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Sump pump for new construction

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  • Sump pump for new construction

    I am building a new construction home on a property next to where I am living. The temporary electrical has not yet been hooked-up. The electric company has said it may be a little bit because of the backlog on transformers. I have been running a generator to keep the water in the sump down at a manageable level it's 5 acre away so running an extension cord is out of the question.

    There are several springs around the foundation so there is a continuous trickle into the sump pit. Currently, I have been doing a couple of things. When the basement floor was poured last week, I kept the generator running 24/7 for 3 days which cost me about $30 a day in fuel. Lately, 5 days later, I have started the generator every few hours and then last thing at night and first thing in the morning. The sump fills from minimum pump shutoff to pump turn on (7.5") in about 45min to 1 hour. But the pump only runs between 8-10 seconds. I have a Little Giant 110V sump pump with 1-1/2 outlet to a collapsable hose running toward the creek adjacent to the property.

    My thoughts were if I could rig a solar panel to a battery and then use a inverter to the pump, I could use the same pump and keep up on the water level so it never got behind and I wouldn't have to spend fuel for generator or go out there all time. I know I will have to have a battery back-up or solar back up once the house is actually built - Or maybe not. We haven't had much rain, so i really don't know what the longer term will be. The foundation is not yet backfilled either.

    The pump I have I believe is a 1hp Little Giant SS. The booklet says 975 Watts.

    So I thought I would post here and see what you experts recommend or say will work or definitely won't work. As I mentioned this is new construction, so I don't want to invest a lot of money that I won't use down the road, but something that won't have me spending tons in gasoline at $5.25/gallon for the generator and give me piece of mind.

    Will a 100W solar panel to a deep cycle battery (or two) with 1000W inverter do the trick? Or should I go with a lower flow 12V kit with a solar panel.

    Love to hear what people think.

  • #2
    I'm guessing this is your first adventure into a solar powered anything. If that is the case get a turnkey kit that provides the gallons per hour you need worst case designed for "off the grid", and compare the cost to what you're now paying for gas for the generator


    • #3
      Ouch. One cloudy day and what happens if no pump ?

      Since it's new, what the consequence if it floods - anything ? or is there a bunch of wood stored in there ?

      I'd seriously look into running french drains around the building and take the water away before it gets inside. The expense of continuously running a pump, and the damage potential when it fails, do look into some passive measures.

      What about using marine bilge pumps. not the $12 ones for amateurs, but larger ones, like a yacht would use. a solar panel, batteries and charge controller with load control is all you need and you could use 2 stacked, one 4" above the other, so most of the time only 1 pump runs. You have to calculate discharge and lift requirements, but it avoids a inverter, which will be pretty large to start your pump.
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      • #4


        • #5
          5 acres away, sounds like this place. I am wondering what you will
          use when permanent power is in place? If you use 240VAC pumps,
          the wiring over medium distance is not that difficult, esp compared
          to building a substantial solar setup.

          Here 240VAC runs about a 1000 ft loop, with wire efficiency better than
          98%. The setup is direct burial Aluminum Triplex. It does need 2 foot
          depth. But if that could be used in the final setup, just unwinding a
          reel of this on the ground could be your extension cord in the mean
          time. Mine is 4/0, and the reel was less than $1k delivered.
          Bruce Roe

          FROM MY APPLE.
          Last edited by bcroe; 06-14-2022, 01:01 PM.


          • #6
            I would do trench and drain tile out to somewhere downhill from you.
            Then you don't have to worry about power not being available.
            Or power being out when you're gone on vacation and coming back to a flooded basement. Because a lot of times it's storms that knock out power - and with the storms comes rain and with the rain comes more water flowing to your sump pit.


            • #7
              So a little about my project. Remember this is new construction with no electrical supply right now - we will have it at some point. The foundation sits on land that has several springs under and around the foundation. It is only the foundation currently. Sticks will be going up in the next few weeks. We get a constant flow of water into the sump pit, but it never goes over. We have not had rain here in 2 weeks. The sump is full every morning and drain tile under the poured basement floor are half full every day. I turn the 1hp sump pump on 8-10 seconds every 2min 30 seconds. I usually let run for an hour, and the times continually get longer and longer. So its not a lot of water that continually goes in the sump crock, but it continually flows.

              I was thinking along the lines of a 12V bilge pump 1100 GPH with internal float hooked to a battery or two with a solar panel. Some bilges I have seen run about 3.8A. That calculates to 45.6 watts So, if I say it might run 1/2 the time so 12 hours of a day that calculates out to 547 Wh at a 80% efficiency we are looking at 684 Wh daily load. We are in Michigan so we have a pretty low isolation area - I used December at 1.34. A battery bank @ 12V would be 285Ah or 142.5Ah @ 24V. Panel wattage of 85.1 @ 12V and 42.5 @ 24V. Does this sound correct that i could get away with maybe 1 deep cycle battery and a 100W panel just for this application?

              I know this isn't exactly what you normally see on this site, but just looking for some help in trying to designing the start of a system.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kroonkev View Post
                ........... just looking for some help in trying to designing the start of a system.
                I would take your time to design a system that works under the worst spring or winter conditions. I also agree with the earlier posts that gravity can be your friend. A gravity drain would be the best fail proof system, if site conditions permit. I presume the water was going somewhere via gravity before you poured foundations?
                You will want to plan for the runoff from you roof to get that water away from your home so those drains can be incorporated. A deep and long trench with drain pipes is far better than any solar battery system. In the meantime, concrete cures better if it is wet so no rush as long as other things are not getting damaged, You definitely do not want standing water under your framing but until then you have some time for planning and trenching.
                Last edited by Ampster; 06-29-2022, 01:55 PM.
                9 kW solar, 42kWh LFP storage. EV owner since 2012