a sump pump - preferably one with a battery backup.

My brother and I, like the manly men we are, rented a jackhammer from Home Depot, broke through the cement floor, and dug a sump pit in the basement. Now I need a pump to put in there - the kind that will turn on automatically if the water level gets high enough. Can anyone recommend one? There are a million on the web. I'd like one with a battery backup if possible. Thanks!
posted by exhilaration to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am getting an internal french drain thru a professional company installed in the next 3 weeks. They use Zoeller pumps, and reading some reviews from Amazon, they are very popular and have been using the same basic pump for the last 20 yrs because theres no need for improvement. This means that parts are easily obtained for any future repairs down the road.

The one I am getting is the Zoeller Mighty Mate M53. There is a big brother version which is all cast iron (impellar as well).

Having no personal experience with sump pumps, and only going on research on the internet, I feel confident that my little Zoeller will perform well. Good luck!
posted by amazingstill at 10:16 AM on January 20, 2012

Basement Watchdog, which I got from Lowes or Home Depot came recommended from my neighbor. It's an all-in-one kit you just drop in. Need to install mine at some point (replacing a non-battery backup pump). He survived the recent flooding without a problem.
posted by rich at 10:23 AM on January 20, 2012

I don't know which models are good or bad, but I do know that some have lifetime warranties! So choose one that has this.

And before you install it, write down any model numbers or serial numbers that might be written on the pump itself. When you NEED this information because someone lost the receipt and the manual, it will be really hard to wade through your basement and bail out the sump pit in order to get to the pump. You can imagine how I know this...sob...
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:31 PM on January 20, 2012

I have a big ol Zoeller but right off hand don't know the model or flow rate. There's a stream under the house and the Zoeller works *all* the time. Don't have a battery back up though, and I should really have one, so if you find out, let me know, lol. BTW the Zoeller cast iron pumps that my parents and I have bought usually last about 5 years, so make sure to write down when you installed it so you can start thinking about a new one in time.
posted by PJMoore at 12:37 PM on January 20, 2012

You should know that a battery-backup sump pump will only buy you, at best, a day of protection. If you lose power for longer than that, you'll be SOL. If you're on city water, you might want to consider getting a water-powered back up sump pump that uses water pressure to empty your sump. Or you can do what I've done, and that's to invest in a gas powered generator to power your sump pumps should you be without power for an extended period of time.
posted by crunchland at 2:31 PM on January 20, 2012

Three weeks ago on "Ask This Old House," Richard Trethewey, the resident Master Plumber of "This Old House," helped a woman replace her sump-pump with a powered model plus a battery backup. You can watch the video and you can check out the makes and models of the two sump pumps shown near the top at this link.

Marine battery not included, Richard notes, so factor that in the cost. He also agrees with Crunchland that the battery backup should be good for about 1 day of off-and-on pumping, or only a few hours of constant pumping. The battery pump does have an alarm to let you know that it has kicked in despite the lack of power.

Don't forget to get a Leakfrog, a cute hemispherical frog that will sound the alarm when it detects water under itself. You can put it near your sump pit so you'll know when the pumps are either down for the count or not up to the job and it's time to start moving things upstairs.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:32 PM on January 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I ordered the "big brother" version of the Zoeller M53 mentioned above - the M57. I am also looking into a water-powered backup; it makes sense, we lost power for days after Hurricane Irene. Thanks everyone.
posted by exhilaration at 6:21 AM on January 27, 2012

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