Battery Back Up Sump Pump Installation

Battery Back-Up and Secondary Sump Pump Installation Video (Re-Cap)

Introduction – Hello and we’d like to welcome you back to theplumbinginfo.com. We thought that a re-cap should accompany our video so you could follow along at home or in your office.

All of our upcoming videos will have a printable recap with the tools and materials used so you can literally print it and take it to your local plumbing wholesaler or home center to get what you need.

If there are any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave it in our comments section or you can reach us @ theplumbinginfo@gmail.com We will attempt to address each issue as quickly as possible.

Just as a side note Jim the Plumber featured in the video is the actual real life plumber in our Stump the Plumber section. We hope you find the video informative and please stayed tuned because we have many more to come.

For people who live in areas prone to basement flooding this piece of equipment can be a life saver. There are many units to choose from with a wide range of features and performance characteristics. Be sure to ask your plumbing professional or salesperson about their selection and each units advantages and disadvantages.

TOOLS USED – (The tools used will be pretty much the same as the sump pump installation.)

  • Sawzall or reciprocating saw
  • 2ft Level or Torpedo Level
  • Pipe Wrenches (Multiple Sizes) – You may need these and you may not. It really depends on the piping/fitting material. If PVC is being used as in the video channel locks are probably sufficient to tighten any threaded fittings that need tightening. The only reason you would need pipe wrenches is if more torque was needed to tighten or loosen cast iron, cooper, or steel fittings.
  • Tape Measure or Folding Stick Ruler
  • Hack Saw – If you don’t have a sawzall a hack saw/PVC saw works fine. Be careful when using a hacksaw, because of the narrow blade you run the risk of the saw cutting the piping on an angle.
  • Channel Locks – Channel Lock is a brand name but it is like Kleenex, that’s what most tradesmen would call them and that trickles down to the home centers as well.
  • Flat Head Screw Driver or Nut Driver – Most people have a flat head screw driver or a multiple head screw driver, the plumbing professional would use a nut driver to tighten hose clamps or the clamps on the check valve to save time. It’s a multi-head screw driver with a ratchet mechanism and some have a shield that fits around the screw head or nut so the tool doesn’t slip off.
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Hole Saw
  • Safety Goggles or Glasses – We can’t reiterate how important it is to have safety glasses. While doing this project you are cutting PVC with a motorized saw or sawing with a hack saw, using dangerous chemicals in the PVC primer and cement and handling sump pit water. We don’t think it takes a PHD in chemistry or medicine to figure out a sliver of PVC or a splash of PVC primer in the eye can potentially cause severe irritation or sight loss. The sump pit water is usually fairly harmless but it is leaching from the ground and sitting in a pit.
  • Latex Gloves – Please see above, just put gloves on.

EQUIPMENT USED

  • Secondary Pump
  • Battery (We used a wet cell standby battery)
  • Control Unit – This is the heart of the back-up system, it gives you information like percentage of battery charge, whether or not your home power failed, etc.
  • Battery Box
  • Acid Pack
  • Battery Filler – Used to fill up the battery with water to activate the acid.
  • Float Switch

MATERIALS USED

  • PVC Pipe – Most sump pumps are 11/2″ PVC, most basements have between  8ft and 10ft ceilings, sump pit depth varies. If you have 15ft of PVC pipe you should have plenty.
  • PVC Male Adapter – If it’s an 11/2″ pump you’ll need an 11/2″ fitting. You’ll need two (1) of these.
  • PVC Check Valve – As Jim pointed out check valves come in different shapes and sizes. We like the quite check valves, they have a small air chamber built inside to cushion the valve when it closes. You will need two check valves if you are replacing the sump and adding the battery back-up; one for each pump.
  • PVC Fittings – You will need a couple fittings; one to turn back into the discharge piping and one to tie-in the secondary pump.

STEP BY STEP

  1. Unplug the Pump – Electricity, water and saws don’t mix well.
  2. Loosen the Check Valve (Bottom Only First) – The pump, pumps the water up and out but there is still a significant amount of water that is left in the discharge piping which causes the check valve to close so that water doesn’t enter back into the pit. The top half of the check valve is holding that water back. If you loosen the top of the check the water held back will evacuate and give you a bath. We’ve warned you in the sump pump re-cap. After removing the bottom part of the check valve we need to empty the discharge piping above the check valve. Take one (1) handle of the channel locks and insert into the bottom of the check valve pressing up until the water begins to drain. Remove check valve.
  3. Remove Rubber Coupling – If you don’t remove the coupling you won’t be able to get the cover over it.
  4. Remove the Sump Pit Cover
  5. Measure for Back-Up Pump Discharge Piping – Measure from the bottom of the pit to the top of the existing discharge piping. This will leave you plenty of piping to make your final cuts for the tie-in.
  6. Cut PVC Piping - Have a clear space to cut the PVC using the sawzall or hack saw. Put on you safety glasses/goggles. Be sure cut the PVC
  7. Clean PVC Burrs Off the Inside of Pipe – When you cut PVC there will always be burrs on the inside of the pipe that need to be removed. You don’t want any PVC burrs getting caught in the check valve causing it to malfunction. Just run you (gloved) finger on the inside of the pipe and the burrs are easily removed.
  8. Glue PVC Adapter to Pipe – Use PVC primer on both the fitting and piping. Quite a few municipalities around the country require that plumbers use purple primer. You can see the primer at the joint as evidence of application. We’ve seen quite a few blogs where people say they’ve cleaned the pipe and fittings and they didn’t need primer. Primer cleans and softens the PVC preparing it for a proper seal. It takes about 2 seconds to apply so it’s a silly step to exclude from the job. OK so you’ve applied the primer now apply the glue in the same manner and insert the pipe into the fitting turning the fitting slightly as you go, this spreads the cement around the fitting evenly to ensure good fusion. Hold the fitting in place for a 10 seconds or so and you’re done. Please note, the larger the pipe size the longer you have to hold the fitting and piping together

  1. Tighten PVC 90 Ell on Secondary Pump – Most times the manufacturer leaves the fitting partially tightened. Please be sure you tighten all the way.
  2. Drill Weep Hole –  It is important to drill a weep hole facing down @ 4:00 in the discharge piping before the check valve. HINT: drill the hole before the discharge piping leaves the sump pit. The water that comes out of the hole will drain back into the pit and more importantly because it is facing down won’t shoot all over the basement or crawl. The weep hole is needed to allow water back in to the piping below the check valve to “prime the pump”. Think of putting your thumb on top of a straw and the straw is filled with air. The discharge piping is the straw and the check valve is the thumb. If water is not allowed back in to the straw (pipe) the pump runs continuously against air hence becoming air bound.
  3. Install Pipe and Fitting into Pump Body – Put your foot on the pump body to steady the pump. It is super important to be careful while threading the PVC adapter into the pump body. If the outlet of the pump is metal and the PVC fitting gets cross threaded you’ll damage the threads. The secondary pump in the video is plastic so the risk of having the fitting shear is diminished but it’s still good to be careful.
  4. Set Pump into Pit - Normally we would say don’t lift the pump by the piping but the housing on the secondary pump is plastic and is pretty light weight.
  5. Pull Cords Though the Sump Pit Cover – You can purchase a cover with two openings however you can also you a HOLE SAW to drill a 2 3/8″ hole to accommodate the secondary pump. (Please see our section on How to Use a Hole Saw to learn proper technique on drilling with a hole saw.)

  1. Temporarily Mount Dual Float
  2. Cut in Wye to Tie-In Back-Up Pump – Dry fit the 1 1/2″ PVC wye and a filler piece and measure with the check valve. Make sure the PVC pipe on both side of the check valve are in the middle of the coupling.
  3. Cut Piping – Make sure to deburr the PVC piping and dry fit piping, wye and check valve.
  4. Put Rubber Coupling On – Make sure the coupling is on the pipe and check evenly.
  5. Tighten Hose Clamps
  6. Level Second level Discharge Piping
  7. Dry Fit 45 Degree Ell
  8. Measure for Travel Piece – Place long piece of 11/2″ PVC pipe in the wye. Measure pipe to the back of the 45 degree ell and make your cut. Dry fit all pipe and fittings, measure twice cut once.
  9. Cut in Check Valve – Just make marks on the pipe at each end of the check valve.
  10. Dry Fit All Fittings
  11. Level Discharge Lines
  12. Make Marks on Fittings and Corresponding Pipe – This allows you to glue the fittings and piping in the exact place the dry fittings were in during the trail run.
  13. Glue Fittings Together – Start at one side and make your way to the other making sure all fittings are primed and cemented.

  1. Fill Battery with Acid – This is SULFURIC ACID. Please don’t forget to put on your safety glasses/goggles and latex gloves.
  2. Install Battery in Battery Box and Hook Up Terminals – Black is Positive and Red is Negative.
  3. Insert Battery Level Probe – Lack of maintenance is by far the most common reason for battery back-up failure. We recommend a back-up system that informs you when the battery needs to be filled.
  4. Plug in Sump Pump
  5. Make Sure there are No Leaks – Upon plugging in the pump it will cycle automatically and may continue for awhile until the water is through being evacuated from the drain tile.
  6. Finally Read the Owners Manual – Read the Owner’s manual for proper start-up

We hope the video was helpful to you and please come back and visit us at theplubminginfo.com

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Comments

  1. Can you tell us what brand backup sump pump you intsalled?
    Do you have one you recommend?

    1. Thank you for finding us and thank you for asking. The pump and battery back-up system you see in the video are both PHCC Pro Series. There is simply no other sump pump at it’s price point that gets rid of more water and it’s amp draw is among the lowest as well. I like battery back-up systems that give the consumer information on the control module several years ago the PHCC Pro had no equal in this area. Competitors have caught up in this department but it is still one of the best values on the market. It can only be bought from a professional plumbing wholesale supply house.

      Sincerely,
      admin@theplumbinginfo

  2. Thanks again for posting these videos! Since I’m an average citizen :), which consumer battery backup sump pump would you recommend since the PHCC Pro Series is out of our reach? My main current pump is a Zoeller M57. I’ve seen some like these but don’t know they’re any good: Zoeller 507 Sentry and Wayne ESP45. Thanks again!