# Water air pumps?

1. Oct 26, 2014

### gloo

I need help with ideas on how to pump water our of a sump pump that is always filling up. Using a sump pump when the float is tripped is really load. I need something that quietly pumps the water out steadily while not using up huge power....but it needs to be quiet!!!

I see these aquarium pumps:

http://www.tetra-fish.com/Products/aquarium-air-pumps/whisper-air-pumps.aspx

They seem to be used for pumping air into aquariums. But I don't think they pump the water upward. I need something that will quietly, and efficiently pump upwards about 11 feet. I need this to run 24 hours.

Can someone tell me how i can convert this air pump to make water pump up 11 feet?

thx

2. Oct 26, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

An air pump is not a water pump. You need to buy a water pump.

You should try to estimate the flow rate you need by timing the pump you have now. Then you can select a pump based on the actual requirements of your sump. Note, however, that constant flow isn't really possible because the flow rate into the sump varies with how much rain you get. So the best you will be able to do is get a pump that pumps for longer, but still not quite continuously.

3. Oct 26, 2014

### Danger

Maybe you could dig a hole deeper than your basement, run a hose to it, and use the syphon effect to do the draining. You'd have to use a pump to get it started each time, but it would then be self-sustaining. There would be other problems as well. In practical terms, I agree with Russ.

4. Oct 26, 2014

### gloo

@ Russ -- Yes, I understand an air pump was not designed to do that. I have seen some examples of how guys have done that using air pumps to create something like a hydroponics set up. Most do not provide enough air power to pump water high enough (i need 12 feet).

Do you guys know of any silent pumps (aquarium, whatever...) that could pump 10 to 12 feet and run efficiently and quietly? My issue is not rain water as much as a high water table....so it's continuous.

@ Danger - my problem is that I don't have a drop point that can be lower so that the hose can let the water out. I could drill underneath my street to the other side of the street, but that isn't practical or legal.

5. Oct 26, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

I know about lots of pumps, but to provide a useful answer, I need to know the required flow rate.

6. Oct 26, 2014

### DaveC426913

12 feet is quite a bit of hydraulic head. Good luck with that.

You can buy water pumps for aquaria (see image), and they are pretty silent - but that won't solve your problem. Every time it drains the holding basin (and it will) the pump will lose prime and will have to be shut off, refilled and reprimed.

That's why you're sort of stuck with a sump pump. They shut off and are self-priming.

7. Oct 26, 2014

### Danger

Maybe we should address the noise issue instead of the type of pump. How about enclosing it in an insulated box (with a muffler-equipped vent hose to outside to prevent overheating)? You might get it down to a mild humming sound.

8. Oct 26, 2014

### DaveC426913

Yeah. This is where I was going.

Gonna be tricky to dampen a pump that's alternately submerged and emerged from water, as well as a lot of in-between.

9. Oct 26, 2014

### gloo

@ Dave C - what if i used some kind of timer that would run it for say 5 min and then shut off for 10 min?

@ Russ - I will try to get the flow rate. The only way i know how is to drain it as much i can to get the natural flow rate (not the rate it comes in after being backed up). I guess after that, I will just measure how long it takes to fill a certain height? then try to use the diameter (not a perfect cylinder but tappers at bottom) and get volume?

10. Oct 26, 2014

### gloo

Does anyone know much about electrical timers? Is there one that is reliable and can be programmed to turn on for 10 min and then shut off? Is it better to get the ones with dials rather than digital timers which could possibly go wonky after a year or two?

G

11. Oct 26, 2014

### rbelli1

Do you have a fully submersible pump? You could deepen the hole and alter the float so that both the on and off positions are under water. That would dampen the noise considerably.

BoB

12. Oct 26, 2014

### gloo

can't deepen the hole ...it wouldn't help. I think much of the noise is the vibration of the pvc pipe on the sump pump. Yes the sump is submersed

13. Oct 26, 2014

### Danger

Now you tell us...
Have you thought about replacing it with a rubber hose?

14. Oct 26, 2014

### rbelli1

I was thinking that coupling the pump to the water would help a lot. The energy would be transferred into the foundation. Foundations don't generally move all that much.

15. Oct 26, 2014

### Danger

Agreed in principle, but if the pipe is the problem it shouldn't be necessary. When I read your prior post, I didn't realize that you were suggesting anchorage as the "trick" to it; merely being submerged would mean that the body of water would absorb and dissipate most of the sound. Adding the solidity of the foundation could actually amplify the vibrations under some circumstances (hence using shock mounts for such things as reciprocal compressors). I believe that you're on the right track, but it might take a bit of tweaking to get the optimum silence. Anyhow, it's better than my "muffled enclosure" idea.

16. Oct 26, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

Not really: if you are pumping out of a 3' deep hole in a 9' basement, that's pretty normal.

17. Oct 26, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

Here's a condensate pump that is 55 gph at 15' head -- but I'm not sure that that will be big enough. Sump pumps are sized the way they are sized for a reason -- that's what typical sumps need!

http://www.zoro.com/i/G3199585/?utm...INha1JT6WYfRZl6dxx7JQFW2YgVLQRnsfoaAl7a8P8HAQ

...because here's a randomly selected normal sump pump that flows 60x as much!
http://www.zoro.com/i/G3343225/?utm...irDHQibqfmnG9NYWhiu7s15-CXM3UewXcUaAo-z8P8HAQ

Another option might be to install a speed controller on your current pump and slow it down a bit. That will make it quieter. Something like this would probably work:
http://www.hydroponics.net/i/138604

Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
18. Oct 26, 2014

### DaveC426913

You could do that but you'd be guessing - after a certain length of time your sump will have filled faster and be full, or the water pump will drain too fast and the sump will be empty.

However, if you used this in conjunction with your sump pump, at least your sump pump would kick in every few hours instead of every few minutes.

But remember the water pump will have to stay primed in order to keep working.

In my experience with aquaria and pools and pump systems, you are in for a bout of constant fiddling. You'll buy a $50 pump, then a$20 timer, set it up and spend the rest of your days fiddling with timer settings to get it juuuuust right because you're tired of coming home, stopping in the front hallway to listen for the pump to see if it's sucking air, then running downstairs, spending 15 minutes re-priming it, then ticking the timer back by another minute. After three months, you will tear it all out in disgust, throw the whole mess in the garbage and go spend \$300 on a powerful, quiet sump pump.

19. Oct 26, 2014

### gloo

I am not going to bet the barn that the pipe vibrating against the floor joist is the number one culprit. I definitely think there is a relationship because I notice that the sound upstairs, is different ...seemingly louder than when I am in the basement. Is it possible though to have a rubber that is 2.5 inch (like the pvc pipe that threads into the sump?

20. Oct 26, 2014

### DaveC426913

Yes, for a properly rated sump pump.

But he's talking about quiet little aquarium water pumps. What will be the flow rate for a 12 foot head?

Even pond pumps rarely have more than a 4-6 foot head. Imagine the power of a pond pump that can generate a fountain 12 feet high? (there are calculators for such things)

Last edited: Oct 26, 2014