A spare sump pump might be a good ideaWhen snow melts and floodwaters rise, a properly functioning sump pump system can be the difference between being high and dry and having a very wet basement.
By: J. Shane Mercer, INFORUM
When snow melts and floodwaters rise, a properly functioning sump pump system can be the difference between being high and dry and having a very wet basement.
Here are some tips for making sure your sump doesn’t let you down.
One way: Brian Brakke, owner of True Value Hardware in Moorhead, advises homeowners to install a one-way check valve on the pipe that runs from the pump. This type of valve will only allow water to flow one direction, preventing it from moving back down the tube when the pump stops.
Backup: A battery-powered backup sump is highly recommended, says Jim Haggerty, plumbing manager at Scheels Hardware in Fargo. If the power goes out or the standard pump just goes belly-up, the backup sump pump kicks in and takes up the slack.
Check it: It’s better to know there’s a problem with the system before you need it. Pour water into your sump pit to trigger the pump so you can verify that it’s doing its job.
Water alarm: There are a number of devices that can be used to detect water and give some kind of warning in the event that the sump isn’t doing its duty.
Some are simple and sound an alarm to let you know there’s trouble. Or you can go high-tech with the Water Alarm Plus. It’s $70 and will call you on the phone if it detects water.
Keep it moving: You don’t want to pump the same water over and over again. So make sure that the water from the sump discharges at a point where it will flow downhill, away from the house.
Keeping a spare: It’s Murphy’s Law: When you most need something, it will break. So having an extra sump pump on hand in case the installed one goes bad could come in handy. Sure, it’s an extra expense and if you end up needing it, it’ll feel like the best deal you ever made.
Readers can reach Forum community content manager Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734
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