I've had water seep through my basement window quite a few times in the past two years. While I've done what I can to prevent this (clean gutters, divert downspouts) water stills builds up within my basement window well occasionally, and eventually seeps into the basement - wrecking havoc on my day.

Last year, I added a bilge pump to the window well which was powered by a couple of 6V lantern batteries. This worked - until the batteries died.

So - I decided to up my power source to an AGM (absorbed glass mat) Lead Acid battery which gets charged via a solar cell.

DISCLAIMER: Be careful when using tools - protect your eyes - think twice before doing anything. With batteries, you can't unplug them - they're always 'hot' - watch where you put your tools - avoid possibly shorting out the terminals. Keep the protective terminal covers on the battery until you actually connect it to your circuit, and when you do, make sure a fuse is the first thing to get connected. Batteries can be dangerous - they can explode - leak acid.

Step 1: The Bilge Pump

I purchased the bilge pump and float switch at a wally world - I think it was for around $35-50. Sorry for the lack of detail here - did this at 3am after cleaning out my basement all night :(.

The bilge pump is designed for small boats to expel water within their hauls and keep them afloat, it's not an industrial pump by any means. The accompanying switch is a small float switch which closes the circuit once the water level is at a certain height.
Wow, how interesting that building a <a href="http://andersoncovers.com">basement window well</a> helped the flooding in your home. I would think that adding a well would increase the number of floods, but I don't know much about construction. Thanks for the article, it was enlightening.
Great idea, I'm building something similar and wonder if you might know how/what could be used to turn on/off your pump at 1-2-3-4 designated times 7 days a week. This switch must be battery operated, economical/cheep and no bigger then a common paperback book?????<br /> Any answers out there?????
<strong>joeinventor2</strong> : Just buy an automatic bilge pump that runs whenever water is detected. Would you still&nbsp;need a switch for this? You could&nbsp;still add a SPDT switch, one that has &quot;On/Auto/Off&quot; positions (the center position is Auto). OR, buy an (<strong>expensive, about $80</strong> ) <strong>DC timer</strong> . Those have lots of settings.<br /> <br /> I just installed a solar powered 100ah battery system to run my 12 volt sump pump (we often get a LOT of rain). It is a Rule 360 GPH (gallons per hour) 12 volt bilge pump, requiring 2 amps at 12.3 to 13.6 volts, assembled basically as jedi27's is. The solar panels provide about 3 amps&nbsp;per hour <strong>unless </strong>it is raining (which is <strong>where the battery comes in!!).&nbsp;</strong> If the pump runs about 3/4 of the time,&nbsp;it's using 1.5 amps per hour.&nbsp;100 ah /&nbsp;2 (max. recommended discharge) = 50 ah. 50 / 1.5 = 33 hrs. In other words, if it rains for 1 day and a half, the sump pump probably will run the battery too low to do much pumping. Add to that: the solar controller has a disconnect setiing of 12.2 so you just won't get even that far! I have been forced to connect a 2 amp battery charger to the battery&nbsp;pack at times to keep the voltage up.<br /> <br /> Next task for me is to find the user manual for the controller to see if the LVD is user adjustable.<br /> <br /> I hope this is all of some use. I'm a new guy, liking this forum very much.
The battery operated portion makes it more complex, otherwise I'd say grab a timer from big blue and have done with it...<br /> <br /> You COULD look up a 555 timer based circuit - have a small counter circuit - calc that out to run every so many hours - have it activate a relay for so many sec /.mins - which would then power your pump.<br /> <br /> This would be better suited for a micro controller... a lot of folks use the arduino (look them up in instructables) - it's a great hobby level pic that would allow some interfacing to things such as a relay - low power consumption, small, $35ish?&nbsp; depends on model...&nbsp; this would allow a lot of flexibility.&nbsp; You could modify the logic to only run if moisture detected within the allotted periods - perhaps warn if low battery - log run times, etc...&nbsp; <br /> <br /> (I'm curious how this will be used... the requirements are a bit off kilter...)<br /> <br /> Good luck!!!!&nbsp;<br />
I have heard that if you do not add a diode into your circuit the battery will discharge through the solar panel at night. I am not that familiar with this but maybe someone else can enlighten me.
I suppose the panel could do that, but I left the original solar panel circuit intact - which is (probably) designed to disallow that type of discharging. I didn't poke around the circuit too much - looks like it's just a cap, resistor, LED, plus another diode (the LED is a diode too!). Keep in mind that my cheapo panel was designed to trickle charge a car battery - even noted in the manual that it wouldn't drain the battery at night - so I'm putting some faith into that! (i believe) The purpose of the diode is prevent current from flowing the wrong way - in that case, from the battery to the panel.

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