If you have a basement (or a crawl space), you have a sump pump.  You probably don’t give much thought to your sump pump, but it is the one thing keeping your basement from flooding during a rainstorm or during a mass melting of inches and inches of snow.

To avoid damage to your home and to ensure you rest easy knowing your basement will not flood, you need a backup sump pump.

How a Sump Pump Works

When it rains or there is an excess amount of water, i.e., melting snow, the water leaks into the spaces between the foundation and the soil surrounding your home.  The soil expands and can push against the foundation, causing cracks where water can then leak through.  Sump pumps are installed to alleviate this problem.

The sump pump sits in a basin, or sump pit, this is the lowest point of the space where water collects.  Drains or natural water migration moves the water build-up into the sump pit, the sump pump then triggers and pumps the water up, out, and away from your house.

Living in Illinois, in the Naperville/Plainfield area is a location that has snow, rain and high-water levels, making a sump pump a necessity if you have a basement or crawl space.

Potential Problems

A sump pump on its own works great, however there are potential problems that can occur causing the sump pump to fail, which in turn can cause significant water damage to your basement.

Power Outage – The sump pump operates with electricity, so when your home has a power outage the sump pump will stop working.  Typically, power outages occur during electric storms, which usually are combined with a lot of rain.  This means excessive water and when the sump pump isn’t operating it isn’t moving this excess water away from your home, the sump pit fills, the water spills over and you have a flooded and water damaged basement.

Blown Fuse/Tripped Circuit Breaker – A blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker means no power, no power means no pumping.  Again, sump pumps operate with electricity, when there is no electricity, there is no power to the pump and the water has no where to go but into your basement.

Overheated Pump – Like any other piece of equipment, a sump pump can overheat.  This can happen when the thermal protection stops regular function.  A simple reset can easily fix this problem.  However, while the unit is cooling down your basement is vulnerable.  You will not have an operational sump pump until the unit resets and cools down, which can take time.

Old Pump – Like any other appliance in your home, sump pumps get old and can stop functioning properly. Unfortunately, you won’t know your sump pump will not function properly until it doesn’t function properly, which usually means some water in the basement.

Solution to Pump Problems

Replacing the blown fuse, tripping the circuit, or replacing an old pump are easy solutions to these problems, but there is nothing you can do during a power outage except wait for the power to come back on.

Instead of leaving your basement vulnerable, a battery backup sump pump is recommended to avoid any damage to your home.  With a battery backup sump pump if there are any issues with the main sump pump the backup will start working before there is any damage to your home.

Backup Sump Pump Benefits

Easy Install – Battery backup sump pumps are an easy install for a professional plumber.  There is no major construction involved.  The backup typically attached to your current set-up and does not involve any major renovation.

Always Ready – The battery backup always carries a charge and when installed properly it charges on its own.  This means it is always ready to go with no additional maintenance.

Activates when Primary Switch Jams – Primary sump pumps can get jammed.  When this happens the backup pump will automatically kick in.  This makes up for any issue the primary pump may have (a clog, a float switch problem, etc.)

Double the Power – In the worst-case scenario, the primary pump may not be able to adequately remove a large amount of water.  If this should happen, the backup pump will kick in and you have 2 pumps operating to clear this excess amount of water.

Get a Battery Backup Sump Pump

We have a lot (A LOT) of snow melting away, which means a seriously large amount of water is seeping into the ground.  Additionally, April showers are right around the corner.  If you have a basement you don’t want flooding and you are worried about your sump pump, let the professionals at TR Miller know and we can help you figure out if you need a new sump pump and get you information on installing a backup system before there is a problem.

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