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View Full Version : Wicked, Wicked Winds o.t.



brian Rupnow
05-05-2018, 09:16 AM
Yesterday was exciting. We had a massive windstorm in the area. I have a garden shed with a window in it that has set with no damage for almost 19 years, and the window, casing and all blew out of the shed. I have two large trees in my driveway that were whipping around so badly that I took my pickup out to the end of our 100 foot driveway in case one of the trees went down. We have a number of oak trees close to one end of our house, and there was a constant rain of dead branches falling onto my roof. Our electricity went out at 7:30 PM, and my battery powered sump pump backup wouldn't run. (have to investigate that today.) I fired up my gasoline powered generator and it ran from 8:00 PM until 1:00 PM when the electricity came back on, and I had to stay up to refuel it in case it ran out of gas. Many trees down around Barrie, and still many places with no electricity. I got off lucky--at this time of year my sump pump runs about every 20 minutes, but having the generator saved my bacon.---I'm not going to be the liveliest star in the sky today---a bit tired. However, we survived it.---Brian

plunger
05-05-2018, 09:33 AM
Happy to hear you eoscaped unscathed. For those who dont live in your area what happens if a sump pump dont pump.

J Tiers
05-05-2018, 09:43 AM
Good that no trees came down. Windstorms can be lots of "fun" that way, especially if the ground has been recently soaked by rain.

I thought I recalled your house had a small ravine, or "draw" next to it (picture posted some time ago). Maybe that was someone else.

If you do have that, could you just run a drain line over to it for passive draining? ( Not very useful if the draw fills with water in a rain, though, or is off your property.)

Toolguy
05-05-2018, 09:57 AM
Good thing you had the generator! But if not, you could have rigged up a model engine powered pump and got the job done that way.:p

brian Rupnow
05-05-2018, 10:01 AM
Happy to hear you eoscaped unscathed. For those who dont live in your area what happens if a sump pump dont pump.

If your sump pump doesn't pump, you're nicely finished basement fills with water, ruining everything and you are into a huge insurance claim.

sasquatch
05-05-2018, 10:01 AM
Most of the strong winds did not reach us up here, but lots of heavy rain, which washed out a number of driveways and back roads. Heard at pone point last night there where almost 200, 000 without power, many still out this morning.

plunger
05-05-2018, 10:08 AM
If your sump pump doesn't pump, you're nicely finished basement fills with water, ruining everything and you are into a huge insurance claim.

Our houses are very different. We dont have basements. Is your basement your workshop.? That would be a disaster. Is there a natural water table that you have to continually pump it out.

Dan Dubeau
05-05-2018, 10:09 AM
I lost one small cedar so far that I know of, probably a couple more out in the woods. It came down across the road just north of my driveway. Funny part was I took my two good chainsaws down to my dads yesterday because we're dropping a big maple in his backyard sometime this week. Had to use a Makita recip saw, with a big 12" pruning blade to cut it in half so I could drag it off the road.

Power flickered a couple times, but stayed on. Can't remember ever seeing trees bend like that it was quite the show.

I'm sure my neighbors lost a bunch of trees. Their forest is all pine plantation, and should have been thinned about 20 years ago. Everything got too tall and spindly to support itself. They had it thinned this past fall, and they lost quite a few trees a month ago in that late ice storm. I'm sure it's a right mess now.

wombat2go
05-05-2018, 10:43 AM
Last year I had 5 big old trees cut down from being too close to the house.

So yesterday I was not worried, unlike previous wind storms.
I went out to supermarket and got stuck in traffic back up as the traffic lights were out.

brian Rupnow
05-05-2018, 01:07 PM
Our houses are very different. We dont have basements. Is your basement your workshop.? That would be a disaster. Is there a natural water table that you have to continually pump it out.
Plunger--I live in a large valley that is surrounded by a lot of high farmland. When all of the ice and snow melt in the spring, in those farm fields, the entire area becomes an aquifer for the melt water. It is very very bad in the spring, just as all of the ice and snow is melting for about 2 weeks. Then by June there is very little water coming in unless we have a large rainstorm. The sump pump doesn't usually come on at all in the winter months. My basement has two levels. The lowest level has a fully finished recreation room and a small bedroom. The next higher level where my shop and office are is at ground level. When they dig the basement and pour the footings for a house like mine, they run a length of 4" or 5" diameter perforated tubing all around the outside of the footings, and in one corner of the basement they make a concrete well about 36"deep x 24" square with poured concrete sides and bottom, and these perforated pipes run under the footings and into this concrete well. Then when they backfill around the poured block walls, they use a crushed stone with just enough topsoil to grow grass. So--any water falling from the roof to the ground around the house, or any ground-water sinks thru the crushed stone, flows thru the perforated piping, and finds its way into the sump hole. A sump pump with a float operated switch senses when the water is filling up the sump hole and turns the pump on automatically to pump this water out a line that leads underground to a point far away from your house. when the water level drops, the pump automatically shuts off. So--even if the lower baqsement flooded my office and machine shop wouldn't flood.---Brian

Jon Heron
05-05-2018, 03:29 PM
Here in Ponsonby (Fergus Elora area) we lost our power at about 2:30PM and it came back around 10PM.
Lots of branches down, neighbours new vinyl quonset hut for his tractor and golf cart was blown to bits and the fiberglass cover on the front window of my camper got destroyed...
All in all I feel lucky as I am in the middle of putting in the base for a new 8x12 greenhouse we bought. Do to all the rain and my water line trench endlessly caving in I didn't get it up earlier in the week as planned. I have a feeling if I had it would have been destroyed.
We had winds up to 122KPH here yesterday and the green house is only rated for 90KPH... :p
Cheers,
Jon

brian Rupnow
05-05-2018, 03:34 PM
And now--The rest of the story. Four years ago, I realized that with the almost guarantied power outages here during rain and windstorms, I was going to have to buy and install a battery powered back-up sump pump and a 110 volt generator. My basement rec room and bedroom are fully finished, drywalled, and would make one hell of an insurance claim if my normal electric sump pump failed. I paid $214 for a back up 12 volt submersible sump pump and $120 for a deep cycle 12 volt battery. I installed it, it worked great, and I felt a lot more secure than I did before installing it. Last night at 7:30 the electricity went off and stayed off. Soon I heard the "beep-beep-beep" that tells me the back up sump pump has kicked on. I went down to the basement to check and make certain that everything was okay. It wasn't!!! The emergency back up sump pump had tried to come on, found that the motor was seized tight, and blew the fuse in the pump. So--I brought out the generator, fired it up, and had electricity for my normal 110V sump pump. I sat up until 1:00 PM (which is long past my bedtime) tending to the generator in case it ran out of gas. I was happy to see the lights in my house come back on at 1:00. I went back to the hardware store where I had purchased my first emergency back up sump pump this afternoon, and the best they could do was re-order the same pump for me again and knock $10 off the price. There is a lesson in this. I get the generator out 4 times a year and start it up, let it run for 20 minutes to charge the battery, then shut it down. From now on, each time I start the generator I'll start that damned back up sump pump and let it run for 15 minutes. I dodged a bullet last night.

alanganes
05-05-2018, 05:38 PM
The emergency back up sump pump had tried to come on, found that the motor was seized tight, and blew the fuse in the pump.

I get the generator out 4 times a year and start it up, let it run for 20 minutes to charge the battery, then shut it down. From now on, each time I start the generator I'll start that damned back up sump pump and let it run for 15 minutes. I dodged a bullet last night.


This is the issue with back up pumps. The vast majority of they time the sit, submerged in water and not running. So dirt, silt, assorted crud, and rust accumulates in the pump body. When it is finally needed, it is bound up and trips an overload and becomes a non-pump.

I had a friend who had major flooding in his place when something similar happened. He had a dual pump system, pump #1 did most of the work, and pump #2 would kick in if the water level in the sump got too high due to pump 1 failing or simply being overwhelmed. Has some exceptionally heavy rain and when the water got ahead of pump 1, it kicked in pump 2, which was bound up. This tripped the breaker, cutting power to BOTH pumps. The take away lesson was separate power feeds to the two pumps and a control that would use each pump alternately each time the lowest float switch actuated. That was they both got regular use, and if one or the other failed, you would likely know before you needed both.

Good that you had a backup to your backup. Every so often you need a Plan C.

CCWKen
05-05-2018, 06:28 PM
The south end of that cold front came through here yesterday morning. Lots of rain and wind. We were spared the large hail (2" size in some areas) and I'm glad of that. The new roof is only two months old! :eek: The electric went out for just a few seconds when we had a near lightening strike but that was it. One good thing about Mesquite trees is they don't get too tall and they're strong. They were whipping about but we have so many around they act as a windbreak for the house and sheds. I left the barn (shop) when I heard the gust-front hit. The temperature dropped 10 degrees in a matter of minutes. The rain wasn't far behind.

brian Rupnow
05-05-2018, 07:15 PM
Good wife and I went out to Swiss Chalet for dinner about 5:30 yesterday. It was just crazy!!! Not a lot of rain, but wind like you wouldn't believe. We saw two electrical poles leaning at about 45 degrees with Hydro workers trying to straighten them up. Big signs were tipped over everywhere. We seen a couple of houses with all the shingles blown off the west side of the roofs. We were wondering if we weren't a little crazy to have left home. We got home at about 7:00, and then the friggin electricity went out at 7:30. I discovered that my back up battery powered sump pump wasn't working, so fired up the generator and was quite prepared to set up all night. Wife went into the room farthest away from the noisy generator and curled up in my Lazy boy chair with a blanket and crashed. It was a big relief to see the lights come back on at 1:00 AM. so I could shut down the generator and go to bed.

brian Rupnow
05-05-2018, 07:42 PM
Does anyone know of a 12 volt back up sump pump that is not submersible? It would seem to me that would make a lot of sense, because the motor wouldn't be under water all the time and prone to seizing up. Maybe my google foo isn't working but I can't find one.---Brian

3 Phase Lightbulb
05-05-2018, 08:08 PM
Does anyone know of a 12 volt back up sump pump that is not submersible? It would seem to me that would make a lot of sense, because the motor wouldn't be under water all the time and prone to seizing up. Maybe my google foo isn't working but I can't find one.---Brian

How about installing 3 or 4 smaller submersible automatic bilge pumps in a staggered configuration. One at the very bottom. the next one up about 4 inches higher, the 3rd one 4 additional inches higher, etc. The idea being the one on the bottom will trigger first and pump out the sump. If for whatever reason the bottom pump fails, the water will continue to rise in the sump bin and will trigger the 2nd bilge pump float switch. Now the 2nd one (and maybe still the 1st one if it's just massive amounts of water) start pumping. And if the water rises up enough to reach the 3rd or 4th pump then they begin pumping now. So in theory, if the pumps are large enough, you can stack them and they only start pumping if the lower pumps fail to keep the water level below the upper pumps.

Maybe install 3 or 4 of these smaller bilge pumps with ~4-5 inches of vertial buffer between them:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0MLWTD/ref=sspa_dk_detail_4?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B01N0MLWTD&pd_rd_wg=4KmwI&pd_rd_r=W4TV2QY4V6J6RRC0V3H1&pd_rd_w=2EzMA

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81hsCrIhmFL._SL1500_.jpg

reggie_obe
05-05-2018, 08:26 PM
And now--The rest of the story. Four years ago, I realized that with the almost guarantied power outages here during rain and windstorms, I was going to have to buy and install a battery powered back-up sump pump and a 110 volt generator. My basement rec room and bedroom are fully finished, drywalled, and would make one hell of an insurance claim if my normal electric sump pump failed. I paid $214 for a back up 12 volt submersible sump pump and $120 for a deep cycle 12 volt battery. I installed it, it worked great, and I felt a lot more secure than I did before installing it. Last night at 7:30 the electricity went off and stayed off. Soon I heard the "beep-beep-beep" that tells me the back up sump pump has kicked on. I went down to the basement to check and make certain that everything was okay. It wasn't!!! The emergency back up sump pump had tried to come on, found that the motor was seized tight, and blew the fuse in the pump.

Guessing you're on city water and not a well. These have been discussed before, never needs batteries or utility power: https://basepump.com/Products/Basepump.html

PStechPaul
05-05-2018, 08:27 PM
My friend had an emergency backup sump pump installed in her basement, and I think she paid several hundred dollars for it, but it was actually a puny little aquarium type pump that was totally inadequate. She also had a regular sump pump with a 1/3-1/2 HP motor, but I think it had been disconnected. It still worked, so I bought a 2000 watt HF inverter and 12V deep cycle battery, for a total of about $300, along with a float charger, and it worked like a champ. She is not really in an area prone to flooding, but she is paranoid about such things and wanted it "just in case".

You might look for "pedestal or column" pumps, that have the motor well above the intake:

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing-Pumps-Sump-Pumps-Pedestal-or-Column-Pumps/N-5yc1vZbql2

Cost as little as $48:
https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/cdaf2b8b-862e-410e-9f2e-1af3c0425178/svn/acquaer-pedestal-or-column-pumps-pep033-64_1000.jpg

nickel-city-fab
05-05-2018, 09:48 PM
Brian --
I live not far from you, on the US side. Yeah it was a crazy night, my Dad has been looking for a pump too. I suggested a deep-cycle battery and an inverter to run a regular pump. The charger can stay on the battery permanently, they go down to a trickle charge automatically.

brian Rupnow
05-06-2018, 07:28 AM
I think that maybe 3-Phase has a great idea. I wouldn't require a number of pumps like he suggested, only one submersible pump similar to the one I have that seized up from constant immersion. If I attached some legs to the bottom of it, then it would normally set above the highest water level that ever built up in my sump hole before the normal 110 volt pump came on and pumped all the water out. If the electricity went out for any reason, the water would raise past the normal level and then the back-up pump actually would be submerged and would turn on and cycle. All this would mean is that the water level in my sump hole would be higher than normal, but still not high enough to run out onto my basement floor. I am on a well, not city water, and when my electricity goes out my water pressure goes away too, so a water powered back-up pump won't work for me. I am curious about an inverter to run a normal sump pump off a 12 volt battery and an inverter. Is that efficient and does it still allow for long battery life. What would an inverter like that cost and how complex would it be to hook up?---Brian

J Tiers
05-06-2018, 10:07 AM
Not as simple... the inverter has to be "on" and they do draw power when "on", although they are normally efficient at producing power. Some have remote on/off switching that could be used with a float switch some do not.

A 12V pump is much simpler and more direct.

Seastar
05-06-2018, 10:32 AM
The bilge pumps mentioned by 3 Phase would be an excellent solution for you. They are very reliable and long lived. I have four on my boat that are 9 years old and still going a strong.
I like the Rule brand (no connection) and they come in either self activating or those that require an external float switch. I like the external switch that Rule makes also.
A large deep cycle battery permanately wired to a trickle charger would make a simple, reliable system.
Over the 8 large boats I have owned since 1985 I can remember only one Rule pump that failed and one switch and both were in harsh conditions. All of those boats had at least 4 pumps and switches.
Pumps and switches are available from lots of online marine suppliers and at local marine stores.
Good luck in your search for a solution.

I worry about the sewage pump in our house. If it failed the basement would flood with sewage.
We need the pump because the house is downhill from the main sewer line.the pump is not backed up but does have an alarm that would wake the dead and sends a signal to the alarm company.
Of course there is no sewage while we are out of town
Bill

tlfamm
05-06-2018, 11:13 AM
I use a portable submersible sump pump, dropping it into the sump only on the rare occasion when needed - but I've had the motor seize on one of them as well.

I use a Simer pump:
http://www.simerpumps.com/ResidentialProduct_sm_su_su_5950.aspx

brian Rupnow
05-06-2018, 03:00 PM
I use a portable submersible sump pump, dropping it into the sump only on the rare occasion when needed - but I've had the motor seize on one of them as well.

I use a Simer pump:
http://www.simerpumps.com/ResidentialProduct_sm_su_su_5950.aspx
Well, that would work fine if you never left home. I would kind of like to know something was in place and automated in case I wasn't there when the electricity went out.

reggie_obe
05-06-2018, 07:19 PM
The battery powered pump that seized, did you autopsy it? Odd that a rarely used pump would have a shaft seal failure, but certainly possible.
Was it a Watchdog or other make? Long shot, the manufacturer might be interested in the failure mode of you pump and "comp" you something. https://www.basementwatchdog.com/

For peace of mind is your hot water heater near your sump pit? Maybe run your monthly sediment drain water into the pit to test operation of both pumps? Obviously testing the backup pump would involve unplugging the primary.

Cuttings
05-07-2018, 07:51 PM
A little piece of advise - The bilge pumps like the one pictured in post #17 are centrifugal pumps and do not have built in check valves. Do not connect more than one to the same discharge line.
When one pump comes on and the other is off the first will just pump the water back out the one that is off and you get no where.

darryl
05-07-2018, 08:16 PM
A few years ago a friend had wind strong enough to do damage. He told me how a freshly installed 4x6 fence post had snapped off right at ground level. Lots of healthy trees went down and peoples crap was everywhere. I was there yesterday and I could see how the surrounding mountains were funneling the wind down and across the area where his house is. Apparently the damage was over a small area, so that suggests that a concentrated 'beam' of wind got created and touched down right there.

Sometimes I wonder about what man-made conditions would give rise to increased wind speeds- gaps between large buildings perhaps, dark, heat absorbing highways perhaps, local hills on otherwise flat ground perhaps. I used to think about ways you could direct wind to get more output from a wind turbine or similar. I would bet you could find local spots where wind is stronger than the average- maybe even find out why and be able to use that info to advantage.

J Tiers
05-07-2018, 10:00 PM
A few years ago a friend had wind strong enough to do damage. He told me how a freshly installed 4x6 fence post had snapped off right at ground level. Lots of healthy trees went down and peoples crap was everywhere. I was there yesterday and I could see how the surrounding mountains were funneling the wind down and across the area where his house is. Apparently the damage was over a small area, so that suggests that a concentrated 'beam' of wind got created and touched down right there.

Sometimes I wonder about what man-made conditions would give rise to increased wind speeds- gaps between large buildings perhaps, dark, heat absorbing highways perhaps, local hills on otherwise flat ground perhaps. I used to think about ways you could direct wind to get more output from a wind turbine or similar. I would bet you could find local spots where wind is stronger than the average- maybe even find out why and be able to use that info to advantage.

Might have been a "downburst". Possibly a "derecho", a thing I did not know about at least under that name.....

Yeah, I know, this is a Tiffipedia link, but.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downburst