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How to Prevent Basement Flooding with Sump Pumps and Battery Backups.

Ahhh, September…evenings are starting to get a little crisp, fall and Halloween are around the corner, and everyone seems just about ready to finally escape the heat of summer. Unfortunately, September also marks the beginning of hurricane season…and that means a lot of rain for the Mid-Atlantic. Considering July shaped up to be the wettest in Baltimore’s history, a record-breaking 16.67 inches of rain fell, compared to a normal average of 4 inches, what can we expect for September? A lot of flooded basements, that’s what. Have you taken the necessary steps to prevent basement flooding? Making sure your sump pump is up to snuff definitely needs to take priority. A few simple steps in prevention can save you the emotional and financial burden of a flooded basement. So let’s break it down…

Many houses are equipped with a sump pump; in fact, most new home builds have sump pumps. Perhaps one of the best inventions in home convenience, a sump pump works by removing water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin. They cost anywhere from $58 to around $170 and can last an average of 5-10 years. More than 60% of American homes have moisture issues in their basements and a sump pump very effectively prevents flooding…if it’s running that is. When a storm hits, and your house loses power, your sump pump cannot operate, which makes having a battery backup for your sump pump absolutely necessary.

Common Causes of Sump Pump Failure

While power outages are the main cause of sump pump failure, there are actually quite a few ways that your sump pump can fail. Older sump pumps, inexpensive sump pumps, and sump pumps that are too small to handle a load of water from say flooding or rapid snowmelt are all likely candidates for mechanical failure. Float switches are another common cause for sump pump failure. The tethered float switch, that switches on the pump, can get caught against the pump, disconnect the power or simply burn out, rendering your sump pump useless. Battery backups can provide several hours of protection from flooding when any one of these scenarios of failure occur with your sump pump. Battery backups consist of a battery, a battery-operated pump, a charger, and piping, and quite simply can be your best prevention against a flooded basement.

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Sump Pump Battery Backup Basics

Let’s dive into the basics of battery backups for your sump pump. First, determine your sump pump’s capacity. This can be done by disconnecting your pump and checking the label on your basket. You can also look on your sump pump manufacturer’s website to find out the GPH rating. You then want to buy a battery backup with at least that much capacity…more, if your sump pump commonly struggles to keep up with the load of water your house gets. Second, use good common sense to determine how much to invest in your battery backup. With a wide range in pricing from around $100 to $500, you may not need the most expensive battery backup, but you certainly don’t want to skimp on this investment. Think about how much a ruined floor, and wet drywall costs…not to mention the hassle. A couple hundred dollars now, can save you thousands later.

How Long Will Your Sump and Sump Pump Battery Backup Run Continuously?

So how long will your sump pump run continuously? That depends on many factors. As mentioned earlier, an older sump pump can burn out from vigorous pumping over an extended amount of time. If your sump pump is over 5 years old and is pumping every minute for 12 hours straight, you’re going to want a decent battery backup in case that sump pump fails. How long will your battery backup run continuously? Well, that depends on how often your pump needs to run. A 40 amp battery can pump every 5 minutes for 53 hours, but will only last for 12 hours when pumping at the rate of once per minute. Use good old common sense when determining the size of battery you need to accommodate your water flow.

The Vertical Connection Is Here to Help You Choose the Best Flooring.

If the worst-case scenario has already happened, and your basement has flooded, hopefully, this article can help guide you in preventing it from happening again. We, at the Vertical Connection, are also here to help you pick the best flooring for flood-prone zones.  We can help give you the peace of mind that your flooring can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it. Now that your basement woes are sorted and you can breathe easily while hurricane season rages on…the only thing you’ll have to fear this fall, is those scary Halloween movies.

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