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hydraulic backup system for sump pump (Water Commander)
  • Heard about this from a friend in another township in NJ and was wondering whether anyone has tried it here.

    It is a water powered backup to a sump pump.

    Since it hooks into the township water system, I assume that the town would need to have approved it, if it were installed locally.

    But, basically, it allows a homeowner planning to install a sump pump to get around the issue that the pumps don't work when power fails . . . a huge limitation.

    Here's the description:

    http://www.watercommander.com/
    Post edited by lpangallozzi at 2012-10-28 19:09:14
  • There are plumbers on the board that will weigh in with their opinions... but personally, I think these are a great freakin idea.
  • We have one- it was installed when we moved in, so I can't speak to the process. It works as advertised- however, it moves a lot less water than an electric pump, and barely stayed ahead of the filling from Irene. It did keep our basement dry long enough for me to set up the generator and start moving large quantities of water with the 3/4 HP pump in the other pit.

    It also apparently uses a ton of water- which could be costly in an extended outage.
  • Yeah,uses something like 2-3 gal domestic water for every gal of sump water removed.
  • We have a similar one here in Maplewood. Installed by a plumber. Big problem during Irene was that one of the NJ American Water pumphouses flooded, which caused the water pressure to drop, which caused this to stop working. Typically we have no problems with it.
  • Yeah,uses something like 2-3 gal domestic water for every gal of sump water removed.



    The guy at General Plumbing Supply in Union told me it was 2-3 gallons OUT for every 1 gallon used. Maybe he was sugarcoating to try for a sale though...
  • I probably have an odd viewpoint on this, but if a once-a-year storm costs me a few hundred bucks in water bills BUT prevents flooding... sign me up!
  • If you're not afraid of small engine equipment, you can get a pump operated by a gasoline engine. Honda makes a 2" pump that goes for around $600, and you'll need to pay another $75 or so for the hoses. These are not automatic-install and forget, but if your basement starts to fill and the power is out, these will pump them out quick..
    Post edited by case at 2012-10-29 09:28:14
  • Maybe it'd be better to get a really good generator. It'd power the sump pump while you need it, and your home entertainment the day afterward.
  • We've got lots and lots of water-powered backup pump installations in the area and we keep them in stock.

  • kmt said:

    Maybe it'd be better to get a really good generator. It'd power the sump pump while you need it, and your home entertainment the day afterward.



    That's the direction I went, but of course there are drawbacks to my plan - for example, I need to be here! My current backup sump pump is... sadly... not even connected; again, I need to be here to monitor the situation and react accordingly.

    One of my issues is my water supply; I think I've got the old fashioned 3/4, not the more modern and larger supplies... not sure how much of a PIA it would be to address that situation so I could get a high volume kickass pump, but it IS something that makes sense to me.

  • case said:

    One of my issues is my water supply; I think I've got the old fashioned 3/4, not the more modern and larger supplies... not sure how much of a PIA it would be to address that situation so I could get a high volume pump, but it IS something that makes sense to me.



    Thank you everyone for your responses!

    I'm wondering specifically about the issue that Case raises about the diameter of water supply pipes. Are most pre WWII houses in M'wood 3/4 and is it possible to put the pump on a wider connection?

    More broadly, what is involved in a more general upgrade to modern connections, if it is possible?

  • kmt said:

    Maybe it'd be better to get a really good generator. It'd power the sump pump while you need it, and your home entertainment the day afterward.



    ^^^ agree ... This would be Phil's route too ;;)

  • Just checked the sump pits. This far into Irene, they were filling in 2-3 minutes, and it would take 45-60 seconds to empty- the pump was going nonstop.

    Tonight, the pits are pretty much empty- no activity. Not sure the pumps have triggered even once...

  • Mine has 1" of water in one, absolutely bone dry in the other. This 1" of water, of course, meant I had to get the generator out and will probably be sitting next to the sump pit for the next few hours. In fact, I could be my own water alarm... I'll wake up when I get wet!
  • Power out...water backup working...whew!
  • Love that status! Glad to hear the backups are working.
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