If your home has a sump pump, it is typically out of sight and out of mind. Most are located back in the far corner of your basement quietly doing their job keeping your basement dry. As long as the sump pump works, everything is fine. But when the sump pump fails, life can get ugly. I have experienced two sump pump failures in my own home both resulting in a flooded basement. The first occurred due to a power outage during a raging thunderstorm. My pump was working fine until the power went out. Once the power was off, however, it only took about 15 minutes before water breached the top of the sump and started flowing onto the floor of my finished basement. Fortunately for me, I was home at the time and spent the next several hours bailing buckets of water out of the sump and pouring them outside. I wasn’t able to prevent the water from soaking my carpet but I was able to keep the water from ruining walls and furniture.
The second time, I wasn’t so fortunate. Again, it was another raging thunderstorm, but this time I wasn’t home to do damage control. This second time, the power did not got out but a piece of packing strap had fallen into the open sump and wrapped itself around the sump’s impellor thereby rendering the pump useless. By the time I arrived home, I had water over two inches deep standing in my basement. I lost many books, some furniture, drywall and other possessions this time. The worst part was that insurance did not cover my loss as my policy did not cover sump pump failure or ground water flooding the home.
These two experiences helped me to realize the importance and value of a quality sump system. If I have been better prepared, both of my unfortunate basement floods could have been avoided. My home, like most homes with a basement sump pump, only had a single, AC powered pump installed. When that single pump failed due to power loss then a fouled impellor, there was no back-up system installed to prevent my basement from flooding. I’ve since learned that there are many back up options available that could have prevented my basement from becoming a swimming pool.
Here is a little information on four of the most common back-up configuration used for sump pumps today.
The old adage says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Had I known about the pitfalls of a single sump pump system and installed a sufficient back-up system prior to my two pump failures, I could have saved myself a lot of money, headaches, and frustration. Now I know better and made the investment in a sound back-up system.
If you would like to learn more about primary and back-up sump pumps or would like a quote on a back-up system, call us at 502-968-4444.