Basement Flooding — More Than “Once In A Lifetime”!

December 19th, 2011

by Jacques Bouchard

Homeowners can go years without using their battery backup sump pump system. But, as is being discovered in the Northeast these past few months, when you DO need a battery backup — you really need it!

Between Hurricane Irene last August and the freak snowstorm that knocked out power for more than three million homes this week, residents from Maryland to Maine have seen firsthand just how easily a major storm can shut down the power for hours, days, or more.

Once your sump pump system loses power, there is nothing protecting your basement from groundwater flooding. It’s not impossible to have several feet of water in your basement in several hours’ time — which can destroy furniture, damage utilities, and damage personal belongings.

Protecting Your Sump Pump System From Power Outages

To protect your home from flooding during power outages, homeowners have several options:

  • Generator-Powered Sump Pumps: Many homeowners will count on their portable generator to power their sump pump, lights, refrigerator, and more. And this works — provided that the homeowner is home (and awake) when the time comes, and you can bring it outside in the rain and fire it up.
  • Automatic Generator-Powered Sump Pumps: For about $9,000-$10,000, a homeowner can opt to install an automatic generator — one that turns on automatically during a power outage. This will keep your sump pump system running during the power outage, which is great. But even with this system, we find that basements can still flood when a fuse is blown, or a sump pump is accidentally unplugged when the outlet is needed. If you want your basement protected all the time, even this is not the option for you!
  • Battery Backup Sump Pumps: Alternatively, a homeowner will choose a battery backup sump pump for their home. This is a secondary battery powered system that is designed to kick on when water levels rise too high in the sump pit, such as during a power outage.

Other Uses For A Battery Backup Sump Pump

Along with protecting your home during a power outage, a battery backup sump pump can be useful in many other situations:

  1. Your Primary Sump Pump Fails: Sump pumps are made of mechanical, moving parts — and like other systems that use moving parts, they will eventually break down and fail. Whether they clog, overheat, or experience some other kind of failure, the results are the same — a wet basement. However, if your system includes a battery backup, it will kick in, sounding off to let you know something is wrong and managing the flooding for you.
  2. Your Primary Sump Pump Is Overwhelmed: During unusually heavy rain events, a primary sump pump may be overwhelmed by heavy water volumes. In this scenario, your battery backup system will also turn on, adding to your system’s pumping power.

In both these situations, the primary sump pump fails, and a generator solution will not solve the issue.

How Long Do They Last?

The lifespan of a battery backup sump pump is measured in gallons pumped — not by the hours operating. This is because of the fact that only in the rarest of cases will a sump pump system run continually for hours on end. Instead, it will typically turn on as the sump pit fills, then shut itself off afterwards. The frequency of the on/off cycles will determine its operation time, meaning that a system can run for hours, or days, depending.

That being said, a reliable battery backup system can pump out more than 10,000 gallons of water on a single charge — about the size of a small swimming pool, and usually more than you need.

We Install Battery Backup Sump Pumps!

Our TripleSafe Sump Pump system can pump out just over 12,000 gallons. If additional power is desired, multiple batteries can be connected to a single pump. As an added feature, our system can be connected to many home alarm systems — so you receive a phone call if your system fails.

Don’t wait to protect your home! For more information about installing our battery backup sump pump system in your home, contact us!

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