Why a Wye?

Why (or why not) a Wye?

We were recently doing a little research on our competitors, calling around to find out what they offer, and how they price their products. I was struck when one company told me “a wye fitting is an absolute joke, you’ve got to have two separate discharge pipes if you have a backup system…” First, a little bit of background on what he meant, and then we’ll get to what it means for you.

Y-Fitting - The Sump Pump Company
Ensures the most Direct path for unrestricted and redirected flow

A “wye” fitting looks just like it sounds – it’s a pipe fitting shaped like the letter Y, which is commonly used to connect a primary pump and a battery backup pump to a single pipe which carries the water away. A backup pump can be connected to the same pipe as the primary, or a completely separate pipe can be installed.

It’s true that having a separate pipe for the backup pump affords extra protection. If something clogs a single discharge pipe downstream of the wye fitting, BOTH pumps would be unable to function. While there is little doubt that two pipes are better than one, does that mean you should be losing sleep if you DON’T have a second pipe for your backup??

The short answer is, probably not. In our experience, we’ve seen only a very few instances where a discharge pipe problem stopped a pump from working. In one case, the check valve disc broke free and clogged the pipe, and in a couple of other cases, the pipe froze outside because it was not sloped properly and held water. These are not common issues.

In my own home, the pump discharge goes right through the side of the house to a storm drain. Adding a second pipe would be absolutely trivial, but I haven’t done so, because I’m just not that worried about it!

Depending on the cost, you may decide it’s worthwhile to add a second discharge for the extra protection and peace of mind it brings. That cost can vary quite widely depending on the situation – for example, it may be quite easy in an unfinished area, or very difficult in a finished basement.

At the end of the day, having two discharge pipes is better, but in our experience it’s NOT one of the more important factors. Having a good backup pump system is the best thing you can do to protect yourself!

If you do decide you’d like a second discharge pipe, we’re happy to help. Because every installation is unique, we have to view your situation in order to provide pricing. Feel free to call us at The Sump Pump Company at 847-967-PUMP (7867) or contact us through the web site to schedule an appointment.

– Dave

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