Sump pumps are very unpredictable and have given countless homeowners a lot of headaches. With thousands of dollars at risk upon failure, it’s easy to see why. The good thing though is you don’t have to suffer the same fate.
With a few modifications, you can significantly improve your system and decrease the chances of flooding to zero. Here are the best upgrades for your sump pumps to have better flooding protection for your basement.
1. Quiet Check Valve
Getting tired of that loud thud whenever the pump starts and stops? Get yourself a quiet check valve. It uses a strong spring to gently open and close the swing of the check valve and avoid water hammer.
Not only does this reduce the noise, it also helps your pipes last longer by reducing the vibrations produced. Don’t let your sump pump get in the way of your precious sleep, get yourself a quiet check valve.
2. Freeze Relief
The water stuck in the discharge line that runs from the house into the storm sewer can get frozen during cold weather. When that happens, the path of the water from the sump pump is blocked. Since there’s no discharge, the water level in the pit will rise until it floods the basement.
On top of that, the pump will heat up and likely get damaged. So not only do you have to pay for water damage restoration, you’ll also need to have your pump replaced.
A freeze relief can provide a bypass for the water to come out of. Instead of running through the blocked pipes, it gets discharged somewhere before that. This can make a lot of difference specially to those living in colder climates.
3. Electronic Switch
Sump pump switches, even in the best sump pumps, are very sensitive. They usually fail way before the pump itself and can sometimes bring the pump along with them.
Dirt from the water can accumulate and cause the switch mechanism of the vertical switch to stick. Tethered switches, on the other hand, can get tangled specially when you have a narrow basin.
The best way to protect the pump from either of this is to remove the need for any moving parts. This is where the electronic switch comes in. It doesn’t need to be activated mechanically and instead uses a low power electric field to detect the level of the sump water. It’s a lot more reliable than traditional float switches and are really worth looking into if you want less failures.
4. Backup Sump Pump
This is probably the best addition you can get if you still don’t have one. Sump pumps, no matter the quality, will fail for a number of reasons. Power outages, motor failure, and clogs are just some of the more common ones.
Having a backup sump pump can give you protection during power outages and extra time to conduct a replacement.
The two main types of backup sump pumps are battery-powered and water-powered. The water-powered ones are extra reliable since they rely on water supply which is almost always present. Battery backups are more popular though as they’re usually more powerful.
But if you want complete convenience, you can get a power inverter for your sump pump. All you have to do is plug the battery and the pump to it and you’re good to go. No extra pump and piping modifications needed.
5. Sump Water Level Alarm
Are you always worried about your sump pump failing that you just have to check your basement every now and then? Stop wasting time and attention worrying about it. Get yourself a water level alarm.
When the water reaches an unusually high level due to a failed sump pump or a power outage, a water level alarm can notify and give you time to take action.
There are models that have audible alarms while others are more advanced and are equipped with call, text, and email capabilities.