By M. Power |
This winter I received a frantic call from a friend. When the power went out for several hours, the electric sump pump shut down and her basement immediately began to flood from melting snow. I did some research and came up with two potential solutions: One, rent a generator, or, two, install a water-powered sump pump. Neither met my green comfort threshold. Generators embody a lot of energy, get very little use, and depreciate over time. Water-powered pumps waste a lot of potable water and increase the load on sewage treatment plants (or septics).
More recently, I found a third option my friend—who bought a generator—could have considered: a submersible electric sump pump with an automatic battery backup.
This sump is more “right-sized” for the job at hand. It performs the daily chore of clearing a wet basement but instantly switches to battery power in an outage.
I’m always cautious about new products that claim to be greener than competitors, so I put the company’s PR firm through a series of back-and-forth questions. For example, I wanted to know the phantom power draw on the unit and some other technical details. I was glad to hear that the company offers its own batteries, which can be drained and recharged.—M. Power
FEATURED PRODUCT Basement Watchdog Heavy Duty Sump Pump
Model Big Dog Dual Float
Phantom Power .085 amps (under $10 per year)
Phantom power pump rate 2,200 gph @ 10-ft. lift
Battery run time 5 hours (continuous operation)
Battery lifespan 5 to 7 years
Pump warranty 2 years (extended available)