What Happens to my Sump Pump in a Power Outage?
Spring is here which brings rain that could cause a potential problem for your home. Rainwater does make its way down and around your foundation, where it must be pumped away from the house. In homes with sump pumps, this water around the foundation will, by design, find its way into your sump pit where the sump pump can do its work. If you do not have a sump pump, or if your sump pump fails, it can lead to flooding in your basement. It’s best to prepare your sump pump in advance of a power outage during a storm to prevent issues created by flooding.
How they work
Sump pumps are installed in a “sump pit” where water can pass around the foundation freely to the pump. When flooding occurs, the sump pump will remove unwanted water from the area keeping the basement or crawlspace dry. Unfortunately, they almost always run on electricity and will stop pumping water if the power goes out. When this happens, water still continues to flow inside without a way to leave, causing build up of water which happens quickly. Sometimes a sump pump may even lose power even if the rest of the house doesn’t. A couple of ways to avoid the power outage issue is to have plans in order to keep your sump pump working.
A backup battery for your sump pump will save your space from a few more hours of flooding from the storm. The battery backup also provides a safety net during times when the primary pump may fail for other reasons and a built-in alarm alerts the homeowner of the failure. Another option may be the use of a water-powered backup pump if you are using a municipal water system, so your pump will never need batteries.
If you’re in an area where the power may be out for days rather than hours, the best option may be to use a house generator. The generator will be able to provide power to the house, appliances, and sump pump until the outage is over. If you’re only looking for a generator that can backup the sump pump rather than the whole house, you will need to know what the average starting and running wattage is for your pump and what kind of load the generator could handle.
Knowing that your basement or crawlspace is protected from flooding with a sump pump backup source will give you peace of mind and help you avoid expensive costs and repairs in the future.
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