When your basement is under the water table, groundwater will constantly try to enter. In order to keep it out, basements are constructed with a basin and a sump pump. When groundwater flows into the basin, the sump pump removes it and diverts it harmlessly away from your home.
Since you rely on your home's sump pump to keep your basement from flooding, it's a good idea to make sure that your system is as reliable as possible. A failed sump pump during a heavy storm can quickly lead to large amounts of standing water on your basement floor, which can cause a substantial amount of damage to your basement. Below, you'll find three upgrades you can make in order to make your sump pump more reliable.
1. Water Sensor
Installing a water sensor near your sump pump is a very inexpensive way to minimize the risk of your basement flooding. They're battery-powered devices that are mounted on a basement wall. You place a detector attached to the device inside your sump pump's basin, and the alarm will sound whenever water levels rise to that point.
More expensive models even have wireless connectivity, which allows them to send an alert to your phone whenever water is detected. While water sensors don't make your sump pump more reliable on their own, they allow you to immediately know when your sump pump is malfunctioning — you'll be able to make repairs to the pump before water starts flowing out of the basin and into your basement.
2. Battery Backup
Power outages and heavy rainfall tend to accompany each other, which means that power outages are a common cause of basement flooding. Your sump pump won't function until the electricity comes back on, which may take hours. You can solve this problem by installing a battery backup system on your sump pump. When it detects that your home no longer has any power, the sump pump switches to using the battery instead. After the power comes back, the battery starts recharging.
A battery backup system can be quite expensive due to the size of the battery that's needed. Sump pumps don't draw very much power, but the battery needs to be able to provide electricity to it until power returns to your home. This requires you to install a battery with a substantial amount of energy capacity. Despite the expense, however, a battery backup system is a great way to minimize your chance of a basement flood — you'll be much better protected during heavy storms.
3. Dual-Pump System
The greatest way to make your sump pump system more reliable is to install two pumps. If the water level in the basin is too high for one pump to remove on its own, the other pump will turn on. This protects you during extreme flood events that quickly fill the basin. It also protects you when the main pump fails — eventually, the other pump will detect that the water isn't being removed properly from the basin, and then it will turn on to compensate.
While upgrading your sump pump system to make it more reliable comes at a cost, it's almost always worth it. You'll substantially reduce the risk of your basement flooding during a power outage or due to a pump failure. If your basement waterproofing system currently lacks these features, contact a sump pump installation company in your area to learn more about how these upgrades lower your risk of damaging basement flooding.