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When to Invest in a Basement Sentry Backup Pump System

Sep 1, 2023

By webfx

A backup sump pump system takes over removing water from a sump pit when a primary pump fails. Backup sump pump systems keep basements dry when primary pumps can’t operate due to power outages, part malfunctions, blockages or system overwhelm.

Basement Sentry backup pumps provide top-quality basement protection. Knowing when to invest in a Basement Sentry backup pump system can save you significant time and money in the event your primary pump fails.

Why Do I Need a Sump Pump?

The lowest part of every home’s basement contains a pit known as a sump that collects excess water from saturated soil around the house. A sump pump removes that water to prevent damage. Without a sump pump, excess water can enter a basement’s sump pit, causing it to overflow and flood the basement.

If you don’t already have a sump pump system in your home, check for the following signs of water:

  • A mildew or mold odor
  • A ring of dampness on the walls
  • Condensation on the floor or walls
  • Blistering or stained walls
  • Deteriorating wood or carpet
  • Standing water

It’s important to note that even if you don’t notice any of the signs above yet, your basement may still be vulnerable to water intake.

Why Do Basements Collect Water?

Homes in lower areas and regions that receive significant rain are especially vulnerable to water intake. However, any basement can collect water due to:

  • Heavy rainfall.
  • Rapidly melting snow.
  • Lack of proper gutters, downspouts or grading.
  • Clogged or misdirected gutters and downspouts.
  • Rising groundwater.
  • A cracked foundation

While heavy rainfall is a significant cause of water accumulation, a home’s grading is also a crucial factor. If the ground around a home’s foundation slopes toward the house rather than away, it can increase the amount of water entering the basement. Additionally, damaged or clogged gutters can fail to direct water away from a house, leaving it to soak into the ground around the foundation and eventually seep into the basement.

Water can also trickle through any pores or cracks in a basement’s foundation and may even cause or widen cracks as it goes. Even a good foundation might start letting in water if the surrounding soil drains improperly.

Why Do Primary Sump Pump Systems Fail?

Primary pump systems are incredibly effective, but even the most effective system can fail to operate in certain situations. A primary sump pump may need a backup for any of the following reasons:

  • System overload: Primary pumps may struggle to keep up with incoming water in certain situations. A heavy storm can bring significant rain, and the extra inflow can overwhelm a pump. If the pump is too small to handle the amount of water present, the water can rush into the sump pit faster than the pump can remove it.
  • Loss of power: Sump pumps most commonly operate to remove excess water from rainfall during heavy storms. Unfortunately, storms can also bring about power outages. Electrical pumps need electricity to work, and a primary pump will shut down if your house loses power.
  • Equipment failure: Primary pump systems can also fail to activate or stop operating if the float switch malfunctions. A pump’s float switch rises when water accumulates in the sump pit, activating the pump to turn on and start moving water out once it reaches a certain level. If the float switch is punctured or stuck, it cannot activate the pump. A float switch can become lodged on the side of the pump or weighed down with debris, preventing it from floating when it needs to.
  • Clogged exit pipe: A clogged exit pipe can cause a sump pump system to fail. If the pump’s exit pipe becomes clogged, the water won’t be able to flow through as well as it’s supposed to. Eventually, the pump will slow down or stop.

What Is a Backup Pump System?

A backup pump system is a secondary system that activates if a primary pump fails. Backup pumps can sense when water begins to accumulate in the sump pit. If a home’s primary pump fails to turn on or stops working, a backup pump will take over to efficiently remove water from the basement.

Primary pumps operate on electricity and a power outage can easily cause them to turn off or fail to activate, leaving basements vulnerable to water intake. Backup pump systems do not operate on electricity. Instead, they use battery or water power.

A water-powered backup pump operates on a home’s water supply, while a battery-powered backup pump operates on a battery. These systems allow a backup pump to run when electricity is unavailable, making a water- or battery-powered backup sump pump an excellent way to protect any basement from water damage.

How Does a Backup Pump System Work?

A backup pump’s float switch is typically installed above the primary pump, allowing it to detect when the primary pump fails. When this happens, the water level will rise above the primary float switch to activate the backup pump’s float switch above.

In a water-driven backup sump pump, the float switch rises and opens the valve, sending municipal water through the valve and a pressurized nozzle. The flow and pressure create a stream of water that shoots through the pipe rapidly, creating a suction that pulls water out of the sump and discharges it outside the home.

In a battery-powered backup sump pump, the float switch activates a small fan-like device called an impeller. The impeller moves water outside for as long as it needs to, as long as its battery is still working. You can recharge the battery for when your home needs the backup pump again.

How Long Does a Backup Pump System Last?

A water-powered backup system never loses power because it operates on a home’s municipal water supply. A battery-powered backup can operate as long as it has battery power.

Most battery-powered backup pumps can provide approximately five to seven hours of continuous pumping or about 60 hours of intermittent use. Investing in high-quality backup pump batteries will let you recharge them faster than other models.

Benefits of a Backup Pump System

A backup pump system can save a basement in the event a primary pump fails. Having a backup sump pump benefits your home in the following ways:

Water Damage Prevention

Backup sump pump systems prevent water damage. Water accumulating in a basement can damage walls, furniture, floors and personal belongings. It can also present health risks through mold growth when moisture comes in contact with mold spores. A backup sump pump prevents potential damage by removing water before it can accumulate in your basement.

Saving Money

Since a backup pump prevents water damage, it can help your family avoid paying for costly repairs. Installing a backup pump can help you avoid replacing your flooring, furniture and walls or paying for mold removal services. A backup pump helps preserve your basement so you can enjoy it for years to come without costly renovations and restorations.

Peace of Mind

The most important benefit of a backup sump pump is peace of mind. When you install a backup pump, you can sit back and relax during the next heavy storm and trust that your backup pump will protect your basement. Knowing your basement is safe during heavy rain can significantly reduce your stress levels.

When to Invest in a Basement Sentry Backup Pump System

You’ll want to consider several factors to determine if your home needs a backup sump pump system, including your foundation and where your home is located. It’s especially important to install a backup pump if your home includes a finished basement, has a vulnerable foundation or is located in an area that floods easily.

Your Home Has a Finished Basement

While not every home needs a backup pump system, you should invest in the best backup system possible if your home includes a finished basement. When you invest significant time, energy and money in finishing or remodeling a basement, you want to protect it from any damage. A backup sump pump system can help protect one of your home’s most significant investments.

Your basement may provide extra storage space, a family gathering spot, an additional office, a spare bedroom or your child’s playroom. No matter what you use your basement for, a finished basement contains furniture, belongings and appliances that are important to your family. A backup sump pump prevents water damage and can help you avoid costly repairs such as floor and wall replacements or mold removal.

Investing in a Basement Sentry battery backup pump system protects one of your home’s most valuable spaces. While an unfinished basement may be able to handle some water intake, a finished basement needs more protection from storms and melting snow.

Your Home Has a Vulnerable Foundation

Poor soil drainage can cause excess groundwater to enter a basement and accumulate. If your home’s foundation has cracks, it may be more prone to groundwater intake. If your foundation allows excess water to flow into your sump pit, it’s essential to invest in a backup pump system.

Your Home Is Located in an Area That Floods Often

You may also want to consider investing in a backup pump system if you live in an area prone to flooding. While homes in dry states such as Arizona may not require a backup sump pump — or even a primary pump — homes in wetter areas often need them.

Investing in a quality backup pump system will help you protect any precious belongings in your basement if you live in a region that receives significant precipitation. It’s also important to install a backup sump pump if your home is lower than the areas around you since water flows from higher elevations and accumulates in low areas.

Benefits of Basement Sentry Backup Pump Systems

Basement Sentry backup pump offers incredible benefits for homeowners, with features such as rapid charging, self-testing abilities, easy installation and built-in Wi-Fi. With real-time monitoring and push notifications via a linked smartphone app, you’ll receive alerts that let you address potential maintenance needs as soon as possible.

A Basement Sentry pump’s ability to rapidly charge makes it better able to protect your home than other models. Rapid charging ensures your pump will have a full charge when you need it most. Basement Sentry’s Core Backup line features backup pumps that can charge twice as fast as other models.

The Plus battery backup system can charge four times faster than other pump models. It features built-in Wi-Fi, which means you can monitor and test your backup pump’s system status and battery level from your computer or phone anytime and from any location.

Basement Sentry’s Sump Pump Platinum Combo System automatically self-tests the battery and pump. It notifies you of any issues so you can schedule repairs before the system needs to operate. The Platinum model also features incredible charging abilities and can charge 17 times faster than other models. Real-time tracking will test your primary and backup pump cycles and deliver alerts for high current, continuous run time and primary pump failure.

Basement Sentry models also feature battery and pump diagnostics. You can purchase a backup system by itself or opt for a combination system containing both primary and backup pumps. When you purchase a Basement Sentry combination unit, you can take advantage of easy installation with a pre-plumbed system.

Invest in a Basement Sentry Backup Pump System From Zoeller

Your basement is an essential part of your home. Whether you use it for family game nights, a spare bedroom or to entertain guests, it’s vital to protect it from potential water damage. Protecting your basement can save you time and money on expensive repairs and help you preserve your beautiful space as long as possible.

Zoeller at Home provides top-of-the-line Basement Sentry backup sump pump systems. Basement Sentry systems offer incredible features such as rapid charging, easy maintenance and built-in Wi-Fi. With a Basement Sentry backup system, you can trust that your backup pump will operate when you need it to. You can also test and monitor its system status at any time and receive notifications when the system needs attention. Browse our selection of Basement Sentry systems to find the right fit for your home.