Is Your Sump Pump System Ready for a Storm?
We Chicagoland residents are no strangers to nasty weather. Our summers bring plenty of severe thunderstorms, and winters feature more than enough snow. Because of this, we are also familiar with the problems wet weather can create in our homes. The threat of groundwater flooding our basements makes sump pump systems vital in our region.
If you’re not familiar with sump pumps, then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, we will give you a crash course on what sump pumps are, why they’re important, and why having a battery backup on your system is crucial.
Are you ready to become a sump pump system and battery backup expert? Good! Let’s begin the lesson.
What is a Sump Pump?
A sump pump collects water in your basement and pumps it out of your home. It consists of a basin, which sits in the floor of your basement, and a pump, which sits inside the basin.
When it rains, the groundwater filters down through the walls of a home and into the basin. Once the water reaches a certain height, it triggers the pump, which begins sucking the water up and out of the home. Once it has removed the water from the basin, the pump turns off.
Why are Sump Pumps Important?
Sump pumps are important for many reasons. First, they prevent groundwater from doing damage to the foundation of your home. If the groundwater didn’t filter into the basin, it would push against the sides of the house causing cracks and all sorts of expensive problems.
They also protect your basement from flooding. Sadly, many homeowners throughout the Chicago suburbs have experienced some sort of water damage in their basement. Sump pump systems prevent this problem by removing the water before it can do any damage.
Does a Sump Pump Require Maintenance?
A sump pump system is an incredible luxury to have in your home. However, if you don’t maintain it, it can also cause you a terrible headache. We can’t tell you how many homeowners we’ve encountered who didn’t know there was something wrong with their sump pump until it was too late.
So be sure to take the following precautions to make sure your sump pump won’t fail you when you need it most:
Don’t Trust an Old System
If you move into a new house that already has a sump pump, don’t assume that pump is in working order. You should at least have it inspected by a licensed plumber. However, we would recommend replacing it with a new pump. That way you’ll be starting off on the right foot at your new home.
Schedule Regular Inspections
There are many things that can go wrong with a sump pump over time. Something as simple as a clogged line or a broken valve can leave you wishing you got your pump inspected sooner. Don’t let that happen to you! Instead, have your sump pump inspected at least once a year by a licensed plumber. It could save you a lot of grief.
Replace It Before It’s Too Late
It’s impossible to determine exactly how long a sump pump should last because every home is different. Pumps in houses bombarded with a ton of rainwater will work harder than those in less rainy areas. Unsurprisingly, the harder a system works, the sooner it will need replacement. So, pay attention to how frequently your sump pump turns on and off because that will help you to decide when it’s time for a change.
A licensed plumber can also advise you on when to change your pump. At Angel Water, we typically recommend getting your sump pump replaced every 5-6 years because that’s how long manufacturer’s warranties usually last. Of course, our recommendation will vary depending on your situation. So, be sure to give us a call if you’re looking for advice about your pump.
Why are Battery Backups Necessary?
While maintaining your sump pump is important, it’s not the only way to ensure your system won’t fail you. In fact, your pump could be in exceptional shape and still falter since it runs on electricity.
Think about it. When a severe storm knocks your power out, what will prevent the excess rain water from flooding your basement? If you don’t have a battery backup on your sump pump system, then you will have to pump the water out by hand. Plus, you could wind up paying too much for a water mitigation service and replacing damaged items.
Certainly, you want to avoid these terrible options at all costs. And you can by investing in a battery backup for your sump pump.
How Does a Battery Backup Work?
A typical battery backup system consists of a large 12-volt battery, a converter that converts AC power into DC power, and another heavy-duty pump, which is attached to the battery. This second pump sits slightly higher than your first pump. So, when your first pump fails, and the water level gets higher than usual, the second pump will turn on and save the day.
Battery backup pumps also feature a loud siren that activates when they turn on. This sound will alert you that something is wrong with your primary pump. And since battery backups typically last for 4-8 hours, you will have time to take control of the situation.
Need Help with Your Sump Pump System?
Because of the severe weather in our region, most homes need a sump pump and battery backup. They are especially important for people with finished basements full of valuable items. Don’t let your precious keepsakes wash away!
At Angel Water, we are passionate about helping homeowners get the most out of their water safety equipment. If you want to install a sump pump but don’t know where to start, give us a call! If you think your sump pump’s getting old, our licensed plumbers would be happy to inspect it for you.