Victron Energy Home Battery Backup—Well and Grinder Pumps
It's the middle of February in Clifton Park, NY – an upstate suburb of Albany. Colin Smith, the owner of Grinder Pump Experts, and his technician Greg are working on a new well pump system for the homeowner, Alice. Colin and Greg are a little muddy but smiling as they complete their work.
Old Problems – New Solutions
Essential components of a home's water system, a well pump ensures that clean water is reliably pumped into the home, while the septic pump ensures that waste is safely removed. However, like any mechanical device, they can fail.
While talking to homeowners, Colin noticed this unaddressed issue: people rely on well pumps, grinder pumps, and septic pumps for water and sewer, but those pumps don't function during power outages.
“When customers would call and ask me what to do during a power outage, I told them to sit tight and wait for the power to come back on. Don't use any water," says Colin. "Other than that, I recommended that they buy a generator."
Generators have historically been the most common backup power source for pumps, but battery backup systems are rapidly becoming more common. A grinder pump connected to a backup power system will ensure that sewage is safely removed from your home until the power returns.
Colin started to install packaged inverter/charger battery backup systems for sump pumps, but scaling that aspect of his business was more complex than he'd hoped. "The problem was a lot of our electrical loads are ten plus amps. Then we have 240v pumps, and some of them have 120v controls. We needed a wider variety of solutions."
Looking through online forums, Colin started learning about Victron Energy power system. Their modular design fit the bill–easily scaled to meet the needs of a variety of pump systems.
Back to the Pump
While Colin drives a well point in the corner of Alice's basement with a post driver and pipe wrenches, Greg is threading cable through the joists for the dedicated power line for Alice's new well pump installation.
Alice, who also has a town water supply, has two main motivations for installing a private well: "I want to have a water source for an irrigation system that wouldn't cost me a fortune, and I want a reliable source of water in the event that something happens to the main water coming from the municipality." With water contamination events in Flint Michigan and PFAS contamination in many areas of the country, many homeowners are choosing to drive wells in areas with abundant groundwater as a backup plan.
A key factor in having a ‘reliable’ source of water is maintaining the ability to pump that water in the event of a power outage. That's where Alice's Victron Energy system came into play.
A Backup Plan
Alice asked Colin for a backup power system that would keep her well pump going during a power outage. Alice also wanted to avoid installing a generator, concerned about their reliability and wishing to avoid getting locked into a lengthy service agreement.
Grinder Pump Experts estimated that a single Victron Multiplus II 12v 3000W inverter/charger would provide more than enough power for Alice's pump and allow for the integration of several other circuits in her home, including her entire family room, network, security system, bathroom, and natural gas boiler. Alice was excited about having a backup for other critical items in her home. "I wasn't expecting to have my whole family room and my furnace on there, too."
Alice's system also has a Victron Cerbo GX device that enables data logging and access to her system through Victron's Remote Management portal.
Grinder Pump Experts can remotely monitor the health of Alice's battery bank and even perform remote troubleshooting, should the need arise. Alice can monitor her system from her phone and on her Victron GX Touch touch screen interface and see if her power is out, even when she is away from home. To round off the system's functionality, a Victron SmartShunt was installed to very accurately monitor the amount of power left in Alice's battery bank (state of charge).
Following the system's installation and approval by the local electrical inspector, several severe winter storms came through Clifton Park, NY. In one day, Alice had four brief power outages from 16 to 52 seconds, which would normally have reset her network and clocks. "It was great not to have everything flickering on and off… having my internet reboot… worrying about my electronics turning on and off. I wasn't expecting that to be such a big plus in installing this system," said Alice.
In a typical grid-connected system, the Victron Multiplus II is connected to both the utility power and a battery bank. When the utility power goes out, the Multiplus II switches over to the battery power almost instantaneously, under 20 milliseconds. This means that any electronic devices connected to the system, such as computers, servers, and other sensitive equipment, do not experience any interruption in power and continue to operate as usual.
Victron Remote Management system logs from the day Alice had several power loss events.
Colin and Grinder Pump Experts expect their integration of Victron Energy power systems to provide exponential value to their residential and commercial customers. Colin recently attended an in-person Victron training in Miami, Florida, to refine his understanding of Victron's split phase systems and has brought that learning back to the team.
"We have made a big investment in moving forward with this technology. I want to give home and business owners the ability to take control of their power supply and make it work for their needs, without compromise. We have identified many problems that can be solved with Victron Energy, but with a product line as versatile as this, I know we are just getting started."
About Grinder Pump Experts
Backup power systems for well and grinder pumps provide peace of mind, knowing that your home's water and waste systems will continue to function even in the event of a pump failure or power outage. To learn more about their services or to request a quote, reach out to Colin Smith and his team through their website, https://www.grinderpumpexperts.com.