Base Products Corporation Addresses Tight Back-Flow Prevention Regulations by Adding a Vacuum Breaker to Basepump

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All Basepump models are now available with optional vacuum breaker back-flow prevention devices. Water powered backup sump pumps are not all created equal.

Basepump RB750-AVB on white background with descriptions of the water flow.

Basepump RB750-AVB

When a back-flow condition occurs...there is potential for the municipal water source to become mixed with the sump water.

The addition of a built-in vacuum breaker back-flow prevention device to the Basepump water powered backup sump pump, along with the 6" required riser, helps bring it into compliance with many municipal plumbing departments. The design of the Basepump itself is already very different from other such pumps on the market. The difference is that the pump is not located in the sump or at the floor level, but instead it is located above the sump on the ceiling joist. Although this is obviously different from an installation standpoint, it also is designed to naturally prevent back-flow conditions from causing cross-contamination of potable and sump water due to the physical properties of water itself and as it is associated with gravity.

Since water powered pumps receive their energy from the pressure of the water in the municipal water system, they must be connected directly into the main water supply coming into the home. Because water powered pumps are typically located at or below the floor level, the water supply to feed the pump must be piped down to the pump. The water in the discharge pipe coming up from the pump to the outdoors, is always full of sump water which means that the potable drinking water and the contaminated sump water are only separated by the closed valve of the pump that is between them. And they are both under pressure towards each other. These designs have been around a long time, so many of the rules were written with them in mind. Basepump is not designed this way.

When a back-flow condition occurs, which is when the municipal water that normally is pressurized towards the homes it serves, suddenly, and without warning, changes direction and starts to pull backward away from those homes, there is potential for the sump water in the discharge pipe of the typical water backup sump pump to become mixed with the municipal water source. This action could pull sump water into the potable drinking water system because they are both in a closed system and pressurized toward each other.

Basepump models are all designed to resist this action because of the way they are mounted on the ceiling instead of in the sump or on the floor. The municipal water supply is not piped down to the pump but typically in a lateral direction to the pump along the ceiling. More importantly, the discharge is typically piped to the outdoors where the pipe is open to the atmosphere. The suction pipe, instead of being very short and close to the sump water, is several feet long, keeping the pump typically 6-8 feet away from the sump water and typically empty. This makes the probability extremely low for a back-flow condition to pull sump water into the potable water system.

However, plumbing departments cannot only consider the probability of a back-flow condition causing cross-contamination, they must consider the possibility of such contamination, no matter how small it is. As such, Base Products has come up with an alternative design to combat this phenomenon.

They have added an Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker valve, or AVB as it is commonly known, was added to the pumps to bring them into compliance with plumbing codes. The valve has certain requirements regarding installation, and because the pump is up on the ceiling, it lends itself very well to being installed according to the design limits of the valve. It has been accepted in a number of states and municipalities and is slowly catching on as an effective means of using a water powered backup sump pump safely.

"I came home from work to find that the backup sump was running almost constantly. I rushed to unseal the sump crock and found that the electric pump had failed...Had it not been for your system, my $30,000 renovation project would have been ruined. Thanks!" said Randy W. from Perrysburg, OH.

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