US20050281679A1 - Basement flood control system - Google Patents

Basement flood control system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20050281679A1
US20050281679A1 US10872583 US87258304A US2005281679A1 US 20050281679 A1 US20050281679 A1 US 20050281679A1 US 10872583 US10872583 US 10872583 US 87258304 A US87258304 A US 87258304A US 2005281679 A1 US2005281679 A1 US 2005281679A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
pump
units
water
sensor
system
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10872583
Inventor
Karl Niedermeyer
Original Assignee
Karl Niedermeyer
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D15/00Control, e.g. regulation, of pumps, pumping installations or systems
    • F04D15/02Stopping of pumps, or operating valves, on occurrence of unwanted conditions
    • F04D15/029Stopping of pumps, or operating valves, on occurrence of unwanted conditions for pumps operating in parallel

Abstract

A basement flood control system for use in a structure having a basement floor located below ground level and having a sump pit or other collection basin for gathering subterranean water. The system has two primary pump units operated with line current, a battery-operated back-up pump unit, and a sensor arrangement for sensing water level in the collection basin. A controller is connected to the sensor arrangement and the pump units for variously activating the pump units singly or in any combination responsive to the water level detected by the sensor arrangement.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to control of subterranean water, and is particularly suitable as a basement flood control system for use in a structure having a basement floor below ground level which must be kept free of the ingress of subterranean water.
  • [0002]
    In structures, such as homes, having basements which extend below ground level, it is imperative that the ingress of water be prevented so that the basement space may be usable. To that end, structures typically have footing drains leading to a sump pit or other similar collection basin, from which water is removed via a sump pump. The sump pump of applicant's U.S. Pat. No. 4,461,614 is a typical example.
  • [0003]
    A typical sump pump operates using line power, but its need is often greatest when storms occur. At that time, line power can be lost, and a well-provided home also has a battery-operated emergency pump unit in case power to the house is lost so that pumping can continue and avoid basement flooding.
  • [0004]
    Sometimes, even with the pump system having a primary sump-pump operated with line current and a battery-operated emergency pump unit, water ingress is such that the combined capacity of the pumps is exceeded. Also, inevitably the primary pump will ultimately fail. It is therefore desirable to have a second primary pump unit to avoid this eventuality.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    The invention is directed to a basement flood control system for use in a structure having a basement floor below ground level and having a sump pit or collection basin for gathering subterranean water for removal from the structure. The system comprises two primary pump units which are operated with line current and a battery-operated backup pump unit. A sensor arrangement is provided for sensing water level in the collection basin. A controller is connected to the sensor arrangement and the pump units for variously activating the pump units singly or in any combination responsive to input received from the sensor arrangement.
  • [0006]
    In accordance with the preferred form of the invention, the flood control system includes a high water alarm. The high water alarm comprises a floating water level detector for the collection basin, ah audible alarm connected to the floating level detector, and means for activating the audible alarm responsive to signals received from the floating level detector.
  • [0007]
    In the disclosed form of the invention, the sensor arrangement comprises a plurality of sensor elements for positioning at various levels in the collection basin. The sensor elements each comprise a sensor tube which is responsive to pressure changes. Preferably, three of the sensor tubes are employed, one for sensing normal operation, one for an override condition upon excessive water flow, and a third for detecting an emergency high water condition. Each sensor tube is connected to a pressure switch in the controller.
  • [0008]
    In the disclosed form of the invention, the controller includes an alternator for alternating activation of the two primary pump units. The controller also includes a switch for simultaneously activating both of the primary pump units when needed. The controller further includes means for activating all of the pump units responsive to an emergency high water condition from the sensor arrangement.
  • [0009]
    Preferably, the battery-operated back-up pump unit is activated periodically to be certain that it is in operating condition. To that end, the controller includes a timer for periodically activating the back-up pump unit to exercise the pump. Also, a manual test switch is provided for manually activating each of the primary pump units for testing or operation of the units.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    The invention is described in greater detail in the following description of an example embodying the best mode of the invention, taken in conjunction with the drawing figures, in which:
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partially in cross-section, of a basement flood control system according to the invention;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2 is a view of the controller for the basement flood control system of the invention, with the front panel of the controller opened to illustrate detail;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3 is an electrical connection diagram for the two primary pump units according to the invention;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 4 is a connection diagram of a preferred line connection for separately connecting each of the two primary pump units; and
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of the electrical elements of the controller.
  • DESCRIPTION OF AN EXAMPLE EMBODYING THE BEST MODE OF THE INVENTION
  • [0016]
    A basement flood control system according to the invention is illustrated generally at 10 in FIG. 1. The basement flood control system includes, as primary components, two primary pump units 12 and 14 operated with line current, and a battery-operated back-up pump unit 16. The three pump units 12 through 16 are installed in a collection basin 18, such as a typical sump pit which, as illustrated, is installed in a basement floor 20 or the like at a subterranean location so that ground water can be collected in the collection basin and removed.
  • [0017]
    The basement flood control system 10 also includes a sensor arrangement for sensing water level in the collection basin 18. The sensor arrangement comprises a plurality of sensor elements, each of which preferably comprises a sensor tube 22, 24 and 26 which is suspended at a different elevation at the collection basin 18.
  • [0018]
    A controller 28 is connected to the sensor arrangement 22 through 26 and the pump units 12 through 16 for controlling the functions of the flood control system 10, as will become apparent below.
  • [0019]
    The primary pump units 12 and 14 may be identical to one another, or may be of different pumping capacities, as desired. Preferably, the pump units 12 and 14 are of identical pumping capacities, since it is desired to operate the pump units 12 and 14 in an alternating fashion to equalize the wear of the pump units, make sure that they are in operating condition, and lengthen the time that a pump failure might be expected due to longevity. Each of the primary pump units 12 and 14 has a separate outflow conduit 30 and 32 for unimpeded water removal. The outflow conduits 30 and 32 lead, in a conventional fashion, to the building exterior or to a drainage system, as appropriate. The pump units 12 and 14 also have appropriate backflow protection (not illustrated), as is conventional.
  • [0020]
    The backup pump unit 16 is battery-operated by a battery 34. Control of the backup pump unit 16 and monitoring of the battery 34 is via a power unit 36 which is connected to line current and which not only maintains an appropriate charge of the battery 34 but also can provide visible and audible signals should a problem occur or a power interruption have occurred necessitating operation of the backup pump unit 16. The backup pump unit 16, and its battery and power unit 36 can be conventional, and are therefore not described in greater detail.
  • [0021]
    The backup pump unit 16 has an outflow that is separate from the outflow conduits 30 and 32. As illustrated, an outflow conduit 38 leads from the backup pump unit 16 for discharge of water pumped by the pump unit 16. Similar to the pump units 12 and 14, the backup pump unit 16 may also include a backflow protector (not illustrated) to prevent reverse flow of pumped water.
  • [0022]
    The flood control system 10 may also include a high water alarm 40, which may be conventional, to provide an audible and possibly also visual signal that a high water condition has occurred. The high water alarm 40 includes a float 42 which, for convenience, is illustrated coiled beneath the high water alarm 40 but which, in service, is installed in the collection basin 18 at a desired elevation to detect an abnormal high water condition so that an alarm may be sounded by the high water alarm 40. The high water alarm 40 is connected to the battery 34 for purposes of power.
  • [0023]
    For extra protection, it is preferred that the pumps 12 and 14 are operated with different phases of incoming electrical service to the structure in which the basement flood control system 10 is located. Shown in FIG. 4 is a schematic representation of such service, where incoming electric service in two phases is provided to the household electric service distribution panel 44. As is conventional, the two electric phases provide service to opposite sides of the distribution panel, and separate outlets 46 and 48 for the respective pumps 12 and 14 are preferably located on the separate phases so that if, for any reason, one phase becomes unavailable, the other phase will still power one of the pumps.
  • [0024]
    Operational features of the controller 28 are illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5. An alternating relay 50 is connected to pump relays 52 and 54 which are connected to operate the respective pump units 12 and 14 as described in greater detail below. While any appropriate alternating relay 50 may be used, an alternating relay used by the applicant is the Entrelec/SSAC made by ABB Entrelac with an office at ABB Inc in Norwalk, Conn. Also, while any appropriate pump relay 52 and 54 can be used, the applicant has used the Dayton relay distributed by Allen Bradley Corporation.
  • [0025]
    The alternating relay 50, in normal operation, alternately activates one or the other of the relays 52 and 54 for activating one or the other of the pump units 12 and 14. Thus, for normal operation for withdrawal of subterranean water from the collection basin 18, one or the other of the pump units 12 and 14 is activated.
  • [0026]
    The controller 28 also includes an ammeter 56 connected to the relay 52 and an ammeter 58 connected to the relay 54. The ammeters 56 and 58 display current drawn by the respective pump units 12 and 14 when operating. The ammeters 56 and 58 are used to verify that the pump units 12 and 14 are pumping under load.
  • [0027]
    The controller 28 also preferably includes a manual toggle switch 60. In normal operation, lower and upper light indicators 62 and 64 will be lit, indicating that both current phases (see FIG. 4) are available for operating the pump units 12 and 14. Should a partial power failure occur, however, one or the other of the light indicators 62 and 64 will not be lit, and the toggle switch 60 can then be switched to the down position if the upper light indicator is off, or vice versa.
  • [0028]
    A timer 66 is provided for periodically activating the backup pump unit 16. The timer 66 may be any conventional unit, such as model SS7 distributed Intermatic Inc of Spring Grove, Ill. The timer 66 is connected to the backup power unit 36 for that purpose.
  • [0029]
    The three sensor tubes 22, 24 and 26 are respectively connected to pressure switches 68, 70 and 72. The pressure switches 68 through 72 are normally-open switches which close when an appropriate air pressure increase is experienced through a respective inlet tube 74, 76 and 78.
  • [0030]
    The pump units 12 and 14 are operated by their respective relays 52 and 54 as shown schematically in FIG. 3. Plugs 80 and 82 are connected to the respective outlets 46 and 48 (FIG. 4) with wires leading to the controller 28. Power is passed to respective pump outlets 88 and 90 via respective wires 92 and 94, controlled by the relays 52 and 54 in a conventional fashion. Power cords 96 and 98 for the respective pumps 12 and 14, shown coiled in FIG. 1, are connected to the respective pump outlets 88 and 90.
  • [0031]
    In normal operation, as water rises within the collection basin 18, the sensor tube 22, which is the lowest of the sensor tubes, is first encountered. When sufficient pressure within the tube 22 accumulates, the pressure switch 68 closes, activating the alternating relay 50 which then activates one or the other of the pump relays 52, activating one or the other of the pump units 12 and 14. As explained above, the alternating relay 50 alternates between the relays 52 and 54, and thus between the pump units 12 and 14 to alternate operation of the pumps. So long as the one operating pump unit 12 or 14 has adequate capacity for removal of incoming water in the collection basin 18, that operation continues indefinitely.
  • [0032]
    However, if there is excessive water flow into the collection basin such that one of the pump units 12 or 14 is unable to handle the water flow, water in the collection basin 18 continues to rise, encountering the second sensor tube 24. When pressure accumulates sufficiently within the pressure tube 24, the pressure switch 70 is closed, and the alternating relay 50 activates both of the relays 52 and 54, thus activating both of the pump units 12 and 14.
  • [0033]
    If water continues to accumulate in the collection basin 18 (or if both of the pump units 12 and 14 fail or electrical power is interrupted), the upper sensor tube 26 is encountered, and when sufficient pressure accumulates, the third pressure switch 72 is closed, activating the backup pump unit 16. Thus, with all of the pump units 12 through 16 operating, substantial water removal from the collection basin 18 is possible, accommodating extraordinary flow situations. However, even if electricity to the flood control system 10 is interrupted, at least the backup pump unit 16 will operate, protecting the dwelling in which the flood control system 10 is installed.
  • [0034]
    Various changes can be made to the invention without departing from the spirit thereof or scope of the following claims.

Claims (13)

  1. 1. A basement flood control system for use in a structure having a basement floor below ground level and having a collection basin for gathering subterranean water for removal from the structure, the system comprising
    a. two primary pump units operated with line current,
    b. a battery-operated back-up pump unit,
    c. a sensor arrangement for sensing water level in the collection basin, and
    d. a controller connected to said sensor arrangement and connected to said primary pump units and said back-up pump units for variously activating said pump units singly or in any combination responsive to input received from said sensor arrangement.
  2. 2. The flood control system according to claim 1, including a high water alarm.
  3. 3. The flood control system according to claim 2, in which said high water alarm comprises a floating level detector for the collection basin, an audible alarm connected to said floating level detector, and means for activating said audible alarm responsive to signals received from said floating level detector.
  4. 4. The flood control system according to claim 1, in which said sensor arrangement comprises a plurality of sensor elements for positioning in the collection basin.
  5. 5. The flood control system according to claim 4, in which said sensor elements each comprise a sensor tube responsive to pressure changes.
  6. 6. The flood control system according to claim 5, including three of said sensor tubes.
  7. 7. The flood control system according to claim 6, in which one sensor tube is for normal operation, one sensor tube is for an override condition and one sensor tube is for an emergency high water condition.
  8. 8. The flood control system according to claim 7, in which each sensor tube is connected to a pressure switch.
  9. 9. The flood control system according to claim 1, in which said controller includes an alternator for alternating activation of said primary pump units.
  10. 10. The flood control system according to claim 9, including a switch for simultaneously activating both of said primary pump units.
  11. 11. The flood control system according to claim 10, including means for activating all of said pump units responsive to an emergency high water condition from said sensor arrangement.
  12. 12. The flood control system according to claim 1, including a timer for periodically activating said back-up pump unit.
  13. 13. The flood control system according to claim 1, including a manual test switch for each primary pump unit.
US10872583 2004-06-21 2004-06-21 Basement flood control system Abandoned US20050281679A1 (en)

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Cited By (23)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20070196218A1 (en) * 2006-02-23 2007-08-23 Janesky Lawrence M Cord like manager and cord like manager kit
US20080031752A1 (en) * 2006-03-03 2008-02-07 Littwin Kenneth M Sump pump control system
US7417552B1 (en) * 2006-01-17 2008-08-26 Milan Vaskovic Flood alarm
US20090126293A1 (en) * 2007-11-16 2009-05-21 Rocky Research Telecommunications shelter with emergency cooling and air distribution assembly
US20090216930A1 (en) * 2008-02-27 2009-08-27 Fujitsu Limited Information processing apparatus and control method thereof
US20110085919A1 (en) * 2009-10-08 2011-04-14 Williams David M Alarm System for a Sump Pump Assembly
US8435009B2 (en) 2008-02-20 2013-05-07 Everdry Marketing & Management, Inc. Sump pump with emergency backup system
US8579600B2 (en) 2008-03-28 2013-11-12 Sta-Rite Industries, Llc System and method for portable battery back-up sump pump
US8875729B1 (en) * 2011-01-10 2014-11-04 Dry Basement, Inc. Sump pump apparatus and method
US9123230B2 (en) 2012-05-21 2015-09-01 Frank T. Rogers Sewer backup alarm
US9328727B2 (en) 2003-12-08 2016-05-03 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Pump controller system and method
US9383244B2 (en) 2012-10-25 2016-07-05 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Fluid level sensor systems and methods
US9404500B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2016-08-02 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Control algorithm of variable speed pumping system
US9441632B2 (en) 2012-10-25 2016-09-13 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Sump pump remote monitoring systems and methods
US9441625B2 (en) 2013-01-11 2016-09-13 Mary Ann Schoendorff System and method for pump component controlling and testing
US9551344B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2017-01-24 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Anti-entrapment and anti-dead head function
US9556874B2 (en) 2009-06-09 2017-01-31 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Method of controlling a pump and motor
US9568005B2 (en) 2010-12-08 2017-02-14 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Discharge vacuum relief valve for safety vacuum release system
US9712098B2 (en) 2009-06-09 2017-07-18 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Safety system and method for pump and motor
US9726184B2 (en) 2008-10-06 2017-08-08 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Safety vacuum release system
US9777733B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2017-10-03 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Flow control
US9885360B2 (en) 2012-10-25 2018-02-06 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Battery backup sump pump systems and methods
US9932984B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2018-04-03 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Pumping system with power optimization

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US4437811A (en) * 1980-06-30 1984-03-20 Ebara Corporation Submersible pump with alternate pump operation control means
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US5449274A (en) * 1994-03-24 1995-09-12 Metropolitan Pump Company Sump system having timed switching of plural pumps
US5503533A (en) * 1994-05-26 1996-04-02 Metropolitan Pump Company Fluid level control panel structure for multi-pump system
US20020102162A1 (en) * 1999-01-15 2002-08-01 Anton Belehradek Processor based pump control systems
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US4222711A (en) * 1978-06-22 1980-09-16 I2 Ds Sump pump control system
US4228427A (en) * 1979-03-29 1980-10-14 Niedermeyer Karl O Monitor apparatus for sump pumps
US4437811A (en) * 1980-06-30 1984-03-20 Ebara Corporation Submersible pump with alternate pump operation control means
US4652802A (en) * 1986-05-29 1987-03-24 S. J. Electro Systems, Inc. Alternator circuit arrangement useful in liquid level control system
US4807204A (en) * 1986-07-07 1989-02-21 Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha Magneto-optical recording medium having pairs of mutually corresponding recording segments, and apparatus for recording information on the medium
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Cited By (32)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9328727B2 (en) 2003-12-08 2016-05-03 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Pump controller system and method
US9399992B2 (en) 2003-12-08 2016-07-26 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Pump controller system and method
US9777733B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2017-10-03 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Flow control
US9605680B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2017-03-28 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Control algorithm of variable speed pumping system
US9551344B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2017-01-24 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Anti-entrapment and anti-dead head function
US9404500B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2016-08-02 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Control algorithm of variable speed pumping system
US9932984B2 (en) 2004-08-26 2018-04-03 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Pumping system with power optimization
US7417552B1 (en) * 2006-01-17 2008-08-26 Milan Vaskovic Flood alarm
US7748665B2 (en) * 2006-02-23 2010-07-06 Janesky Lawrence M Cord like manager and cord like manager kit
US20070196218A1 (en) * 2006-02-23 2007-08-23 Janesky Lawrence M Cord like manager and cord like manager kit
US20080031752A1 (en) * 2006-03-03 2008-02-07 Littwin Kenneth M Sump pump control system
US20090126293A1 (en) * 2007-11-16 2009-05-21 Rocky Research Telecommunications shelter with emergency cooling and air distribution assembly
US8435009B2 (en) 2008-02-20 2013-05-07 Everdry Marketing & Management, Inc. Sump pump with emergency backup system
US20090216930A1 (en) * 2008-02-27 2009-08-27 Fujitsu Limited Information processing apparatus and control method thereof
US8579600B2 (en) 2008-03-28 2013-11-12 Sta-Rite Industries, Llc System and method for portable battery back-up sump pump
US9816507B2 (en) * 2008-03-28 2017-11-14 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Wheeled kit for battery-powered back-up sump pump
US20140069826A1 (en) * 2008-03-28 2014-03-13 Senthilkumar Vijayakumar System and Method for Portable Battery Back-Up Sump Pump
US9726184B2 (en) 2008-10-06 2017-08-08 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Safety vacuum release system
US9556874B2 (en) 2009-06-09 2017-01-31 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Method of controlling a pump and motor
US9712098B2 (en) 2009-06-09 2017-07-18 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Safety system and method for pump and motor
US20110085919A1 (en) * 2009-10-08 2011-04-14 Williams David M Alarm System for a Sump Pump Assembly
US8500412B2 (en) * 2009-10-08 2013-08-06 Liberty Pumps, Inc. Alarm system for a sump pump assembly
US9568005B2 (en) 2010-12-08 2017-02-14 Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc. Discharge vacuum relief valve for safety vacuum release system
US8875729B1 (en) * 2011-01-10 2014-11-04 Dry Basement, Inc. Sump pump apparatus and method
US9458617B1 (en) * 2011-01-10 2016-10-04 Dry Basement, Inc. Sump pump apparatus and method
US9123230B2 (en) 2012-05-21 2015-09-01 Frank T. Rogers Sewer backup alarm
US9638193B2 (en) 2012-10-25 2017-05-02 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Sump pump remote monitoring systems and methods
US9441632B2 (en) 2012-10-25 2016-09-13 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Sump pump remote monitoring systems and methods
US9383244B2 (en) 2012-10-25 2016-07-05 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Fluid level sensor systems and methods
US9885360B2 (en) 2012-10-25 2018-02-06 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Battery backup sump pump systems and methods
US9920766B2 (en) 2012-10-25 2018-03-20 Pentair Flow Technologies, Llc Sump pump remote monitoring systems and methods
US9441625B2 (en) 2013-01-11 2016-09-13 Mary Ann Schoendorff System and method for pump component controlling and testing

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