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Backup Sump Pump System that is Right for You
Many people who own homes with basements probably have a sump pump. I learned pretty soon after we purchased our first home what a sump pump was and the importance of maintaining it. Two weeks after we moved in, our basement flooded due to the sump pump failing. Ever since then, we have made sure to check and maintain our sump pumps regularly. We also have had a variety of backup sump pump systems installed to prevent accidental flooding. Below is some information you may find useful to find a backup sump pump system that is right for you.
Alternative Power Source
Probably the most frequent cause of sump pump failure is a lack of electricity. Often you need a sump pump to work the most during a storm, which is also when you are most likely to have a power failure. For this reason, you may want to have a backup power source; either a backup generator, or battery backup. A typical battery backup sump pump system consists of a 12 volt deep cycle marine battery wired to take over supplying electricity to the sump pump in a power failure. A system like this may cost between $300 to $500 dollars to purchase and install.
Water Powered Backup Sump Pump System
Another possible backup sump pump system is a water powered backup sump pump. This system can keep your basement from flooding when you do not have electricity or your regular sump pump fails. You need to be on a municipal water supply to use this option. The water powered sump pump is installed on the top of the regular pump and plumbing is run to bring the municipal water to it. The plumbing will have a back flow preventer to keep the sump water from contaminating the municipal water. If the water level gets high in the sump pit, a float triggers the city water to start flowing. This creates a vacuum in the water powered pump which sucks the water out of the sump pit. The watered powered system can run indefinitely and needs no electricity and virtually no maintenance but consumes a lot of water. It will take one gallon of municipal water for every two gallons taken out of the sump pit. They can pump about a thousand gallons an hour. Because of this high water use it should only be used as an emergency backup. You can find a company to install a system like this but it may cost you over $900. However, if you are handy and can install this yourself, it is much less expensive.
Monitor Your System and Be Prepared
Finally, nothing beats monitoring your sump pump and being prepared. Some newer advanced sump pumps have sensors to monitor water levels and apps to alert you if there appears to be a failure in your sump device. A few other products can monitor the water level of the sump pit and take actions to protect your basement. For example, the Woda-Sci system has a feature to monitor the water level and pump the water out through your sprinklers in case of sump pump failure. It is also a good idea to have a replacement sump pump on hand in case of failure.
Good luck and stay dry!