Here in Colorado, our weather often comes in “feast or famine” quantities. We may go weeks without moisture; yet once it comes, it can leave devastation in its path.
Depending on where you live, you may require a sump pump to keep your basement safe and dry, no matter how much moisture we receive. A sump pump is one of the most important appliances you can have to help you avoid a potential disaster, yet its often one of the most ignored.
Without a sump pump, you can quickly have thousands of dollars in damage, many days of disruption as your home is being repaired, and possibly higher insurance premiums for years to come. So installing a sump pump makes sense, especially if your area is prone to flooding in the first place.
But a sump pump is only as good as its ability to work. Sump pumps typically fail because:
- power outages
- the electricity supply is cut off – someone unplugs the sump pump, or the switch is turned off that controls the energy supply to the outlet
- the sump pump is too small to handle the amount of flow within your home
- the sump pump is inexpensive and loses its pumping efficiency before it completes the job
- motor burnout
To ensure you have proper coverage, you can do two things.
1. Purchase the correct sump pump for your needs. If you’re buying a replacement pump or a backup system, you’ll have to purchase a pump that is at least the capacity of your existing pump. If your pump has trouble keeping up with incoming water, select a model with a higher GPH rating.
2. Purchase a backup system. Backup systems for sump pumps come in different formats.
- Battery backup
- Water powered backup
- Generator powered backup
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, choose based on your home’s needs.
While having a backup in place is important, its equally important to know then your sump pump – and possible your backup – have failed. There are ways to avoid sump pump failure, to know when you may be at risk.
- Local alarm – when the water reaches the top of the sump basket, an audible alarm will sound to let you know the sump pump is reaching its limits
- Messaging – with today’s technology, its possible to automate the sump pump process, and have either a verbal or text message transferred to your phone if the sump pump has problems. This is convenient for when you aren’t at home to hear an alarm.
Do you have a sump pump in your home? Are you ready for the spring and summer rains?