Combinations of primary and backup sump pumps are not new per se, given that reputed manufacturers like Wayne have come up with units like Wayne 1/2 HP Battery Backup Sump Pump System. However, Basement Watchdog is a comparatively new name, and one can have legitimate fears that in trying to create not only a rare pump design but also one with novel features such as backup pump diagnostics, the company has overlooked certain vital pump specifications.
To lay such fears to rest, we need to undertake a detailed analysis of the Basement Watchdog BW4000 to understand its utility better.
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 11 x 18 inches.
- Product Weight: 26 pounds
- Type: Combination Primary and Back-Up Pump
- Discharge: 1-1/4.”
- NPT Motor: 1/3HP for primary sump pump
- Power: 3200GPH at 10’ head for primary, 1730GPH at 10’ head for backup
- Warranty: 2 years warranty
The Basement Watchdog BW4000 comes with a two-year warranty on all parts and labor.
- Dual pumps with polycarbonate design for durability and efficient functioning.
- Standard discharge system to tackle heavy workloads.
- Excellent pumping capacity of both primary and secondary pumps.
- Automatic diagnostics forewarns against possible risks.
- Reed switches ensure sensitivity, small footprint.
- Sturdy impeller allows for maintenance of excellent water output.
- No battery included with the product.
- The product is somewhat heavy and is difficult to move in the absence of a handle.
Features and Specifications
Build Quality and Design
Unlike the Wayne unit referred above, the Basement Watchdog BW4000 takes a radically new approach to product design. The backup sump pump has been placed midway along the housing of the primary pump, and the peripherals have also been placed on the same level. The discharges of the two units, on the other hand, have been merged and placed at the top of the housing of the primary pump. Together, these produce a somewhat novel but interesting design that does not create a huge sump footprint and can work efficiently by allowing the backup to complement the primary in case of heavy water load, etc.
The build quality, on the other hand, is conservative. Tough polycarbonate and polypropylene have been used to make the product’s exteriors and individual functional parts. These make the use of powder coating redundant and also provide a decent amount of protection against debris flux in the sump. Further, some sturdy steel holders have been placed at various critical points to ensure that there is never any issue with looseness.
Major External Parts (Discharge, Power Cord, External Battery)
The Basement Watchdog BW4000 has a common discharge for both the backup and primary sump pumps, and this is connected to a PVC pipe using the metal brackets provided with the unit. Like all good units, this product’s discharge also offers the standard 1-1/4” NPT diameter, thus making it compatible with standard plumbing. One of the critical steps in installing a sump pump is to find a power source that is somewhat close to the location of the sump. The alternative to this is to find a long power cord, and Basement Watchdog takes no chances, providing users with a large power cord with water repellent properties.
More interestingly, the product uses a battery-backup sump pump system, and for this, any major sump pump battery can be employed. Batteries and battery fuel, however, are not included as part of the package. On the plus side, one does get a battery case that can accommodate a broad range of batteries easily.
Motor and Sealing
As one would expect, there are two sets of motors with the primary one being rated at 1/3HP. This translates to a healthy 3200GPH at 10’ head for the main pump. The secondary pump, in comparison, manages 1730GPH at the same head. While this may look weak compared to the primary pump, one has to remember that the function of this unit is to work only when there is an outage or when the level of water is so high that the primary pump cannot handle it on its own. The latter feature works automatically, thus ensuring that the sump pump never gets overwhelmed.
Another exciting innovation concerns the automatic diagnostic system of the unit, which allows users to know through a system of beeps and flashing lights when something is wrong with their unit.
While the manufacturer does not reveal the exact procedure through which such diagnostics take place, users have commented that this unique feature often warned them of impending problems in advance by pointing out small problems. Lastly, both the motors come with hermetic sealing that allows the unit to survive the harsh flux of the sump without any damage occurring to the motors.
Switch and Impeller
The benefits of using a sump pump are directly proportional to the sensitivity of the switch. The Basement Watchdog BW4000 achieves this by providing a pair of highly sensitive reed switches that can detect minute changes in the water level without any difficulty. Further, these reed switches take up less space as compared to the float switches, and this translates into a compact unit.
The polycarbonate impeller, on the other hand, is sturdy enough to handle heavy water flux. This is all the more important because the backup and the primary sump pumps have a common impeller, and when both work together, an enormous amount of water is removed, thus putting pressure on the impeller. Thankfully, the excellent design of the base prevents the influx of large debris into the blades of the impeller, thus allowing the impeller to work with water and small debris only.
It takes a lionhearted manufacturer to try out intensive innovations without establishing a firm reputation in the market. With the Basement Watchdog BW4000 though, the company not only helps customers avoid the debate over which type of sump pump to choose, but provides excellent value for money by offering a range of features along with unique ones like diagnostics.
While a separate backup sump pump may, of course, be installed should one feel the need for it (courtesy the small footprint of the unit), this pump can act as a one-stop solution for a majority of home and commercial establishment owners facing medium to high water volumes.