It is not uncommon for homeowners to panic when they hear the alarm on their battery backup system go off. They often think that there is something wrong and that they should call the contractor that installed the sump pump system.
If you have encountered this before, don’t panic. There are three occasions that your battery backup system will sound its alarm. These include:
- Failure of the primary sump pump
The alarm going off may be an indication of the failure of the primary sump pump. You can test this by checking whether the primary sump pump is still discharging water. You can tell by feeling the discharge line for the vibration of the primary pump. If the pump is not running, there will be no vibration.
There could be a number of reasons that the primary pump is not working. It is advisable to contact a professional to have a look at the pump. In the meantime, ensure that you turn off the pump. This will help to prevent the risk of electrocution in case of flooding in the basement.
- During a power outage
The alarm will also sound when there is a power outage and the battery backup system takes over the pumping of the water in your basement from the primary pump. In many cases, the pump will continue to operate for 6 to 8 hours continuously. However, these pumps often don’t run continuously. You may have up to 24 hours of protection from flooding when the power goes off.
Batteries on many backup systems need to be replaced every three years in order to provide you with optimum protection. You will otherwise have fewer hours of protection in the event of an extended power outage.
- A large volume of water is entering your basement
The alarm could also be an indication that your primary sump pump is unable to keep up with the volume of water entering the basement. The backup system will turn on and assist the primary system to pump water out and therefore prevent flooding. It is therefore important to invest in a backup system of adequate capacity to handle large volumes of water especially if you live in an area that is often affected by storms.
Your backup sump pump is a vital part of your waterproofing system. Don’t go for the cheapest you can find. Look for a high-quality pump that will provide you with the protection you need.