Basement flooding is a common occurrence that, more often than not, has devastating consequences. People hold more than just an empty space in their basements. Some have finished basements that hold thousands of dollars in beautiful furniture and electronics. Others hold only their memories in basements, like yearbooks, photo albums, keepsakes that have no place in the house. A flooded basement not only damages your home, it ruins the things you've worked hard for and the memories you've lived through.
Your average home most likely does not have a properly designed sump pump. Newer homes have the lightest duty sump pump (to keep costs down), and older homes usually need to update systems. So overall, it isn't a matter of if your sump pump system fails, it's when.
What Causes Sump Pump Failure?
There are many causes of sump pump failure, such as:
- Excess wear and tear of the primary pump, which can burn out a light duty sump pump motor
- A switch failure
- Power outages
- Low pumping capacity, which prevents the primary pump from keeping up with water intake
- A partially or completely depleted battery of a backup system
Sump Pump Battery Backup System
Installing a battery backup system will provide a safety net during a storm, sudden power outage, or if the primary pump just stops operating. It can also help a functioning primary pump which is not keeping up with water intake even though there isn't a power outage.
To match up a primary pump with a battery operated backup system, you almost always need the backup system to be based on a low amperage- drawing AC pump (normally a one-pump system). That is connected to an inverter which links to a DC battery source. This type of system is able to discharge constantly during a power outage as long as the battery has power.
So, if the AC back-up pump is meant to discharge 2100 gallons per hour and the battery can last four hours, a homeowner can expect their system to discharge up to 8400 gallons until it needs to be recharged.
Sump Pump Alarms
Your typical sump pump alarms are powered by a standard battery and designed to sound off like a smoke detector. The alarm lets you know when the water has risen past the point when the pump(s) should have turned on. Some alarms have monitors that sit on the ground so small leaks can be detected and repaired before they turn into major problems. Without an alarm, you could be talking about hours of damage to your basement or crawl space before you know there is a problem.