How Storm Pumps Work
Storm Pumps use the pressure of city water to accelerate a stream of water, which creates a vacuum (see Figure 1). The vacuum is strong enough to pull sump water up to and mix with the accelerated stream and then discharged to the sewer. For each gallon of city water, up to two gallons of sump water can be pumped out of your basement (Figure 2 Pressure/Flow Chart).
Why A Water Powered Pump Is Your Best Choice
Most homes have several sources of energy to run a sump pump:
- Electricity from the grid or stored in batteries.
- Natural gas or propane
- City Water
Electricity from the grid is the first choice for performance and low operational costs. However, electricity from the grid tends to fail during severe weather, just when you need it. Grid electricity stored in batteries will work until the batteries run flat in a couple of days or less. And batteries must be replaced every couple of years which makes them less than a reliable backup, and expensive.
Natural gas or propane can be used to run a generator to power an electric sump pump. This is an expensive, high maintenance approach that is difficult to automate.
City water is an ideal power source. It is available continuously (+99.9%) and can be used directly to power a sump pump at low cost. Water powered pumps require few moving parts (2), no maintenance with the ability to standby for years without loss of pumping capacity. The cost of city water used is far less than the damage caused by flooding.