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inverter to power sump pump ?

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jCarroll
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:49 am    Post subject: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Our basement sump has a pump rated at 9.5amps on 120 volts.
I have a tractor PTO generator (25kw) which can operate the whole house. But the effort
to get it ready takes about an hour (don't ask me why).

With heavy rain, a 4-5 hour outage is all the sump can hold. I'm thinking an inverter
installed on my truck could be operational quickly to operate the sump pump sooner then a
6-8 hour outage needing the PTO generator.

What wattage inverter would be needed for just the sump pump? Cycle time would be (at
worst) about 3-4 minutes.

I will read other comments on this activity.........
 
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Scott D Orbaker
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:04 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

jcarroll

Volts X Amps = Watts. At the values you list you would need a inverter rated for 1140 watts at a minimum.

Scott
 
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Russ from MN
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:20 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think it would take a very big inverter, and the truck would have to be running. You will probably get better answers from someone more experienced. I did some work with a contractor once that had a big inverter mounted under the hood, big battery cables, ran the truck at fast idle. The starting load of your pump may be about 3000 watts. I know our 2500 watt generator struggles to start our sewer lift pump, about the same as your sump pump.
 
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old
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You might be better off and $$ ahead to go an buy a 12 volt sump pump and have it set up to come one when power goes off
 
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SkipperII
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would pick up an inexpensive generator. I ran our submersible sump pump and our furnace fan on an 1850 Coleman, during power outages for 15-20 years.
 
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John T
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

jc let me work you through the math.

9.5 Amps at 120 VAC = 1140 running watts

However the amps required to start a motor may be 4 to 6 times that required to run it IE a 1140 Watt Inverter (absent sufficient short term surge capacity) may well NOT start the pump.........

Figuring the Inverter isnt 100% efficient and based on standard sizes, Id be thinking an absolute "MINUMUM" Inverter of 2000 Watts (a 1500 Watt Inverter is cutting it too close). The Inverter in my RV is rated for 2000 Watts continuous with a surge rating of 4000 watts and it would most likely do the job.

As far as the draw on your battery, it takes around 11 battery amps for every amp at 120 VAC, so 9.5 amps x 11 = 105 amps of battery current to power the pump using an Inverter.

So what size is the trucks alternator ???? If it could deliver a constant 105 amps ??????? PLUS the power needed to run the rest of the truck you would keep up HOWEVER if the alternator cant supply enough current then you will eventually drain the battery subject to run time

I am NOT digging into the storage capacity calculations at this time........Main things for now are WHATS THE CAPACITY OF YOUR ALTERNATOR

NOTE if you used a 12 Volt DC pump you save the Inverter inefficiency !!!!!!!!!!!! If available thats a better answer



BOTTOM LINE, while a 12 VDC motor is better IFFFFFFFFF you had a 2000 MINIMUM (or bigger like a 2500 or 3000) Watt Inverter,,,,,,,,,,,and IFFFFFFF it has adequate surge capacity to start the motor,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and IFFFFFFFFF the alternator can supply adequate current to maintain the battery,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and IFFFFFFFF the battery has adequate energy storage capacity YES IT CAN WORK

See what size the other gents think will work, my absolute "MINIMUM" would be 2000 if if it has say a 4000 Watt Surge Capacity like mine does..

John T Its electrical expect a ton of opinions, this is only mine
 
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kcm.MN
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think Russ is spot on that the pump would draw close to 3000W on startup. You would be better off getting a 12v backup sump pump.

A couple of other options might be:
1. a drill-powered pump (yes, one that you have to operate)

2. a smaller electric pump with much smaller power demands, more suitable for an inverter, and battery

3. a smaller 12v pump and battery

With a drill-powered pump, you would have to be onsite and have the drill and pump, a short hose and a longer hose at the ready. With a smaller pump, you could actually set it up as a backup standby pump that would work even if you aren't around.....at least as long as the battery were to hold out. And don't forget that any battery(ies) would need a way to stay fully charged when power is available.

Our sump pump demands are considerably larger than yours, and it hasn't been uncommon to pump out near 2,000 gallons per day. You're needs are roughly 150 gallons per day, assuming you have a 30-gallon sump basin.
 
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John T
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hey there KC, you mentioned "the pump would draw close to 3000W on startup" THATS REASONABLE (or even more watts) based on my training
and experience,,,,,,but its been yearsssssssss since I was an engineer at The Century Electric Motor Company so no warranty on that lol ..
Typical rules of thumb are say 3 to 6 times the running current is required for starting "SOME" AC Motors subject to type of motor and its
design and load. Iffffffffff an Inverter of lets say 2000 Watts Continuous has adequate Surge Capacity it can successfully start his motor
subject to its type and design and load. For example my Renogy 2000 Watt Continuous rated Pure Sine Wave Inverter has a Surge Capacity of
4000 Watts and Id venture a bet it would start his motor BUT NO GUARANTEE LOL

I would still prefer a 12 VDC powered pump to avoid the waste and energy losses of an Inverter PLUS the expense, my 2000/4000 Watt was NOT
cheap

Regardless he needs enough battery capacity and battery charging capacity to power the pump (if 12 VDC or 120 VAC via Inverter) for the
necessary time so its not drained WELL DUH LOL

Best wishes, fun chat

John T
 
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miangus
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Keep an eye on consignment auctions. I bought a nice 5,500 watt Coleman for $50.00 and a 4,000 watt for $20.00. Both run great, I converted the larger of the two to run on propane, just to see If I could. I have my eye out for a larger HF model with electric start that someone has let the carb go bad to covert to propane.
 
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wore out
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-jCarroll wrote:
(quoted from post at 08:49:27 08/17/20) Our basement sump has a pump rated at 9.5amps on 120 volts.


Something else to consider...

Your sump pump that draws 9.5 Amps likely has a "shaded pole" motor. Cheap and simple to build, no start switch or run capacitor needed.

But they are power hogs.

I think with some searching there are some out there that are capacitor run and draw 1/3 or less power.

Likely high dollar, brand-name stainless steel pumps.

I have one, it's been doing the for many years, I don't recall the brand at the moment, but recall it being made in France.

The other alternative would be a 12 Volt DC unit, no inverter losses there.

https://www.plumbingsupply.com/12volback.html

Since they use a common auto battery I would think they could be supplemented with another battery or jumpered to a vehicle is longer run time is needed.
 
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John T
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hey there wore out, you state "Your sump pump that draws 9.5 Amps likely has a "shaded pole" motor. Cheap and simple to build, no start
switch or run capacitor needed."

That may be true, I have no specs or data on any information whatsoever regarding his pump. I do remember (vaguely lol no warranty) back
when I was an Electrical Engineer at the Century Electric Motor Company, the ONLY shaded pole motors were those with extrememly lowwwwwwwww
starting torque requirements such as small fan motors, NEVER (back then at least) any sort of pumps or compressors etc., they were
typically split phase (NON capacitor) or split phase capacitor start or capacitor start capacitor run or repulsion start induction run or
many others I CANT REMEMBER THEM ALL LOL

HOWEVER times change motors improve maybe a shaded pole motor can start his pump nowadays but back then they sure couldn't

NOT having any specs or data I just have no idea of his motor and its starting design, But Im never too old to learn, if his pump motor is
a shaded pole thats new to me. Modern Improvements maybe ??????

Nice chatting with you, best wishes and take care now

John T
 
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Mike M
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Any chance you have enough fall in the ground outside you could dig down and run a regular drain line ?
My place had just enough so that is what I did and attached into the footer drain. Sump pump still gets water coming up inside of it ,but if it quits my drain line should cover the over flow.
I know all too well about trying to get generators hooked up and running after sitting for years unused.
 
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Bob M
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I concur with the recommendation install a battery-powered backup pump instead of an inverter. Not only will it pump during a power outage, it will also work should the primary sump pump fail. And it is fully automatic - no attention required when the primary pump goes down.

I installed a Liberty 441 in our sump a few years ago. Has only been needed a couple times (primary pump burnout and an extended power outage). But it worked perfectly when the primary pump did not.
Liberty battery backup pump

 
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buickanddeere
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:41 pm    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Better off to keep a 3500-4000W RV generator handy in the car garage or garden shed .
 
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Tramway Guy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:49 pm    Post subject: Re: inverter to power sump pump ? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We have a ‘Basement Watchdog’ pump. Actually two pumps piggybacked. Regular pump is 115VAC; backup is 12VDC with a 12V marine battery charged by a float charger. Works pretty well.
 
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