Installing a Duplex Sump Pump System can keep your basement dry. Every year many people experience flooded basements when a sump pump failure allows the basement to fill with water. For many people the damage to finished basements, and mechanical equipment runs into huge amounts of money. This damage is often not covered by their standard home owners insurance policy, leaving huge out of pocket expenses for the homeowner that hasn’t purchased a separate flood insurance policy. Unfortunately homeowners insurance only covers water coming down such as damage caused by a leaking roof or, a burst pipe. Water that comes up whether it is high ground water or a swollen river coming over its banks is a flood and coverage for that is through a separate flood insurance policy not your homeowners insurance policy.
One of the best ways you can protect your home from damage caused by a failed sump pump allowing the sump pit to over flow, is to install an Alternating Duplex Sump Pump System. The installation will require a larger sump pit or, crock in order to accommodate the two pumps used in the duplex system. The two pumps are controlled an alternating control which alternates the pump used with each cycle giving the pump a break so it is used only half as much. If the water coming into the pit was coming in too fast for the single pump when the water reaches a certain set point the 2nd pump will turn on to double the pumping capacity. In addition if one pump was to fail the second pump would take over the pumping duties and an alarm would sound to alert you to the failure of one of the pumps. The alternating duplex system is more desirable than having a backup pump setting higher that only runs when the 1st pump fails or, when it can’t keep up. The unused pump will certainly be damaged by corrosion and a lack of use so by the time it is called into action it may have already failed.
The larger sized pit actually increases the reliability as well in addition to the second pump. The larger sized pit will take longer to fill, and longer to pump out which decreases the amount of motor starts per hour. Motor starting is the enemy of electric motors as when a motor starts it has a much higher current draw until it reaches about 75% of its rated speed. This larger current draw when starting builds heat into the motor windings, which can cause premature failure when the motor starts too many times per hour. The larger pit would decrease the starts per hour on its own, never mind the break the motor gets from being in an alternating duplex system where the amount of starts is shared with a second pump.
Many of the sump pump manufacturers have prepackaged duplex systems available such as the Zoeller Pump Company, Little Giant, and Liberty Pumps, they also sell the alternating controls, and alarms as well. The systems can be purchased either prepackaged complete or, as individual components. These systems are more expensive than the single self contained pumps that you drop in the hole and plug in, but the reliability and service life is more than doubled keeping your basement from flooding.
If the electrical power reliability is a concern then you should consider a standby generator that will give you the added fringe benefit of lights, heat, and running water if you are on a well system, in addition to operating the sump pump when the power goes out. If you do not want to install a standby generator for protection you may want to consider either a Battery Operated Backup Sump Pump or, a Water Powered Backup Sump Pump for use during power outages.
When you consider the amount of damage that can occur to a finished basement or, even the mechanical equipment used for providing domestic hot water, heating and air conditioning in your home, it makes a lot of sense to increase the reliability of your sump pump system. Many manufacturers of this equipment, say that equipment that has been flooded out should be replaced, and not repaired. Those that don’t say replace it, do say that it should be thoroughly inspected by a qualified repair person before using it again. When it comes to the water damage in a finished basement, all too often the flooring is ruined, and the walls are cut away to remove all the materials that were soaked with water, in order to prevent mold which is a health concern as well. The expense of watching workers carry your finished basement out of the house and loading it into a roll-off container can be considerable both emotionally in to the pocket.
If you have a basement that is susceptible to flooding from ground water you owe it to yourself, your family, and your home to protect your basement from flooding to prevent costly damage to your home. A Duplex Alternating Sump Pump System will drastically increase your chances of having a basement that stays dry.