Strange Weather and November Tornadoes ?

November Tornadoes – What Next ?

You all heard about the devastating storms that wiped out areas of downstate Illinois last Sunday… Our hearts go out to all who were affected, and we hope they recover quickly (if you want to help, see information below). It’s a tremendous shock to have a storm system produce so many powerful tornadoes – but in mid-November?? We were certainly surprised to see weather like that so late in the year – not normally our busy time here at The Sump Pump Company! It makes us wonder, what’s going on with the weather anyway?

From superstorms in the Northeast U.S., to mega-typhoons in the Philippines, it seems as though the weather is getting more severe each year. Perhaps our globe really is warming, but regardless of why it’s happening, there’s no question it’s a good idea to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature might throw our way. And as we just saw, you really never know when that storm might come!

For those heavy squalls with howling, power-line-toppling winds, you need a sump pump system that can keep all of the ground water out of your basement, no matter what. Like any machine, pumps fail, so you need a system that warns of failures so you have time to fix problems before your system goes down. We’ve seen too many flooded basements that had primary and battery backup pump systems which had failed with no warning at all, giving their owners a false sense of security while sleeping on the job!

PHCC Pro Series 2400 Battery Backup Sump
PHCC Pro Series 2400 Battery Backup Sump

I sleep well at night (even the other night when some strong storms rolled through) because I know my basement is protected by one of the best battery backup sump pump systems available, the PHCC Pro 2400. It’s always on guard, constantly monitoring itself and my primary pump for failures. If it detects a problem, it lets me know. Is your basement protected?

If you’re not sure, go ahead and browse around our website to learn all about sump pumps. If you still have questions, feel free to call us at 847-965-PUMP (7867) or click here to send us a message.

~ Dave

TORNADO DISASTER DONATIONS

If you want to help those who were affected by our unprecedented November tornadoes, the Red Cross is accepting donations to the Central Illinois Tornado Response fund at www.redcross.org or (800) RED CROSS.

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

Zoeller Sump Pumps Are The Best…

“My Brother-in-Law Says Zoeller Sump Pumps Are The Best…”

I had a conversation with a customer recently, and believe it or not we were discussing sump pumps… The customer told me that his brother-in-law swore by Zoeller sump pumps, and insisted that was the only manufacturer he should ever consider for his sump pump replacement.

Zoeller-Sump Pumps
Zoeller-Sump Pumps

As you may know, I have pretty strong opinions on sump pumps. I happen to think that Zoeller is one of the best pump brands out there; in fact, my plumbing company installed Zoeller sump pumps for decades. My last sump pump was a Zoeller M53, and it worked beautifully for over 6 years.  When it failed a few years back,

I installed a PHCC Pro Series S3033 in its place.

Deluxe controller with dual float switch and ⅓ HP pump
Deluxe controller with dual float switch and ⅓ HP pump

 

Why would I change after such a successful run with Zoeller? The fact is, we found a better product. The combination of features that the S3033 pump and Deluxe Dual Float Controller offers is simply superior to Zoeller. We’ve also been selling PHCC Pro Series long enough to prove that they last at least as long. Better features and a good track record – that’s hard to beat!

I realize that people resist change, and there is a lot of sentiment for “old school” products and methods. Like it or not, things change, and it’s my responsibility to keep up to date with new sump pump technologies. That way, I can make informed, credible recommendations about which products my customers can rely on to protect their homes.  With no disrespect to Zoeller, I am confident that PHCC Pro Series pumps represents the BEST balance between quality and value available on the market, and that’s why I use them to protect my own home.

And remember, no matter what brand of sump pump you use: if you don’t have a battery backup pump system, you don’t have a sump pump at all!  Protect yourself with a backup so you can rest easy at night (especially during rain storms).

– Dave

The Most Expensive Inexpensive Sump Pump

The Price of an Inexpensive Sump Pump

It’s a common discussion: How can you be sure you’re getting the best value for your money? When the topic is sump pumps, it can get complicated. As we worked to create The Sump Pump Company, we did some research and called many other pump companies, seeking to find out what was available in our marketplace. We were surprised by the wide range of products and prices, and by the difference in customer service that was obvious, judging only by the quality of the telephone representatives. There are so many products, and so many plumbing companies that do sump pump installations, it can really be overwhelming.

Nice and Dry Basement
Nice and Dry Basement

We think it’s vital to put the price of a sump pump system in perspective. We’re talking about protecting your home, preventing the significant work and cost to clean up after a flood.  Even if you’ve covered yourself and purchased supplemental sump pump damage insurance, your deductible alone will likely be many hundreds to a few thousand dollars.

Compared to the cost of a flood, it’s just not worth it to try to save every last penny on your sump pump; the consequences will be measured in more than just dollars. The heartache, hassle, and potential loss of irreplaceable items make it a no-brainer: protect yourself with proven, quality products installed by sump pump experts (and make sure you install a battery backup sump pump system). A little extra spent now could make an enormous difference later. How much is your peace of mind worth?

Browse our web site and learn why we believe our products offer the best combination of quality and value. Then, make sure you’re protected with a good primary and battery backup pump system. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us through the web site or by phone at 847-967-PUMP (7867).

– Dave

Why a Wye?

Why (or why not) a Wye?

We were recently doing a little research on our competitors, calling around to find out what they offer, and how they price their products. I was struck when one company told me “a wye fitting is an absolute joke, you’ve got to have two separate discharge pipes if you have a backup system…” First, a little bit of background on what he meant, and then we’ll get to what it means for you.

Y-Fitting - The Sump Pump Company
Ensures the most Direct path for unrestricted and redirected flow

A “wye” fitting looks just like it sounds – it’s a pipe fitting shaped like the letter Y, which is commonly used to connect a primary pump and a battery backup pump to a single pipe which carries the water away. A backup pump can be connected to the same pipe as the primary, or a completely separate pipe can be installed.

It’s true that having a separate pipe for the backup pump affords extra protection. If something clogs a single discharge pipe downstream of the wye fitting, BOTH pumps would be unable to function. While there is little doubt that two pipes are better than one, does that mean you should be losing sleep if you DON’T have a second pipe for your backup??

The short answer is, probably not. In our experience, we’ve seen only a very few instances where a discharge pipe problem stopped a pump from working. In one case, the check valve disc broke free and clogged the pipe, and in a couple of other cases, the pipe froze outside because it was not sloped properly and held water. These are not common issues.

In my own home, the pump discharge goes right through the side of the house to a storm drain. Adding a second pipe would be absolutely trivial, but I haven’t done so, because I’m just not that worried about it!

Depending on the cost, you may decide it’s worthwhile to add a second discharge for the extra protection and peace of mind it brings. That cost can vary quite widely depending on the situation – for example, it may be quite easy in an unfinished area, or very difficult in a finished basement.

At the end of the day, having two discharge pipes is better, but in our experience it’s NOT one of the more important factors. Having a good backup pump system is the best thing you can do to protect yourself!

If you do decide you’d like a second discharge pipe, we’re happy to help. Because every installation is unique, we have to view your situation in order to provide pricing. Feel free to call us at The Sump Pump Company at 847-967-PUMP (7867) or contact us through the web site to schedule an appointment.

– Dave

GFCI vs. No GFCI.

To GFCI or not to GFCI When Installing a Sump Pump …

 thesumppumpcompany.com
GFCI-outlets – thesumppumpcompany.com

Yes, that really is a good question. But first, let’s make sure you all know what I’m talking about when I say “GFCI”. The acronym GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. You’d probably recognize a GFCI protected electrical outlet – it’ll have the little black and red TEST & RESET buttons… The purpose of a GFCI device is to protect people from electrocution. They have very sensitive current monitors, and when any current fails to return to the outlet (such as current that is electrocuting a person), the device trips off almost instantly. Great for protecting people, but not so great at protecting your home when the GFCI outlet trips off for no good reason. Which is exactly what happened to me yesterday!

There is somewhat of a debate over whether or not to use a GFCI outlet for a sump pump. Some would argue that since we’re plugging equipment into an outlet, and that equipment is going to be SUBMERGED IN WATER, that it’s a good idea to have a GFCI to protect someone in case that submerged device has a problem. Many local codes require GFCI outlets in basement mechanical areas, while some prohibit GFCI outlets for sump pumps. Some pump manufacturers recommend using a GFCI outlet, while others recommend against using one. My local plumbing inspector in Gurnee is upset that our codes require GFCI – his personal opinion is that they should be prohibited.

Why is it such an issue? NUISANCE TRIPPING is the reason. GFCI outlets tend to be sensitive, and sometimes they trip off for no apparent reason. I have one in my master bathroom, and about every 20th time I turn off the bathroom lights, I hear a “click” and the GFCI has tripped off. No more lights until I push the reset button! That’s not such a big deal when you’re talking about a bathroom light, but it IS a big deal when you’re talking about the power source for your sump pump equipment!!

The bottom line is, no matter what kind of electrical circuit you have, YOU NEED A BACKUP PUMP SYSTEM! Once again, my trusty Pro Series 2400 battery backup saved the day yesterday. The GFCI tripped off (who knows why), my pump system sensed it, it alerted my home security company, and they called me (I think they’re actually getting tired of all the recent pump alarms, but what can I say, MY SYSTEMS ARE WORKING JUST LIKE THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO!)  Then, it ran to pump the water out and keep my basement dry. Twice this month, my backup pump system saved me from a flood!

Don’t fall victim to the inevitable failure of your primary sump pump. Make sure you have a good backup system, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from NOT worrying about flooding!

– Dave