I did this project last year when hurricane Irene hit our area in late August of 2011.  I live in an area where even heavy rain would cause flooding in the basements.  The sump pumps work hard to keep us dry most of the time.  I learned my lesson during hurricane Floyd in the late 90s that sometime a pump simply cannot keep up with the incoming water if the ground is totally saturated.  So, I thought what if I installed two sump pumps they will be able to pump the water faster.  Keep in mind a pump's success depends on availability of electricity of course, to run it and the float switch which turns the pump on when needed.  The float should be free of any obstruction in the pit.  With that said, I could not house two pumps side by side.  So, I came up with this idea of pumps stacked on top of each other.  My design below basically has two pumps.  The bottom one is a 1/2 hp submersible pump and the top one is a pedestal type.  There was no specific reason to choose the top one as a pedestal type.  I think the reason  might have been the availability of that pump in the hardware store at that time.  I also like the idea that the bottom pump will do all the heavy lifting.  In case of breakdown or when the water level is rising fast, the second pump will kick in.  Since the second pump is sitting higher, it will kick in only when the pit is 60-80% full.

Step 1: Build the Platform to Hold the Top Pump

The pedestal pump's motor can be not be submersed in the water.  It is important to keep the motor well above the expected highest water line in the basement in case of heavy flooding.  I kept it 18" in my case.  I have other safety guards as well, which I will cover later.  The center of gravity of the pedestal pump is higher, it is hard to build a stable platform using the household tools. I used 1 3/8" wide slotted straps to build a platform.  The platform will rest on the basement floor.  I angled it to have a depth of 12".  I created a platform using old license plate (rust free).  I made sure that I used brass screws to avoid rusting.
Lesson via schooling of hard Knovks: A worsed case emergency scenario, ie clogged bottom pump.. It may all have to come out.AND IT MAY BE DARK !
Nicely done,I went a similar route. I included a battery backup.It charges via main power. I do test it all often. I lite my pit up with lights from ceiling,The battery touch lights. Im going to put a camera view/record on mine soon,hope to run it to the flat screen T V. lol
Great way to have two pumps connected !! <br>I had my pump fail and boy it was close to overflowing when I found it. I did a similar set up but with a water powered backup pump for the rare time the electricity fails... won't help if the city water fails but better than nothing and no batteries needed.
Good system. I did this about 5 years ago .I used the pedestal pump at the bottom and the submersable at the upper half. Worked fine. [I ran the upper pump water out to the back of the house tho. My generator ran 5 days straight last year here in Niles Il.after a giant storm in summer time.
I first thought of keeping the pedestal pump at the bottom too but decided against it because at no cost, the motor should come in contact with water. Keeping it on top increased those odds.
Congratulations on being a finalist in the be prepare contest!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an electrical engineer by education and a software developer by profession. I am like building electro-mechanical models. I also like grilling and barbecuing ... More »
More by kabira:Build a beefy work table for under $50 Make delicious pastrami with a simple recipe Keep your basement dry with stacked sump pumps 
Add instructable to: