A sump pump prevents flooding and protects your home’s foundation by channeling water outside. It can also resolve exterior drainage issues.
You can install a battery backup or hand pump in addition to the main pump to ensure your home stays safe during a power outage. But your sump pump requires maintenance too.
A battery-backed sump pump helps keep your home safe from flooding and prevents water damage in the event of a power outage. These systems use a deep-cycle lead-acid battery that has an ampere-hour (AH) rating to determine how long it can run when the system is activated. These batteries require you to add distilled water occasionally to keep the lead cells from drying out and causing premature damage. Most battery backup pumps also feature a float switch, which is what triggers the pump when water levels rise in the basin.
Most backup pump systems will automatically switch to DC battery power in the event of a power outage or when the primary pump fails. They are available as a complete unit with the pump, the battery, and a charger or as separate components. When buying a backup battery, choose one that has an AH rating near the maximum recommended by the pump manufacturer. This will ensure that the pump can operate continuously for seven to eight hours when necessary.
Another option for a battery-backed sump pump is a generator that can provide power when the electricity goes out. This can help keep your basement dry, but it is expensive to run and can cause carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide gas in the basement if not properly maintained.
Some battery backup sump pumps come with a built-in alarm that alerts you when the pump is activated, allowing you to take action to remove items before the water levels reach them. This is an excellent safety feature that can save your home thousands of dollars in water damage and prevent costly repairs.
Battery-powered backup sump pumps are a great choice for homes with limited budgets that can afford the initial investment. However, you may not be able to install these pumps if your property is subject to flooding laws or has a floodplain that prohibits the use of electric sump pumps. Many communities also require a licensed plumber to install and service these devices. The simplest type of battery-powered backup is a combination unit that consists of a primary and a backup pump nested together and wired to a single junction box.
While not necessary for every home, a sump pump can save homeowners from costly repairs in the event of basement flooding. These devices drain the water from your basement to a nearby drainage point, such as a garden hose or yard drainage system, and can even drain into municipal sewer systems if local regulations permit.
These electrical-powered pumps are designed to sit inside a pit or basin in your basement and function while completely submerged, thus the term “submersible.” A switch activates the pump when the water rises to a predetermined level, then shuts it off when the floodwater has receded. The submerged motor keeps the device cool, which extends its lifespan. It is less expensive than pedestal models, which have the pump motor above the bottom of the sump pit, and easier to access for maintenance.
Many models feature a backup battery and float switch, which allow the sump pump to operate even without power during a flood or when your home’s electricity is out. The battery lasts up to 10 hours, and it’s easy to charge using a standard AC wall plug. This option is especially useful for homes in areas that experience frequent or severe storms.
Other models have a monitor that connects to Wi-Fi and some home security systems, allowing owners to keep an eye on the status of the pump from anywhere. The monitor operates 24 hours a day and sends alerts for a variety of conditions, including the pump’s activation or failure, required battery changes, power interruptions, and low battery levels.
The Ridgid 1 HP Stainless Steel Dual Suction Sump Pump is an affordable choice that works well in most spaces and can be installed without the need for a permit or professional installation. It is extra-powerful and runs quietly, making it ideal for most residential applications.
Another affordable sump pump, the Superior Pump 91250 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Utility Pump, can be installed in most spaces and requires no professional installation. The pump has a quiet operation and uses standard plumbing connections, which makes it easier to install than other products that may require the use of extension hoses or yard drainage lines.
A sump pump moves water from your basement to a drain to prevent flooding and protect walls, carpets, furniture, and other belongings. They are typically installed in a pit called a sump basin located in the basement or crawl space. When water levels or pressure build, a sensor or float switch in the sump basin activates a motor that draws water out of the basin and pumps it away through a discharge pipe. This pipe connects the sump pump to a designated drainage area outside of your home.
A pedestal sump pump has its motor next to the sump basin, making it a good choice for narrow or shallow pits. It’s also less expensive than submersible models. However, the motor is above ground and can become noisy and overheat easily. It’s important to keep in mind that pedestal pumps aren’t as powerful as submersible models, so they can take longer to redirect water during severe storms.
If you have a history of flooding or live in an area that experiences frequent rainstorms, a sump pump is an excellent investment for your home. It will protect your basement living spaces and other areas of your home from sand, dirt, dust, and debris that could make their way into the basement during heavy rains. In addition, a sump pump can help reduce the risk of mold, mildew, and other damage to your basement living spaces.
The most popular type of sump pump is a pedestal, which has its motor next to the sump basin. It’s an inexpensive option and fits narrow or shallow pits, so it’s a great choice for small or tight areas. It’s also easy to maintain because the motor isn’t underwater, so it won’t get wet.
Pedestal sump pumps have a lightweight plastic body that won’t corrode as the pump drains the sump basin. They’re also affordable and available in a variety of sizes to fit different sump pit basins. Some have an engineered base made of cast iron or thermoplastic for increased durability. Whether you choose a pedestal or submersible model, make sure to select an energy-efficient pump with a high flow rate. In addition, it’s important to check your discharge point regularly and ensure it’s clog-free. The discharge point should be 10 to 20 feet away from your foundation, ideally in a location where the water won’t return to your home.
In addition to a battery backup, many sump pumps include a float switch that operates when the pump is needed during heavy storms. The float switch creates a closed circuit that activates the pump when the water level rises to a specific height. The float switch can be attached to the bottom of the pump or to a wire tether that hangs from the lid of the basin.
There are several kinds of float switches available, each with different operational requirements. The most common float switches are tethered and use a suspended float to raise and lower a rod. These tethers can be adjusted to set the point where the pump automatically starts and stops, though they require more space than other switch types. Another popular type of float switch is the vertical float switch, which uses a fixed rod to activate the pump at a preset level. These are more efficient than tether switches, but they may not work well with very low levels of water.
A third kind of float switch is an electronic sensor switch, which does not have any moving parts and works by detecting the pressure of water in the sump basin. These switches have a tendency to malfunction, so it is important to choose one with the recommended power and amp requirements for your pump.
Float switches can get stuck and start running when they shouldn’t, which can cause them to overheat. A common cause for this is that the float has become blocked by debris. In this case, it’s a good idea to clear the blockage. Alternatively, the switch might have drifted out of position. This can happen if the pump runs continuously for long periods of time or is being used to pump more water than it is designed for.
It’s also a good idea to regularly test your sump pump for proper operation. Before you can do this, however, you need to make sure that it’s plugged into a working power outlet. Checking the voltage of an outlet with a digital voltage meter is one way to do this, but you can also plug in a lamp or other small electronics to test whether or not they’re functioning properly.