How Does A Water Powered Pump Work?

Plumbers install water backup sump pumps
Water Powered Sump Pump

A water powered sump pump employs the Venturi effect. City water flows through a constricted area. At that constriction, water speed increases causing a pressure reduction. This pressure reduction literally sucks water from the sump crock. Sump water then combines with the flowing city water and exits your basement via a discharge line. It is important to have an adequate city water pressure supply with a full 3/4″ pipe size for proper volume. As you can see in the diagram, there is the potential for unwanted backsiphonage of the contaminated sump pit water into the potable water supply. The plumbing experts from Pipe Wrench are here to prevent that from happening.

As a licensed plumbing & mechanical contractor, master plumber, and ASSE 5110 certified backflow tester, We will only install water powered backup sump pumps according to the manufacturers instructions & Michigan Plumbing Code. In addition to the basic installation of the water backup pump, we are required to install an approved backflow preventer to protect the water supply against potential backsiphonage. A separate discharge line helps protect against potentially pumping water back into the sump pit thru the failed primary sump pump. An added strainer and water hammer arrestor on the water supply help protect against pipe banging and valve damage.


  • Health Risk. Sump water is non-potable. To reduce the risk of contamination of the potable water supply, additional backflow protection must be provided by the installer to meet the requirements of the local plumbing code or water authority. As per the the Uniform Plumbing Code & Plumbing codes of some states including the State Of Michigan, installation of this product requires the use of an (RPZ) backflow protection device.
  • The discharge pipe of the of the water powered sump pump must not be connected to the primary sump pump. A separate line must be ran to the outside, where an approved overflow connection can be made.
  • The SumpJet® utilizes a quick acting valve which, per UPC, requires the use of an approved water pressure absorbing device to prevent water hammer.
  • Do install a filter or a strainer in the water supply line before the pump to prevent small particles from clogging the operational valves.
  • DO clean all debris from the pit before installation.

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