Sump Pump Failure

Its not a matter of IF it will happen.  It is a matter of WHEN it happens, how well prepared are you.  Let’s face it, eventually that sump pump is going to fail.  Even if you have a battery back up pump, it too will fail.  And if the main pump was already not working, what is the backup plan then?

Even if you have all the right insurance in place, and the expense of the clean up and restoration work is fully paid, minus the deductible of course, the reality is that things will be permanently destroyed and your life will be shifted to chaos-mode, even if only a few inches of water has filled your basement.

If you could prevent all that for $12 to $40, would you do it?  The answer ought to instantly be yes, but surprisingly very few households employ such simple preventative measures.  The solution is to place water alarms in locations where water is likely to be an issue.  You could go crazy and put an alarm in every location where you have water, but let’s focus on the one that presents the greatest risk of failure and hardship.  The most obvious location is at the sump pump.

If your house is anything like mine, the sump pump runs at completely unpredictable times, unless of course it is raining, then it is highly predictable.  Your house may also be like mine in that I don’t go down into the basement on a daily basis.  The question is, if your pump were to stop pumping, how would you know, and how long would it take for enough water to rise out of the pit to ruin your day?  The answer to the second question is probably as brief as a few hours, or less during a heavy rain.  The answer to the first question is unfortunately when you hear your footsteps in the water or when you are notified by an alarm.

Water alarms can be remarkably simple and exceptionally reliable devices, like the Watchdog Water Alarm for as little as $12.  Operated by a 9V battery, the sensor has a 6’ wire so that you could actually lower the sensor into the sump pit so that the 110db alarm will start to sound before the water gets to the rim of the pit.  Mine has gone off several times, and because it doesn’t go off that often, I usually find myself confused at the sudden loud, high pitch sound coming out of the basement, and it takes a few seconds before I am snapped into panic mode as I realize the source of the foreign noise.  Sure, at that point you will need to start taking drastic action, but at least you hopefully caught it early enough.

But what happens if you don’t hear the alarm, or you happen to not be home, and it is hours before you realize the alarm has been squealing all day?  That’s where Wi-Fi sensors, like the Grovee Water Sensor, a three-pack with hub for $40, could be your better solution.  Because these are connected to a Wi-Fi signal, and ultimately to your phone app, when the alarm goes off, not only will there be a 100db alarm in the house, but you will be notified on your smart phone app and via email notification.  Again, it doesn’t solve the problem, but how nice to be notified while you are at work or away on vacation, and able to take immediate action rather than experiencing the shock upon your return home or the next time you step foot in your basement.

Now, don’t run out to buy one of these and think the problem is solved.  Do realize that things have issues.  Batteries die, sensors fail, the Wi-Fi goes out.  The list is as long as your imagination allows.  But the reality is that with one of these items, your chances of stepping into 3” of water in your basement will have been reduced dramatically.  If you don’t have one, the links will take you right to the products and set-up will be a matter of minutes.  Peace of mind from having them in place will last significantly longer.

Maybe you find this information exciting and new.  Do realize that the world of Smart Home Products is expanding rapidly.  If you can think of a household maintenance trouble, there might already be a device out there ready to solve it for you.  Do a little research.  You might find your world blown wide open with the opportunities that already exist.

If you found this information to be interesting, please return periodically to read more and please consider sharing this article or reposting the content.  Thank you.

Informed Home Inspections

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