Watchdog Backup Sump Pump BWD Big Dog Review

The Battery Backup Sump Pump Made by Glentronics

Pictured is the Basement Watchdog Big Dog BWD12-120C Battery Backup Sump Pump.Are you wondering if you should invest in a backup sump pump? Are you worried the float switch will fail on your backup pump like it does on your primary pump? Are you worried that the battery on a backup pump will become depleted too quickly and leave you with a flooded basement? The following information will let you know what the Watchdog backup pump BWD12-120C Big Dog can do, what its key features and specifications are, and key questions you can answer to determine if this is the right pump for your pumping needs. Also you can see what other customers are saying about the pump.
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The Basement Watchdog BWD12-120C

Watchdog BWD Big Dog key features and specifications

Here’s a summary. Check out the details for each of the following features.

Redundant Dual Float Switches


The Watchdog BWD Big Dog Backup Pump has two float switches (dual float switches) ready for operation. If one fails the other one begins operation. Having redundant switches provides peace of mind. It is possible to take a long vacation during the rainy season and not be concerned that the float switch will fail. You don’t have to be home. The added float switch in the float cage will begin operation when the first one fails.

The float switches are protected from debris and obstruction from the pit wall or the pump itself.  They are enclosed in a cage with cylindrical protection. The cage has a top to prevent something from falling on the floats.

The bottom of the cage is concave so that sludge rolls off and doesn’t collect and interfere with the movement of the float. The float switch is the vertical style as opposed to the tether which requires at least 6 to 10 inches more pit diameter. The cage which houses the float switches is very narrow, only 2 inches in diameter and attaches directly to the discharge pipe so takes no additional room in the sump pit for operation.

Pictured is the Dual Float Switch Controller for Basement Watchdog Primary and Battery Backup PumpsThe float switch is operated by a controller. The controller is plugged directly into the wall outlet. The controller has an outlet into which the pump motor cord is plugged. Replacing the controller/float-switch mechanism is very easy. When the two float switches fail, a new controller which includes a cage with two new float switches needs to be purchased. To remove the old controller/float switch cage, the pump motor cord is unplugged from the controller, the controller is unplugged from the wall outlet, the float switch cage is simply loosened and removed from the discharge pipe and removed from the pit.

To install the new controller/cage with the float switches, the cage is attached to the discharge pipe, the controller is plugged into the wall socket and the pump motor cord is plugged into the controller. This design makes it very easy to change float switches during times of water emergencies. The dual float switch is adjustable. This means you determine the height at which you want the pump to begin operation.

The bottom float in the cage only moves upward 1/4 inch before the pump motor is activated. If the bottom float fails the water rises to the top float in the cage and the pump motor is activated (approximately another two inches). The float switch cage should be placed no lower than three inches above the bottom of the backup pump and somewhere below the drain tile draining into the pit and on the back side of the discharge pipe facing the drain tile.

Double Run Time with Additional Battery

The Basement Watchdog BWD12-120C is built so an additional battery can be added for double the run time. A fully charged battery will support continuous pumping for 7 ½ hours. By adding another battery continuous runtime can be extended to 14 or 15 hours. If the backup pump runs intermittently the pump will run much longer.

Pictured is the battery to be used with the Basement Watchdog Big Dog and Watchdog Special Backup Sump Pump.The option of installing another battery provides additional peace of mind. Have you often wondered how much battery run time is left when your backup pump is running for a long period of time? The monitoring system for this backup pump will indicate how much runtime is left. This feature provides you time to figure out how you can deal with electrical outages that may outlast the battery.

Glentronics batteries should be used with the Big Dog. Glentronics is the manufacturer of all Basement Watchdog and Pro Series sump pumps. These batteries are not maintenance free. Distilled water must be added. The well-defined controller/alarm system lets you know when the battery needs more water. The ideal is to add water every 3 months, even before an alarm lets you know the battery needs more water. Doing so will extend the life of the battery.

Using maintenance free or sealed lead batteries with the Big Dog system may cause the alarm system to falsely sound the alarm. You may find it inconvenient to add the acid to the battery before installation; however, there is no shelf life with the battery until the acid is added. One disadvantage with maintenance free batteries is that while they sit on the shelf unused, their useful life begins to diminish.

Recharge depleted batteries

Pictured is the Basement Watchdog BWD12-120C Installation DiagramThe battery charger is one of the strongest found for battery backup pumps. The battery charger is 20 amps. This means it takes approximately 6 to 8 hours to recharge a fully depleted battery. Once the battery is fully charged, the charger will shut off. The battery will remain in ready state without further charging. This will extend the life of the battery.

Moves more water than 1/3 HP pump

Pictured is pumping capacity of Basement Watchdog Big Dog BWD12-120CThe Watchdog BWD Big Dog is built for moving more water than a 1/3 HP primary pump. It pumps 2,200 gallons per hour (gph) at a 10 foot lift; that’s 37 gallons per minute (gpm). If you have a 10 foot lift (vertical), two 90 degree elbows, a check valve and a 20 foot horizontal run of discharge pipe you can expect it to pump around 1,700 gallons per hour (gph) or 28 gallons per minute (gpm). If you have a 5 foot lift or less, only one 90 degree elbow and check valve and a 10 foot of horizontal run discharge pipe, you can expect the Big Dog will pump from 2,600 to 3,000 gallons per hour or 43 to 50 gallons per minute.

Buy Now: Glentronics INC BWD12-120c “Basement Watchdog” Computer Operated AC/DC Sump Pump System

Extensive monitoring and alarm system

Pictured is the alarm monitoring performed by the Basement Watchdog BWD12-120C Big Dog Backup PumpThe Big Dog BWD has an extensive alarm and monitoring system. Since the Basement Watchdog is built to use a battery requiring maintenance, Glentronics has alleviated the homeowner’s concern of wondering when to add water. A sensor, inserted into one of the battery cells, sends a signal to the controller. When the water is below a predetermined height the controller will activate the alarm.

An alarm will also sound when a battery cable is loose, the battery is hooked up improperly, the battery is dead, a fuse or circuit breaker is blown, or the plug accidentally was left unplugged.

Since a backup pump is not relied upon frequently, the home owner tends to forget about it until it is needed. To keep the homeowner informed of its readiness state, the monitoring system tests the pump weekly. It informs the homeowner if the backup sump is clogged, broken or both float switches have failed.

The loudness of the alarm is measured at 100 decibels. This is loud enough to get your attention; however, if you are on first floor it will not be annoyingly loud. The alarm can be silenced.


Other features and specifications

The Basement Watchdog BWD is made from reinforced thermoplastic for housing, volute and impeller.

Pictured is the Basement Watchdog Big Dog Battery Backup Sump Pump

  • It weighs 30 lbs.
  • It has a small foot print in the sump basin. It is 6.25 inches wide and 11.75 inches high. This size of this pump makes it possible to install next to a primary sump pump.
  • The warranty for this pump is 2 years.
  • The motor is water cooled rather than oil cooled.
  • It requires 120 volts when running on electricity (A/C).
  • The motor amp is 10-12 amps.
  • The check valve is not built-in.
  • The size of the discharge port is 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Buy now: Glentronics Inc BWD12-120c “Basement Watchdog” Computer Operated AC/DC Sump Pump System

Is this battery backup sump pump best for your pumping needs?

Do you need over 2000 gallons of water pumped per hour? The Watchdog Big Dog pumps 2200 gallons per hour. Other brand battery backup sump pumps pumping around the same gph are: Wayne ESP25 pumps 2300 gph; and Wayne ESP45 pumps 2400 gph.

Pictured is the Basement Watchdog Big Dog Backup Pumping SystemDo you want to replace parts rather than discard the pump when it fails? The Watchdog (BWE, BWSP and BWD) have replacement dual float switches. Replacement float switches are also available for the Wayne backup pumps (ESP25 and ESP45).

Are you concerned about float switch failure? The Watchdog battery backup pumps, the Emergency Dog, the Special Dog and the Big Dog, are the only pumps with dual float switches. If one fails the other one begins operation. Are you concerned about a warranty? The Watchdog BWD has a two year warranty. The warranty varies for other backup sump pumps. The Wayne ESP45 has a three year warranty. The Zoeller 507 has a one year warranty.

Are you looking for a backup pump with a small footprint so you can fit it with a primary pump? The Big Dog is small enough to fit with a 9 inch wide primary pump. Are you concerned about the ability to silence the alarm? The alarm for the Watchdog Big Dog can be silenced. The alarm for the Wayne backup pumps ESP15, ESP25 and ESP45 can also be silenced; however if the backup pump is still in use after 4 hours the alarm will sound again.

Are you looking for a battery that will last 8 years or more if well cared for and you don’t mind filling the battery cells with distilled water at minimum every 6 months though filling the battery cells with distilled water every 3 months is even better for extending the life of the battery? The BWD12-120C Big Dog runs best with the Glentronics battery. The Wayne backup pumps ESP15, ESP25 and ESP45 run on maintenance free sealed lead batteries.

Does your electricity go out frequently and you need quick charge of a depleted battery? The Basement Watchdog BWD has the strongest battery charger used by Battery Backup Sump Pumps. The 20 amp charger will recharge depleted batteries in 6-8 hours. The Wayne charger is only .7 and requires 3-4 days to recharge the batteries.

Do you want a backup system to which you can increase the run time? You can add battery banks to both the Watchdog Big Dog and the Wayne ESP45. The Basement Watchdog BWE requires one Group 30 battery and the Wayne ESP45 requires two Group 27 batteries to obtain maximum run time.

Check out the Basement Watchdog BWD12-120C now.

Glentronics INC Bwd12-120c “Basement Watchdog” Computer Operated Ac/dc Sump Pump System

Check out the Battery for the Basement Watchdog BWD12-120C now.

Glentronics 30HDC140S Sump Pump Battery for Big Dog BWD12-120C 7.5 HR Deep Cycle Wet 1 yr Warranty Maintenance RequiredBasement Watch Dog Battery Back Up Sump Pump 30HD140S for Emergency Special or Big Dog

What are other customers saying?

Watchdog Big Dog BWD12-120c Customer Reviews Good Backup Pump
By Jim Whitten, Illinois, April 2, 2011
I needed more pumping so I bought the Watchdog Bigdog BWD12. It pumps more than the Watchdog Special I had before. It was only used once so far, but so far I like it. It has a powerful 20-amp battery charger. The manual says it can recharge while it’s pumping if electricity is on otherwise it takes 6-8 hours. The charger is much less on the Watchdog Special. So Far So Good
By Rick White, Chicago, November 12, 2010
I installed this myself. I am not a plumber. I followed the
instructions and was able to get it in. It has good pumping capacity when running on the battery. I have a check valve and two 90 degree elbows that don’t let the pump pump to its full capacity, but it still does the job for me. It has a lot of features for monitoring with alarm. Watchdog Bigdog
By Raymond Wichita, KS April 5, 2010
This pump is supposed to pump 2200 gph at 10′. I have a lot of water during heavy rainstorms, so this pump should do what I need. BigDog BWD Appears to be good backup pump
By Alice, Des Plaines, IL April 2, 2010
I bought this backup pump because it is advertised to pump 2200 gallons per minute at 10 ft. That is a lot of water. I also like the fact that this pump can run on AC (electricity) or DC (Battery).

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