Standalone Battery Backup – Not Enough

Don’t Stand For A Standalone Battery Backup Unit!

You may have seen battery backup power supply units available on the market that can provide power backup to anything plugged into them, including a regular sump pump.  It’s reasonable to ask why one wouldn’t want to just use a standard AC powered sump pump, along with a battery backup unit, for their sump pump system.  Well, there are a couple of very important reasons why I think that’s not a good idea at all!

First of all, the best thing about having a separate battery backup pump system is that when (not IF) your main pump fails, there is another pump right there to take over.  It is NOT ENOUGH to simply back up the power supply – you need an entire second system!

Another major problem I have with standalone battery backup units is the fact that I’ve never seen one that effectively tests and monitors itself.  When the batteries fail, you have no backup power source.  Batteries are GUARANTEED TO FAIL, and they usually do so much more rapidly than the equipment they’re meant to power.  Having a system that alerts you when there’s a problem is essential!

The backup power units that I’ve seen come with a standard duplex outlet (that means two places to plug something in).  The problem with that is the fact that these units can only supply a maximum of around 13 amps.  Most devices will not draw too much current by themselves.  However, if you plug TWO devices in and they both activate, you could end up with a dead backup unit…

battery backup sump pump system
PHCC Pro Series 2400 Battery Backup Sump Pump System

The bottom line is a good dedicated battery backup sump pump system is almost always a better choice than a standalone battery backup power source.  Not only can you avoid the pitfalls I’ve just described, systems like our PHCC Pro 2400 also test their pumps regularly, and they monitor their float switches for problems as well.  No standalone battery backup unit that I’m aware of provides those features.

And remember, we’re talking about a critical system in your home.  If you don’t have a good battery backup sump pump, you don’t have a sump pump at all!  Don’t take chances, call The Sump Pump Company at 847-967-PUMP (7867) and enjoy the peace of mind you’ll experience knowing you’re protected.

~ Dave

Online-Connected Sump Pumps.

Internet-Connected SUMP PUMPS?

Yep, you heard right! Believe it or not, even the old sump pump is benefiting from modern technology, and I’m pretty excited about what’s recently come to the market…

Online Connected Sump Pumps
Online Connected Sump Pumps

Since December, 2011, I have had a battery backup sump pump system called the PeakFlow iControl installed in my basement.  I was intrigued by the system when I first saw it, because it allows you to connect to your pump system over the internet, using any web browser.  You can run a self-test, check battery capacity, and monitor and clear alarms from ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD you can get an internet connection.

I’m pretty impressed with this pump system, and not just because of the really great internet feature.  This system has a powerful pump motor, a nice looking (and so far perfectly reliable) dual-float switch, and a ruggedly-constructed control unit.  It’s also manufactured by a local company (like our PHCC Pro brand), who has been in business for a long time, and whose products have an excellent reputation for reliability.  It gives me a great comfort level to know that if I ever had an issue with their product, I have direct access to the owners of the company.  That kind of personal connection lets me give you even more assurance that the products we sell are made to last!

I actually removed my main pump several months ago, to give the iControl more of a workout.  Now that we’re getting some rain & snow melt, that pump is getting more and more use, and it’s performing perfectly.

Now, you may be thinking that it’s no big deal to be able to connect to your pump over the internet.  I would respectfully disagree!  Right now, my own “original” backup pump system, a PHCC Pro 2400, is connected to my home alarm system.  When any kind of trouble happens (such as a power failure, or the pump activating for any reason), my alarm keypad beeps, and the alarm monitoring company calls me.

Now that’s all well and good, but when I get the call, all the alarm company can tell me is that I have a “Sump Pump Trouble Alarm”.  There is no way to know WHAT caused it, and that could be a big issue!  With the iControl, I can simply log on to tell if there is a power failure, or if the pump was activated.  I can run a self test cycle and check the battery level.  The bottom line is, I can easily and conveniently tell if I have a problem that needs immediate action, or if it’s something that can wait.  With my PHCC Pro 2400, I have no idea what the problem may be.  If I were on vacation when the pump alarm came, I would certainly FAR PREFER the information I get from the iControl.  With the Pro 2400, I might be forced to call a neighbor to check on my house – I like my neighbors, but I’m sure we’d all like to avoid having them check on my sump pump!!

We’re getting close to offering this pump system for sale at The Sump Pump Company, and when we do, you’ll see all the information here on our site.  If you want to KNOW what’s going on with your sump pump rather than just guessing, then the iControl is the system for you!

~ Dave

My Expensive Sump Pump Works Great !

“Sump Pump Works Great, But Expensive”

Sump Pump Company Approved
Sump Pump Company Approved“Sump Pump Works Great, But Expensive”

That’s what was written on a comment card we recently received back from a customer who purchased a system from us, and I think it goes to the heart of what we try to do here at The Sump Pump Company.  You see, our mission is to learn everything we can about all of the sump pump products available, then help you choose which system to install.  Our philosophy is to balance COST against FEATURES, to come up with the best VALUE.

 

Unfortunately, I have yet to come across a sump pump system that is both CHEAP, and WORTH IT… The fact is, there are dozens of products that span the range from very cheap to outrageously expensive.  In our experience, it’s rare that we come across a situation which requires the most expensive solution.  And, we have yet to see a very inexpensive pump system that actually protects you reliably.  As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, and with a system as critical as your sump pump, going cheap could have disastrous (and expensive) consequences.

You may have noticed that we don’t offer a very wide range of products.  The reason is simple: we carry products that have proven, over time, to represent the best balance between features and cost.  Price is only one of the factors we look at; we’re also very keen to make sure our products have the right features to protect your home reliably.

There may be more products coming out that may earn the privilege of being “Sump Pump Company Approved”, but until those products pass our test (including living in my basement), we’re not comfortable staking our reputation on them.  Because that’s what we’re doing when we offer a product – we are staking our reputation on that product’s quality, and on the value it represents to our customers.  And we don’t take that lightly.

So, I’m glad our pump systems work great, and I’m sorry that they may seem expensive.  We know that quality is remembered long after price is forgotten, and if you’ve ever had to suffer through a basement flood, I know you’ll understand that ours is a very small price indeed, compared to the cost of a flood.

So, protect your home and what you own, and make sure you have a quality, reliable primary AND battery backup sump pump system.  Because if you don’t have a backup sump pump, you don’t have a sump pump at all!

— The Sump Pump Company

Whole-house generator now it time for a backup sump pump

Got a whole-house generator? Great, now get a backup sump pump!

Home Emergency Back-Up Power
Home Emergency Back-Up Power

So you decided to protect yourself and get a whole-house generator to keep the lights on in case the power fails.  Great idea – generators can save a lot of pain and hassle; in fact, you may not even know the power in your neighborhood has failed unless you go outside!

Many people believe that having a generator means they don’t have to worry about having a battery backup sump pump system.  Those people are WRONG!  Yes, a battery backup system will protect you in case of a power failure.  However, the main reason for having a backup pump system is to protect you from a MAIN PUMP FAILURE Most main pump failures have nothing to do with the power – the pump simply gets old, wears out, and stops working.  If you don’t have a backup pump system and the main fails, you will get water in your house even if the power is on!  Your fancy generator will be powerless to help you.

combination sump pump system
C33 COMBO Sump Pump System

A good backup pump system will not only protect your home by continuing to keep water out after the main pump fails, it will also ALERT YOU THAT IT HAS BEEN ACTIVATED.  That alert gives you the opportunity to replace the main pump, so you can maintain your full level of protection.

Of course, good backup pump systems also self-test and exercise themselves regularly, and they monitor the condition of their batteries.  If anything goes wrong, you get an alert.

Don’t get complacent simply because you have a generator and your AC power supply is secure.  Without a good backup sump pump system, you are at risk.  As we say here at The Sump Pump Companyif you don’t have a backup sump pump system, you don’t have a sump pump at all!

~ Dave

Sump Pump Exercise – Get your Pump Moving.

The Benefits of Sump Pump Exercise

Sump Pump Excercise
Sump Pump Excercise

We all know that regular exercise helps keep our bodies in shape, prevents a myriad of health problems, and generally helps us live longer, healthier lives. Well, believe it or not, regular exercise is also essential for keeping sump pump systems in top condition!

As you know, most sump pumps live their lives partially or totally submerged in water. Over time, minerals and debris present in the water can build up deposits on those parts of the pump that it touches. Also, the water promotes corrosion (rusting) of metal parts.

Pumps that sit in water and rarely operate are prone to problems with corrosion and buildups. A pump that sits long enough will fail – when it tries to turn on, if the layers of corrosion and buildup are thick enough, they will prevent the motor and pump from turning, and the pump will burn out, shut off on overload, or even trip the circuit breaker. In our experience, we find all too often that pumps which operates regularly last FAR LONGER than those which simply sit in water and never run.

The solution is regular exercise.  If the pump is run every so often, it helps keep deposits and corrosion from building up, so it will be able to operate when called upon. That’s why we offer pump controllers that are capable of automatically exercising the pump at regular intervals (usually once a week, for just a few seconds). This regular exercise is enough to allow the moving parts to spin and keep themselves free of buildups.

In our opinion, ALL sump pumps (primary AND battery backup) should have controllers that exercise them.  That way, there’s one less thing that may prevent them from working at the moment of truth.  Of course, even a pump that exercises will fail eventually.  That’s why you need to have a backup pump system, no matter what.  You know what we say here at The Sump Pump Company – if you don’t have a backup sump pump, you don’t have a sump pump at all!

Protect your home and what you own with primary AND backup pumps that get regular exercise, and enjoy the peace of mind…

~ Dave

Is Eight Enough? The “OCTO-PUMP”

Is Eight Enough? How much is YOUR peace of mind worth?

OCTO-Pump - Piece of Mind
OCTO-Pump – Piece of Mind

Last weekend my wife and I had dinner with old friends, whom we had not seen in a number of years since we all lived down in the City. They, like us, had kids and migrated up to the suburbs; in their case Glencoe. Dave is a developer and builder, and his wife Andrea is an extremely talented interior designer. They built a magnificent home for their family, and I have to tell you it’s absolutely gorgeous!

About 6 months after they moved in, there were large storms. Unfortunately, Dave & Andrea were inundated with almost 2 feet of water in their brand-new, beautiful basement. Dave decided that he was going to do WHATEVER IT TOOK to make sure he never had another drop of water! Some might say he went a little overboard, but I can assure you he does not lose once second of sleep worrying about a basement flood…

Dave tapped some of the vendors he works with to build commercial buildings, and they collaborated on a new sump pump design. They tore out the old basin and installed a new basin 3 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep. Into that basin, they installed EIGHT PUMPS. Yes, you read that correctly. My friend Dave’s basement has EIGHT SUMP PUMPS in it! Four of them are primary, AC pumps, controlled by a custom made panel which alternates them so they all get exercised. In addition, he installed four battery backup pumps made by the same company as the internet-connected pump I’ve been testing for almost a year in my own basement – I’ll be picking his brain to see how they’ve performed (I’m guessing very well, or they wouldn’t be there).

Two pairs of pumps discharge into a 4” pipe, and the other two pairs connect to a second 4” pipe. Those two pipes then merge into an enormous 6” pipe, which is connected directly to the storm sewer outside. Without question, this is the most impressive sump pump system I have ever seen in ANY building, let alone a single family home!

Overkill? I say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What’s YOUR peace of mind worth? You may not need the OCTO-PUMP, but, like we say at The Sump Pump Company,  if you don’t have a battery backup sump pump, you don’t have a sump pump at all! Protect your home and what you own, and enjoy the peace of mind…

~ Dave