I woke up this morning to 3″ of water in my basement, lapping at the bottom of my oil fired boiler. We hadn’t plugged in our sump pump last night and I had to trudge through the water to do it this morning. I can’t install a “regular” float activated sump pump in our basement due to lack of space. If I was to dig through our basement floor to allow for a sump pit, we would be fighting our very high water table even worse than now. So we use a surface pump that “automatically” turns on. The issue is, it cycles every 1-5 minutes when there is no water, to check if it needs to pump. If you left it plugged in forever, it would run itself dry and cook itself. So we only leave it plugged in when we think the basement might get wet.
Time for a new solution. Automatic bilge pumps for boats use much smaller clearances and would fit in my sump “pit” (only 2″ deep), they run on 12v so we could have a small battery and solar panel – no worries if the power is out, the basement will stay dry!
We could do the whole install for around $200 for the pump, panel and battery. This would stay “on” all the time since it only runs when the float switch kicks off. If we noticed it running a lot, we could plug in our AC unit to take most of the load.