Is your sump pump ready for Northern Virginia’s strong summer thunderstorms? Maybe you haven’t even thought about whether your sump pump is working properly in recent times — that’s okay, but now is the time for action! As with every home appliance, sump pumps need periodic maintenance, especially if the foundation of your home sits below the water table. In anticipation of summer rain, you may want to have your sump pump serviced and upgraded for added protection and capacity. According to this Washington Post article, this past year was the wettest on record, with 2019 already off to a wetter start than 2018. A battery back-up sump pump is your last fail-safe to preventing catastrophic flooding and water damage to your home.
More often than not, sump pumps are wired into your home’s electrical system. That leaves your home vulnerable when power outages occur from intense storms with significant rainfall and high winds. At the time when you need its protection the most, your electrically-powered sump pump will not be able to come to the rescue. Or, unbeknownst to you until it’s too late, a tripped circuit breaker, clog or malfunctioning float switch can also prevent your sump pump from activating or working properly. If it’s under 10 years old, your primary system will generally be reliable, given you or a trusted plumber conducts regular testing, which you can read about in further detail at our sump pump Q&A blog post.
Being prepared for any eventuality with the addition of a battery-powered back-up pump will help keep your basement “water-proof.” A battery-powered back-up for a sump pump only triggers if the primary system doesn’t turn on, and most come with a built-in alarm to notify homeowners when it activates. The sump pump’s battery charge will last long enough to call in a plumber, though it will diminish faster if the back-up pump has to run more frequently due to a torrential downpour, for example. It is an effective and viable (but short-term) back-up solution to preventing flooding in your home while a plumber fixes or replaces the primary pump.
Having your primary pump serviced regularly will decrease your need to rely on the battery-powered back-up system in the case of water flooding your basement. But having a back-up system in place can be the saving grace that keeps you, your belongings and your home from disastrous flooding, costly water damage and the risk of higher rates on your homeowner’s insurance.