Earlier this spring, we had pretty strong storm roll through our area, which not only was dumping a large amount of rain, but also knocked out our power. Now, we have only lost power a couple times since we built our house and I hadn’t really been that motivated to purchase and install a backup sump pump. Plus I couldn’t decide which one to get.
But that day I realized, we were about to have a problem. Luckily I did some quick thinking and remembered reading an article about a guy who ran select items in his house off his Prius and a power-inverter after Hurricane Sandy hit New York back in October 2012. This was my motivation.
Not sure how many know it or would like to know it, but, sometimes, I work on laptops in my car. I know. It’s not legal but, honestly I don’t look at it, yes really. Anyway, in order to do this work I need to have a power source, so the laptop doesn’t lose power during an OS install (see no eyes required), so I have an 800-watt power-inverter in my “trunk”, next to my sub-woofer amplifier. It is connected to an extension cord and runs under my backseat, for easy access.
After realizing this I ran to the garage, turned my car on (not just ACC mode), plugged in an extension cord, then another, long enough to go in my house, through the hall and down the stairs to the basement. Keep in mind while I was doing this, not only was it raining–but I was wondering if this would actually work!
So in the basement, I unplugged the sump pump from the wall and plugged it into the extension cord. It turned on for a second, and, then, it, stopped! I realized that the overload fuse may have tripped on the power-inverter, so I ran back upstairs, through the hall, back into the garage and turned the inverter off, then back on and waited. After a very long 30 seconds, without it loosing power, I ran back downstairs, to hear the sweet hum of the sump motor running and pumping!
So since then, whenever a storm was coming and I wouldn’t be home, I would remind my wife to call me immediately, because my Prius was now our backup sump pump.
Luckily we have not lost power while it was raining, but I have since installed a Liberty water powered backup sump pump. Which is working great and doesn’t require my Prius or me to be home!