What To Do If Your Sump Pump Fails
Many homes in Southeast Michigan have a sump pump somewhere in the basement to prevent flooding of their home. If one is by the sump well for any extended time they will notice they hear water dripping on occasion or the sump pump engage itself for a brief time to remove rising water. Homeowners have grown especially grateful for a well working sump pump during heavy raining when the water table begins to raise and threaten a dry basement. However it is often during a storm that the power may go out leaving the sump pump dead and the home at risk for flooding.
Often when they fail, malfunction or stop working it is when you don't know it and by the time you go into your basement it is too late and a full scale basement flood has manifest. If you have a backup system in place, is it working as over 50% are not routinely serviced and will fail when called upon to remove water.
Typically we do not think about our sump pump failing until it is too late and prevention is the best medicine. What are some things you can do as a homeowner to assure your sump pump doesn't fail and if it does what you should have in place for such an event.
Battery backup sump pump
One option is a battery backup of your primary sump pump. Perhaps this is the most common and for various reasons is the only one we recommend. These systems can be installed by professionals or even amateurs that are a bit resourceful. Placed slightly above the existing pump it will be adjusted to come on in the event the water level becomes higher than it should be. At the moment the float indicates the water is already past the primary pumps ability to remove water it will engage. It is important that the battery be serviced and checked on a regular basis to assure acid levels are adequate. When this battery powered sump pump works, it can receive all the accolades of a hero, because it will save your basement from flooding. However, if it fails the worst case scenario is you have a flooded basement and the amount of water is in proportion to the rainfall. In most cases the water level is several inches.
Home depot has a system called the basement watchdog and can be purchased at any store near you. It comes equip with an alarm system letting you know before it is too late that the battery needs service.
Water powered backup
One of the more expensive systems some have elected to have installed by a plumbing professional is a water powered backup. This system like the battery powered backup is installed to engage if your primary sump pump fails. Should it be called upon to work it will allow water pressure from your own municipal water to create a dynamic that forces your water to be pumped away from the home. The benefit is you don't have to worry about acid levels in a battery. That is about the only benefit.
This system should it fail can create a flood on a monumental scale and cost you thousands more than had you just had a flood from a failed sump pump. One such scenario is if your check valve is stuck or blocking the water from being channeled away from the home. This will allow fresh water to just freely run until the water is physically turned off. One such incident we discovered had 7' of standing water in a finished basement that destroyed all cabinets, appliances, computers, furnace, hot water heater and flooring. This same situation would happen if the installer forgot to put on a check valve. The cost outweighs the benefits in our humble opinion.
High water level alarm
The best thing we can advise to install is also the least expensive. A high water level alarm is an affordable and small device that is easily installed in minutes and will broadcast with a loud noise when the water level is higher than normal. Home depot has a very affordable battery operated alarm system that can be installed in minutes. This system allows a bit of peace of mind when you are anxious about your basement. If the devise is not going off and you regularly put in a new battery, than you are probably fine. No matter what system you have, the watchdog alarm is recommended no matter what as it works well and provides peace of mind and will keep you from rushing into the basement every time you hear it raining.
Call us at Action Extraction for further information and tips on what to do if your sump pump fails in Southeast Michigan. Call Today 1-800-713-4333