this spring will your basement be dry?
After the Freeze,
And then the freeze again.
We live in New England, cold is to be expected. So too is a change in the weather to rain or snow. In November’s monsoons I got a call for guidance on a sump pump back up system that had failed. I helped replace the back up battery and pump. Fortunately, the homeowner had experience with water in their basement so little damage was done. I have too. Which is why I am familiar with working on sump pumps. I have replaced a few.
If you get water in your basement, the recent thaws and rains, might have been a cause for alarm. There are 3 reasons to have a sump pump,1. you get run off from heavy storms infiltrating your basement or crawl space, 2. you are subject to high water table pushing from below, or 3. you are cautious and want to have somewhere for water to go if your pipes, laundry hose, or heaters leak.
If you have not tested your sump pump lately, now is the time. Just lift the float to see if the pump runs. Ideally, you will hear the pump start and if you have some water in your sump, you will see the level recede.
If you do not have a battery backup pump,
now too is the time to consider what will happen if your power goes out when your sump is filling. No disaster is only one oops. It is a combination of little issues that snowball at Murphy’s beckoning! If you have lived out as have I, a scene from the Sorcerers Apprentice bucket brigade, you know de-watering your house by hand is no fun. When the power goes out, without an automatic generator or a battery backup, your basement may fill. Again, we live in New England, home of “Snowtober” , “Snowmageddon” and a generous water table to boot.
I like a battery back up too as an overflow solution. If one pump cannot keep up with the volume of water entering your house, the battery run pump can lend a hand.
Another feature many have is an alarm to let you know the back up pump was activated. This tells you that your primary pump may have failed!
I also like having an alternate water outlet. One year, our primary pump line out to the drywell failed. (Gophers?) The water had nowhere to go. So it stayed in my basement! Now I have an overflow pipe.
If the main line out clogs, the water will simply evacuate to the yard. Not ideal, but a lot better than a wet baseball card collection!
If you have ever helped you kids make pvc marshmallow guns, you can tie in or replace a battery backup sump pump yourself. Some stores sell these, and they can be ordered. But don’t wait for your pump to fail. Preventative maintenance is key here. Consider testing and or installing before the spring thaw and April showers. If however, you lack the inclination, tools or time, you can have A Home And Garden Handyman, LLC help!