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Backup Sump Pump Buying Guide

As more and more families use their basements for family rooms, media rooms, offices, and extra bedrooms, it becomes more important to keep this space dry. A backup sump pump will help keep your basement from flooding.

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Basement Waterproofing with a Backup Sump Pump

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Ideally, a basement will have a variety of safeguards in place:

  • Drain tile installed to collect groundwater and direct it to a sump pit where it can be pumped away from the house via a sump pump.
  • Landscape graded away from the foundation sloping down toward a storm sewer or a swale that directs the water away from the house.
  • Gutters to collect rainwater, and downspouts to empty the water a minimum of six feet from the foundation (the further the better).
  • A waterproof barrier installed around the outside perimeter of the foundation.

If any of these basement waterproofing systems are missing or compromised, water may collect around the house and seep through the foundation or floor. The cause of a wet basement may be hard to diagnose and costly to fix. Before you call a basement waterproofing expert, here are a few simple things to try:

• Check your sump pump and its valve operation by pouring water into the sump pit. Be sure it is actually pumped outside
• Make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
• Check the slope of your lot during the next rainstorm. It's possible the house may have settled and the land may need to be re-graded away from the foundation

If the water problems are not obvious, check with your local city engineering office. They may have a water specialist on staff, or they may be able to suggest an independent engineer who can diagnose the problem. Once the problem has been identified, they will be able to steer you to the proper basement waterproofing expert for your specific problem.

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Common Sump Pump Issues

At any given time one of the following situations can occur making your main pump inoperable:

  • The power can go out.
  • The main pump can become clogged or can seize up.
  • The float switch can fail or get stuck.
  • There may be too much water for the main sump pump to handle.
  • The check valve on the main pump may fail.
  • The discharge pipe may freeze or become clogged.

When any of these events occur, the result is a flooded basement. By using a backup sump pump you can protect yourself and keep your basement dry.

Backup Sump Pumps

Install a backup sump pump in your sump pit so you're protected during a power outage, in times of excessive rain, or in the event your main sump pump fails. A backup sump pump is a system used to protect your basement from flooding when the main sump pump isn't operating. There are several types of backup systems including battery powered and water powered. When purchasing a backup pump, the most important consideration is the need for a completely redundant system, which includes a second sump pump, second float switch, and a secondary power source.

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