The spring season often brings rainy weather and with rain comes an increase in flooded basements. Rainwater is a common cause of flooded basements and flooding in your basement can lead to significant damage and mold growth. The best way to protect your basement from flooding is with a sump pump.
Sump pumps are installed in basements and they work by collecting excess groundwater in a basin. When the basin reaches a certain level, the sump pump pumps the water outside your home at a safe distance. Sump pumps are highly effective at protecting your basement from flooding, that is until the power goes out.
During a severe storm, a power outage can disable a working sump pump, causing water to back up into your home. To ensure complete protection from basement flooding, homeowners should consider a battery back-up system for their sump pump. Power outages are the main cause of sump pump malfunctions and homeowners insurance typically does not cover water damage caused by sump pump failures. A battery back-up system will keep the sump pump working to keep water out of your basement until the power comes back on.
In this guide, we will discuss sump pump battery back-up systems including what they are and why they are important. At ServiceMaster S&R Systems, we have done enough water jobs for flooded basements to know how important battery backup systems are for protecting your home. If you do experience flooding in your basement, you should call our professionals right away for effective water damage restoration.
What is a Sump Pump Battery Back-Up System?
Sump pumps are built to last for up to ten years with the proper maintenance and they are quite durable which makes mechanical failures and breakdowns unlikely. However, a power outage during a storm will very quickly put your sump pump out of commission. It only takes a couple hours after a power outage for your basement to flood. With a battery back-up system, you will not have to worry about your sump pump stopping when the power goes out.
Battery back-up systems are converter/control systems that use heavy-duty batteries as the power source in case of a power outage. These systems automatically turn on as soon as the power goes out so that your sump pump never stops working. The battery is always connected to the sump pump and the electrical source which keeps it charged and ready for when a power outage occurs.
The following are the main advantages of a battery back-up system for your sump pump:
- Protection from power outages: It is common for power outages to occur during severe storms which will disable your sump pump and put your home at risk of flooding. Battery back-up systems keep your sump pump working through a power outage to prevent flooding.
- Detects sump pump failure: If your sump pump fails for a reason other than a power outage, you may not notice the failure right away. Your home can flood before you notice the failure. Battery back-up systems can detect when there is a problem with your sump pump system and alerts you so that you can address the problem.
The benefits of sump pump battery back-up systems are obvious and can bring you peace of mind knowing that your home is protected from flooding, even in a power outage. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind regarding these systems:
- If the power is out for an extended period of time, the battery charge may run out.
- You need to check the water levels within the battery every few months and clean the battery terminals twice a year. Failing to do these things may compromise the effectiveness of the backup system when it is needed.
- You must replace the battery every 2-3 years because the constant recharging of the battery can reduce its efficiency.
Sump Pump Battery Back-Up System Installation
The installation of sump pumps and battery back-up systems requires knowledge of working with the electrical system which is why it is best left to professionals. Battery back-up systems may cost hundreds of dollars and they take a few hours to install, but they can save you thousands of dollars in flooded basement cleanup costs which could take weeks, or even months to complete.
You should make sure that your sump pump is plugged directly into a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlet that is above the high-water line. These outlets shut off the power when a ground fault occurs. Test the outlets at least once each year by hitting the test button to ensure that the outlet cuts off the power.
You also need to make sure that the battery is protected by a water-resistant case. Batteries can be installed near the sump pump when protected by a water-resistant case without water from the pump causing an electrical short. You can talk to the professional installer about protecting the battery with a water-resistant case.
Installation for Existing Sump Pumps
If you currently have a sump pump in your home without a battery back-up system, you can add these systems to your existing pump. The battery of the back-up system is connected between your existing sump pump and the electrical supply. The connection of the battery to the electrical outlet charges the battery and as soon as a power outage occurs, the battery automatically takes over as the power source.
Flooded Basement Cleanup from ServiceMaster S&R Systems
Functional sump pumps are the best form of protection from basement flooding, but once the power goes out, your home is vulnerable. If a severe storm causes a power outage, it can only take a couple of hours for your basement to flood. You can better protect your home from flooding by having a battery back-up system installed. These back-up systems will keep your sump pump running when the power is out, saving you from indoor flooding that can cause extensive property damage.
If you do experience flooding in your basement, you need to take quick action to limit the spread of the damage. ServiceMaster S&R Systems provides complete water damage restoration services to tackle water related disasters like flooded basements. Our technicians are equipped to remove the water from your basement as well as dry and restore the affected areas and materials.