Solar Sump Pump
This isn’t really a green building question, but I know there plenty of informed commenters on this site so it’s worth asking here. The World Wide Web didn’t have much to offer for viable solutions, so am turning to the expertise of this community.
We had 2 egress wells installed late summer and have come to realize with any amount of rain there might be several inches of standing water. Not to a point where water rises to the bottom of the window and at risk of entering the basement, but enough to worry me about what it is doing to my foundation over time. I just pumped about 45 gallons out of both of them so am looking forward to an engineered or mechanical solution that doesn’t involve me with a hand pump and a bucket. I’ve talked to the installer and he can put in a sump pump, but his process has to penetrate my foundation for a power source, yet again, so I’d rather find a self-contained solution. As a point of reference they dug a 12″ hole all the way to the footer and filled it with gravel when they were installed, so conceptually it should be finding it’s way to our interior drain tile system. Part of the problem is there is a decent amount of groundwater where I live and we have very high clay content in our soil, so draining is a very slow process.
This led me to believe there has to be a way to incorporate a smaller solar panel (110w?) with a 12v sump back up battery system. The location is perfect on the southern facing side of my house and the sump batteries only use a trickle charge. I was thinking I’d drill holes in the lid then bury a 5 gallon bucket as far down as I can, wrap it in a good fabric to keep sediment out, stick the pump in there, backfill with gravel, and then pump it to daylight. If I was really ambitious I would trench a line between the two wells and plumb a drain from the pumpless pit to the one with the sump, but that is probably more work than just spending $400 on another pump and battery.
So, am I overlooking anything or missing why this isn’t an obvious solution? The wells will stay dry, so in theory I can store the battery in a case inside the well, maybe elevated on a platform I’d build just to be safe. I’d have to penetrate the well cover to get power in and plumbing out, but should be able to make it waterproof enough.
Thoughts on a simple setup for something like this? Any recommendations on small standalone solar panels that will work for my situation? Northern Tool has a 110w panel for less than $150, that will power 12v or can be used with a power inverter (included), so that seems like a decent deal. So far the hardest item to locate has been a simple 12v backup that can be used as a standalone pump and that has the right kind of vertical float I need.
If anyone has any comments, thoughts, or feedback they are warmly welcome.
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