Thursday, February 26, 2015

My New Backup Sump Pump Backup Plan!

Well as I wrote in my last post, SPRING IS COMING! (IS YOUR SUMP PUMP READY?) I ran into a bit of a conundrum with my sump pumps this past weekend.  After tearing it all apart and making two trips to the hardware store, I went to bed without a working sump pump system... and work up multiple times to go empty the sump.  When my son ventured into our room in the morning, I knew I needed to come up with a backup plan... but not just any plan...


As I said in the last post, I have a battery backup sump pump system.  Which is nice... and it lets me know when the primary pump isn't doing it's job.  But... it still relies on the same plumbing as the main system to take the water out of the house!  While there is redundancy in the pumping action, there is none in the infrastructure.  When this went down over the weekend, I had nothing... until now!

Loosely fitted together on the dining room table.

As I was carrying buckets of water up the stairs on Saturday night / Sunday morning, I thought to myself... wouldn't it be easier to just hook up a garden hose to the sump pump and let it pump the water out of the house?  Well now I can... and here's how I did it.

Last November I purchased a new sump pump, as I thought the one we had was going bad.  I don't know what the outcome was, but we didn't need it.  Now we have an extra sump pump on hand in case anything goes wrong with the primary again.  But I pulled up the spec's on it and discovered the discharge threads on it are a 1-1/2" NPT (Nation Pipe Threads - They are tapered).  This is perfect, as my system uses 1-1/2 in pipe and I can simply disconnect from the typical plumbing if I need to and hook up my adapter with the garden hose... should the need arise.



The components

The first part in the bill of material is the NPT x Spigot fitting, which I put a link to here (I got all mine at the hardware store so I could make sure they fit together... I recommend you do the same).  If you really blow the picture up, you can see that the first part is a Lasco 1-1/2" SCH 40 Male Adapter MPTxSLIP.  The next fitting is a 1-1/2x3/4" SCH 40 Reducer Coupling FTP x FTP.  Lastly, I got a threaded adapter fitting from Lowes

I put it together by smearing some primer on the mating surfaces of the PVC parts... put some teflon tape on the brass fitting (while I was waiting for the primer to dry, then smeared some PVC glue on the fittings and pressed them together.  After the glue cured, I screwed the fitting in and test fit it in my backup sump pump. 

Applying the primer...

Adding the teflon tape...

Applying PVC glue...

PVC pieces glued together and the brass fitting loosely installed...

Tightening down the brass fitting...

A quick test fit...

At the time I completed this, it was approximately 5­°F outside, so I'll be waiting till things thaw out a little bit before I truly put this one to the test... maybe I'll drop it into a rain barrel or something.  Until then, if you don't want to build your own, you can find them on Amazon here for ($10), here ($8) or here ($6.60).


Other options include buying a hose kit, like this one for $26 or buy a backup pump that already has a garden hose attachment on it, such as this one for roughly $80.  But after looking at all of these options, I'm quite pleased with mine.... and I'm fairly certain it was less than $7 (I already had the PVC primer, cement and teflon tape).

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