Rated 4 out of 5Â by 49
Rated 5 out of 5Â by Hammerhead It surprised me...
I bought the equivalent of this pump at the Home Depot in 2003. I live in an area that has a lot of groundwater...my 1/2 hp primary pump runs every 10 mins during peak flow, approx 40 gals per min @ 8' head (lift). I always thought if the main pump went out, this thing would be dead in 1/2 a day at best. In 2006, we had a horrendous ice storm here, some areas without power for over 10 days. This pump ran faithfully every 5-10 mins (using a 2 year old 925 cca boat deep cycle battery), and was still running when the power came back on after almost 4 days! It truly surprised me for a product in the entry level range. I attribute this partially to: 1. a careful installation with special routing to keep the discharge lift under 5' (I cheated and went directly through the foundation wall into a storm sewer, rather than up-and-over the foundation), and 2. A good battery. But be sensible folks- know what your primary main pump capacity is, the lift, and how much it is pumping (hint: check the charts at your primary pump manufacturer web site, then charts at the basement watchdog site). That will tell you if this pump can handle it. If your primary pump runs nonstop during storms, 1. its probably too small, and 2. you better plan on multiple backups, or something else with high capacity. And by the way, although the battery is not included, most Home Depots DO carry 2 models of the dry battery and also the acid to be added, the benefit here is a truly "new" battery, which can be serviced (not sealed), and accepts the voltage probe (although the unit will still function with the probe). The higher the amps of the battery, the longer it will pump, and the more you will pay. If the HD doesn't have it, you could also consider a serviceable deep cycle marine battery. After almost 10 years of service, 4 batteries, and multiple power failures without mishap, I have decided to get a new one...you guessed it...this one again. One welcome improvement is the fact that the alarm can now be switched off during an event, and the float switch is now redundant (2 floats). Advice? 1. Keep the discharge pipe completely separate (after all this IS an emergency system) from other plumbing and as LOW as possible. 2. test the system regularly and expect to change out the battery every 2-3 years (don't forget you can recharge the battery from your car in a pinch or even use the car's battery in a real emergency). 3. try to mount the pump with support UNDER the pump. I had a neighbor with this exact model and their basement DID flood...our investigation found that the installing plumber hung the pump by the discharge pipe which cracked the base housing, so the pump ran but did nothing. 4. Be sensible and make sure this pump has the capacity you need...you can even call their tech support- I have found them to be very helpful- the system will only be as good as the installation. I hope you have the same good luck I have had with this pump.
October 29, 2012
Rated 1 out of 5Â by BadDog Waste of money
1) I have a 10' lift and this puppy struggles moving the water.
2) The battery lasts less than a year (and I maintained it according to the instructions) - the charger basically overcharges the battery to death.
3) It doesn't recognize a dead battery until it attempts to use the battery, and then it's too late.
Bottom line, I would not recommend wasting your money on this unit. I honestly don't know if there's a completely reliable system out there for under $600, but buying this system just gives you a false sense of security and you'll find yourself replacing it anyway.
January 5, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5Â by DrySoFar Adequate Low-End Emergency Backup, but...
Installed this myself about 8 years ago after we moved in and the former owner told us horror stories about coming home to a flooded finished basement. It does an adequate job of draining the sump pit properly when the power's out (happens once or twice a year, on average). I haven't been careful about maintaining the battery, and it's lasted until just a few days ago, so no complaints there. Only time it gave me pause was when we had an extended outage that lasted several days; it was Spring, so we probably had more water than usual, and the battery gave out after about 24 - 36 hours of intermittent usage, after which I ended up hooking up a generator to the house anyway.
Overall, I'm glad I have this thing, but it doesn't give me complete peace of mind when we're away for extended periods and in that case I have the house-sitter double-check it. However, I have to say that this pump has never let me down so far.
I do have one massive complaint, though: there is NO WAY TO SHUT OFF THE ALARM, and if your power goes out, the alarm will sound whenever the pump cycles. (There's a reset button that shuts it up, but only until the next pump cycle while on battery). In other words, if you have an extended outage, the alarm will be screaming continuously and can't be stopped. I fixed this by adding my own switch to cut out the speaker (which almost certainly voided the warranty). Wish they had built this option into the alarm somehow.
April 1, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5Â by motordar Watchdog is short lived and needs to be put down.
I bought a home with this system professionally installed 15 months ago. I am ripping this out and installing something new. It did pump as a back up, but audible alarm will not silence even when turned off. If battery drains a little due to pumping, alarm will sound until battery is completely charged. Imagine a smoke alarm that will not shut off. You have to dissconect from battery (with wrench) and power brick from wall. After my unit screamed all night and battery would not take full charge....it's got to go (Yes water level in battery was maintained) Bottom line..does work, but will drive you insane.
April 17, 2010
Rated 1 out of 5Â by dissatisfied Worst purchase ever
I bought a house 3 years ago and the basement flooded a few days after purchase (it was the first time in 40 years it flooded, but we lost power and were out of town). So we bought this and put it in shortly after. A relative is a maintenance man, so he helped us properly install it. Everything was correct...it was set a little higher than our regular system, so either if the power went out or we got excessive rain, it would turn on to pump out the excessive water (even if the power was on).
We flooded again 7-9 months later when we got another heavy rain. The majority of our neighbors also flooded, though we did not even lose power. An act of God.
We flooded again 2 weeks ago. (That's right...if you are counting, that's 0 times in 40 years and then 3 times in 3 years) We did not lose power this time either. After the water recessed and we began demolishing our finished basement for a 3rd time, we tested the system.
We think the main cause of the problem was a partial blockage in one of our pipes (not Basement Watchdog's fault). After fixing that problem, we tested the battery and pump and it was TOTALLY broken. The alarm would turn on, but the pump wouldn't even turn on. Completely broken. Yes, the battery was properly set up with distilled water and acid, but when we tested, it had very low voltage. My maintenance family member said it was practically dead. Having a partial blockage might have meant this pump was pumping water more than it should have been, but I can't give this more than 1 star considering it was broken.
Later, my maintenance relative said we shouldn't have bought such a cheap pump. He has had a good experience with Basement Watchdog, but with a more expensive unit. I think we are making the switch to Wayne.
September 1, 2014