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Sump Pumps and Summer Storms

As summer weather begins to heat up, so does the chance for summer thunderstorms.  In our area these storms have the potential to bring flooding rains, high winds, and power outages.  Your sump pump stands guard between accumulating ground water and your basement or crawl space.  A sump pump failure can quickly lead to damaging flooding in your home.

Quick Question: Do You Know How Old Your Sump Pump Is?

Your sump pump has an average lifespan of 7-10 years.  You should keep in mind that this average depends greatly on just how hard your sump pump works on a regular basis.  A pump that runs frequently and removes large volumes of water will need replaced much sooner than a pump that runs only occasionally during heavy rains.

All too often we have homeowners call us during a storm when they realize their sump pump is no longer working.  It is always ideal to replace your sump pump before the old pump fails completely.

Sump Pump Warning Signs

There are a few warning signs that could signal it is time to replace your sump pump:

  • Strange Noises – If your pump is louder than usual or making unfamiliar noises this could signal worn out parts in your pump.
  • Runs All The Time – If you notice your sump pump is running far more frequently and for longer, it may be wearing out and no longer able to manage removing water from the sump pit effectively.
  • Older Than Seven Years – Rather than waiting for the pump to fail, we always recommend replacing an aging pump before flooding occurs.
  • Frequent Power Outages – The risk for power surges increases with more frequent power failures, which can damage your pump.

Unfortunately, many storms bring heavy rains and cause power outages at the same time.  Your sump pump relies on electricity to run, so a power outage can leave you vulnerable to flooding.  Thankfully, there are two backup options that can keep your home dry.

Power Outages: Backup Systems Keep Your Pump Running

Unfortunately, many storms bring heavy rains and cause power outages at the same time.  Your sump pump relies on electricity to run, so a power outage can leave you vulnerable to flooding.  Thankfully, there are two backup options that can keep your home dry.

Battery Backup

A battery backup system uses a marine battery to power a secondary pump.  The secondary pump is set just a little higher in your sump pit, so when the first pump fails due to power outage the water level rises and turns on the secondary pump.

It is important to remember that a battery backup will provide you with a few hours of protection during a power outage.  If your home tends to lose power for longer periods of time, you may want to keep a second charged marine battery nearby.

Water Powered Backup

Another sump pump backup solution is a water powered backup system.  This pump is connected to the existing water lines in your home.  When the water level in your sump pit rises past the primary pump, the water powered pump uses your home’s water supply to create suction and remove the water from the sump pit.  In homes with a municipal water supply, this means the pump will continue to run indefinitely during a power outage.

There are two important considerations for a water powered backup:

  • They are not intended for homes with a well – during a power outage your well pump will not run and there will be no water to run the pump
  • These systems use 1 gallon of water to remove 1-2 gallons of water from your sump pit.  During an extended power outage, expect to see a higher than usual water bill.  However, keep in mind the water bill will be significantly lower than the cost to remediate a flooded basement.

Questions? Contact Us!

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