[Greenbuilding] sump pump backup

Brian Milani bmilani at web.ca
Wed May 18 10:06:55 PDT 2011

After lowering our basement in downtown Toronto, we had to have a sump 
tank and pump installed.
It's powered with electricity, so we need a backup in case of a power 
failure.  Any suggestions?
Most backup systems seem to be battery-powered, but I've heard of a kind 
powered by water, featured once on This Old House:
Balancing water use and energy use (and the toxics involved with 
batteries), it this more ecological?  And what is reasonable to pay for 
a backup system?

Also: can anyone familiar with the Toronto area recommend a good plumber 
to design and install (or at least fine-tune) a system?  It's clearly 
not rocket science, but I don't trust the basement guys who initially 
installed our sump:  they did it in a way that the float periodically 
gets caught under a pipe draining into the sump.  We're unable to 
reposition the pump sufficiently ourselves to remedy this, so we have to 
watch it like hawks during this rainy season to avoid a flood.  And it 
seems to me that, even unimpeded, the float is set too high.  I think 
the pump itself works fine.  But it would be nice to find somebody who 
could guarantee that it will work flawlessly, as well as install an 
appropriate backup.

  many thanks,

Brian M., Toronto

Brian Milani

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