Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Time To Drain Your Water Spigots

Annual reminder to drain your outdoor spigots

SuburbanHomeInspections

This was originally posted in Oct of 2012, but it serves as a helpful reminder for many of us.
With the cold weather upon us, it is time to perform the very important maintenance ritual of winterizing your exterior water spigots.  Forgetting to perform this chore can result in frozen pipes.  When pipes freeze, they expand and this can cause breaks / leaks & flooding.  Every year I hear about basements flooding because of this.  Don’t be that guy.

Types of Spigots
There are two primary types of spigots: The first I simply refer to as a “standard”, or “regular” spigot, and the other is referred to as a “frost-free spigot”.
Frost-free spigots are designed to eliminate the risk of freezing pipes.

A frost-free spigot has a stem portion that extends into the house, where an interior, built-in valve is located.  So once the exterior valve is turned off, the…

View original post 294 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

Troubleshooting common toilet issues

Troubleshooting common toilet issues

At some point, every homeowner experiences a problem with a toilet in their home. Here are some of the more common problems that I find at my inspections. The good news is that many of these can be fixed by the average homeowner, so use this as a reference the next time you have a problem. Note: Most of this text comes from the Duell Plumbing & Heating Website (a New York based company).

Phantom Flusher: This is really a phantom filler, as the toilet tank fills with water as if it was just flushed. It simply means that the tank is leaking water. The food coloring dye test will confirm this. Add food dye to the tank after all water has stopped running into the tank. After 5 or 10 minutes, look at the bowl water to see if it is colored. If it is, the flapper is not sealing completely. Time for a new one!

Strong but Partial Flush: The flapper valve may be waterlogged and dropping too fast. Observe the flapper valve during a flush. It should stay up until about 80 percent or more of the water has drained from the tank. If it drops sooner, install a new flapper.

Weak Flush: You could have a first generation 1.6 gallon flush toilet that is destined to failure. Look inside the tank for a manufacture date stamped in the clay. If it was made during the time period from January 1, 1994 to mid-1997, this could be the problem. No good remedy here other than changing the toilet.

Sluggish Flush: The toilet could have a partial clog or the actual clog could be downstream from the toilet. Fill a 5 gallon bucket of water and dump it into the toilet as fast as possible with minimum splashing. If the flush is more vigorous, then it is probably not a clog. If water backs up into the bowl and drains slowly, it is a clog.

Toilet double flushes: This can occur if the water level is set too high inside the tank.
Most modern toilets have an adjustable clip on the fill valve.  This will change the water height inside the tank.

Toilet - Adjust Clip
A double flushing toilet may also indicate that you have the wrong type of flapper.  Modern toilets need a 1.6 gallon flapper, rather than 3.5 gallons, which was the size used for older toilets.

Toilet - Flapper Size
Toilet - Flapper 3.5

Toilet starts to flush (water spins around) but doesn’t empty. The tank itself empties and fills back up but the bowl doesn’t. The water level in the bowl goes up and slowly backs down to the normal level but doesn’t empty: Likely a clog either in the trap of the toilet or the main drain after the toilet. You could try a Closet Auger to see if it is in the trap. These can be rented. If this doesn’t work, you may have to remove the toilet and run a Plumbers auger through the main line. You may want to try a drain cleaner called Drain Care. It is an enzyme drain cleaner that clings to the clog and “eats” it, unlike caustic drain cleaners that just go by the clog and down the drain. Depending on what the clog is, it may take more than one application. Put it in at night and let it work. It’s about $8 at home centers, hardware stores.

Toilet - Closet Auger

Just one toilet in the home will not flush and gets backed up every time there is a heavy rain: This may indicate that there is a partial clog of leaves or something in the stack on the roof above this bathroom. When there is a heavy rain, it compacts the leaves and clogs the vent by making a seal that will not allow the large volume of water from a toilet to drain. The reason smaller fixtures, such as the sink and tub, don’t fill the drain line is that there is no vacuum pulled. Note: This scenario would only apply if the other bathrooms were on another stack.

Toilet - Vent Pipe

Whistling Tank Fill: You must have an old technology ball cock valve with a ball float on the end of a rod. As the ball floats higher it begins to slowly close the water fill valve. This can cause vibrations and all sorts of noise. Toilet tank fill valves that stay wide open until the tank is filled have been around for over 20 years. They are wonderful and they are inexpensive. The most common valve used today is the Fluidmaster valve. Get the best one, not the economy model.

Toilet - Fluid Master

Slow Tank Fill: This problem may be a partially closed shut off valve under the tank. A previous owner or a plumber may have restricted the flow of water into the tank for some reason. If your valve is old, be aware that they can leak when turned.

Toilet - Shut off valve

Dripping Sound and Tank Filling: After the tank has filled, you hear dripping. Then several minutes later, the tank partially fills with water and the dripping starts again. This problem can be a syphon problem caused by someone who installed a new tank fill valve. There is a small flexible tube that runs from the bottom of the valve to the top of the toilet overflow tube. As the tank fills, water is also sent through this tube. It is used to refill the toilet bowl since it lost its water during the flush. If this tube drops down inside the overflow tube, it can, in some instances, syphon water from the tank. New toilet fill valves often have a clip that attaches to the top of the overflow tube and points the water flow down into the tube without actually having the tube enter the tube.

Toilet - Fill Line Clip

Suction Sounds in the Tub and Sink: You flush the toilet and gurgling sounds come from your tub and/or bath sink. This means the toilet vent pipe is clogged or partially clogged. The most common source of this is leaves that have accumulated inside the vent opening. You may have to call a professional to solve this problem.

Toilet - Vent Pipe

Toilet does not stop running: If a toilet won’t stop running, it usually indicates that the water level in the tank is set too high. This allows water to spill over the top of the overflow tube and keeps the intake valve from shutting off.
Toilet - Fill Line

There are three different ways to adjust the water level, depending on how the toilet is made:

1) If you have a float ball, the ball may be too high. You can simply bend the float arm down slightly to keep the water about 1 inch below the top of the overflow pipe. After bending the arm, flush the toilet to a make sure that enough water is getting into the bowl. If the toilet does not flush completely you may need to adjust the float ball back up slightly to get more water in the tank.

Toilet - Bend Float Arm

2) Your toilet may have a water-intake assembly instead of a float ball. To adjust the water level in the bowl so it does not flow into the overflow pipe, pinch the clip attached to the thin metal rod and slide it down to lower the water level. Sliding the clip and cup up will raise the water level. Try moving the clip about an inch at a time.

Toilet Water Intake Assembly

3) Your toilet may have a metered fill valve instead of a float ball or water-intake assembly. To adjust the water level, simply take a screwdriver and turn the knob counterclockwise – half a turn at a time – to lower the water level (turning the know clockwise will raise the water level).

In most modern units, the screw is on the top of the intake valve

Toilet Adjust above

When you have finished your adjustments, flush the toilet and check to see that the water level remains approximately 1″ below the top of the overflow tube.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Best of 2014

Happy New Year to everyone!  I thought I’d take a few minutes to look back on 2014 and reflect on some of the more memorable photos I collected (unfortunately many pics just are not saved).  If your home happens to be included, please know, I’m laughing with you.  Here we go.

Check it out…I installed an egress window well.  OK, I’m getting to the well part.

Best of 2014 - 27
Alternative – and effective – use for a car jack.

Best of 2014 - 26
Air-conditioner coil used for handrail.  Nice.  Now I don’t need to install one.

Best of 2014 - 25
A home-made air exchanger (homeowner was an engineer…..I’m just saying).

Best of 2014 - 24
In the time it takes you to make this label…….you can actually fix this toilet.

Best of 2014 - 23
“Exhaust vents shall maintain a continuous positive slope so that the exhaust vents properly” (clarification: positive means up).

Best of 2014 - 22
This homeowner was having a sale 🙂  Right before the inspection 😦
Thanks for setting all the breakables out for me.

Best of 2014 - 17
By the way, Everything is for sale…..including……Dr Scholl’s foot spray.
If it’s half used, can I pay half?

Best of 2014 - 16
Really?

Best of 2014 - 20
How much are these new?….I think I’ll pass.

Best of 2014 - 21
I wonder if this basement has ever had water before?  What do you think?
Maybe it’s just a clever way to water the tree.  Don’t underestimate human ingenuity.

Best of 2014 - 19
Where the heck did the ladder go?  I haven’t seen it since fall (fall of ’05).

Best of 2014 - 11
Whenever I see this, I immediately begin worrying.

Best of 2014 - 4

What do you mean it’s wrong.  The water goes down, doesn’t it?  Well….doesn’t it?

Best of 2014 - 18
There is a product for gaps like these.  It’s called flashing (not to be mistaken with spray foam in a can).

Best of 2014 - 15
Speaking of spray foam……Not sure why the opening to this block was sealed.  It’s an interior wall.  At least no bugs will crawl into the opening….after they are already inside the home.

Best of 2014 - 13
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

Best of 2014 - 12
I’m sure that wire from 1920 is quite capable of powering the light….and the opener….and the wall outlets….

Best of 2014 - 10
This sink drains into the shower.  I hope you don’t mind toothpaste residue on the shower floor.

Best of 2014 - 7
How about if we just drain the air-conditioner into the toilet as well?  Hey, it all goes to the same place.

Best of 2014 - 8
I see alot of scary decks.  This one is up there.

Best of 2014 - 6

Not sure how the single-ply beams hadn’t tipped over yet.  But give it time.

Best of 2014 - 5
Gas pipes can make effective door stops.  I’d probably just go with the traditional hardware……I believe it will set you back $2.50.

Best of 2014 - 3
Dang….I swear I measured that twice.

Best of 2014 - 2
This home had ice dam problems and the roof was raked from the deck.  The roof rake was then naturally stored next to the deck……also right next to the power lines.  Please don’t lift the rake from here.

Best Of 2014 - 1
This garage door track was approximately 4 opens away from separating from the wall.

Best of 2014 - 30
Notebooks are great for…. stopping that rattling noise.

Best of 2014 - 31
This staircase likely was not stable when it was first built.  Now it’s just a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Best of 2014 - 77
Deferred maintenance……..Or clever substitute.  It all depends on how you look at it.

Best of 2014 - 76
Nice wire junction here.

Best of 2014 - 73
Flashing was installed at the base of this chimney.  That’s good.

Best of 2014 - 52
Of course this won’t work real well.  Almost done though!

Best of 2014 - 53

This pipe makes a great clothes hanger.  Of course, not the best idea, since the pipe is carrying explosive natural gas.

Best of 2014 - 75

I never did find a drainpipe for this basement bathroom sink, and wondered where this water ever flowed to.  Perhaps a large bucket was used at one time.

Best of 2014 - 74

Any thoughts on where water will flow when it rains?  If you said inside the garage, you are correct!

Best of 2014 - 79

When this back side addition was built, the power lines were not relocated.

Best of 2014 - 56
Now they touch the roof.  Please stay off the roof.

Best of 2014 - 57

Hey, it feels pretty stuffy in here.  Can you turn the fan on?……..wait!  turn it off!  Turn it off!

DSCN0356

This window well cover also substitutes as a great trap for humans.  I think the same design was used by the VC in the Vietnam War.

Best of 2014 - 72

Zinc strips are effective at controlling algae growth on certain types of shingles.  I suspect the manufacturer wanted ALL of these to be placed at the ridge area.  Of course this does have a nice artistic look to it.

Best of 2014 - 70

This furnace exhaust pipe had separated in the attic and was allowing exhaust fumes to accumulate in the attic space.  That’s a bad thing in case you’re wondering.

Best of 2014 - 69

Chimneys are usually out of sight – out of mind.  This one looked pretty bad on the outside…

Best of 2014 - 50

…and even worse on the inside

Best of 2014 - 51

Here’s a strange one.  The chimney – clearly visible in the attic – was no longer in use.

Best of 2014 - 66

But why was it not visible in the basement?  Something is supposed to support it (usually a footing).

Best of 2014 - 67

There is now a nice pantry in the kitchen where it once existed.  Perhaps the top shelf is supporting the chimney now?  It’s not falling down, so I’m sure it’s all good.  Right?

Best of 2014 - 65

This house comes with a wood burning fireplace!  🙂  Unfortunately it does not come with a chimney 😦
– notice the daylight coming through the windows.

Best of 2014 - 64

This townhome did not come with a washer / dryer and this was the only place for it.  Hope the furnace never needs to be replaced…or repaired….or accessed in any way (there is that filter issue).

Best of 2014 - 63

When entering the garage from outside, please be aware of the IMMEDIATE step up.

Best of 2014 - 62

Uh, don’t use the bathroom if your shoe size is greater than 6 (it used to be size 4…prior to the modification).

Best of 2014 - 59
Standing at the rail is not recommended, so don’t put the keg there either.

Best of 2014 - 58

I don’t think this utility pole was included in the original design plan, but it is now CRUCIAL for support.

Best of 2014 - 54

The kids at this home must not have been tall enough to dunk.  Lucky for them.  This would have ripped off rather easily.

Best of 2014 - 55

Some product brands are more effective than others.  Very true with gutter guards.

Best of 2014 - 49

This is a nice looking staircase.

Best of 2014 - 47

But I just could not figure out what those posts were supporting.  I don’t think the fascia board has much load.

Best of 2014 - 48

This dryer vent had separated from its roof penetration and was blowing into the attic.

Best of 2014 - 45

On the up side……the lint accumulation was a nice way to increase insulation depth over time.

Best of 2014 - 46

Best of 2014 - 44

Does the home come with frames that match?

Best of 2014 - 42

I just like this one.

Best of 2014 - 43

This is one of the more obvious homeowner repairs I have ever seen.  Trusses were cut for the opener installation, which is never ok.

Best of 2014 - 40

Gotta give the homeowner credit for effort though.  Amazingly, this pattern was exact at each truss.  Obviously this was carefully thought out.

Best of 2014 - 41

I don’t know why, but all of the engineered truss plates had been replaced in this garage roof structure.

Best of 2014 - 37

Best of 2014 - 38

……pretty sure these plates were not “engineered”.

Best of 2014 - 39

Newly installed dishwasher and range!  Do you actually need to use the bottom rack?

Best of 2014 - 36

Sometimes you see cool stuff just driving to and from work.  That must have taken some time to balance properly.  Watch out for the bumps.

Best of 2014 - 35

This car must be sweet!……on the inside.

Best of 2014 - 34

Categories: Uncategorized

Replace Your Furnace Filter

If you have a disposable furnace filter, it should be changed approximately every other month. Detailed instructions are listed below:

When you install your filter, always be sure to point the direction arrow toward the blower / fan chamber.

As a general rule, it is best to use an inexpensive, pleated filter during both heating and cooling seasons.  The reason for this is that higher quality filters clog quickly, which results in restricted air flow.  This can cause the air-conditioner coils to freeze up – when in the cooling mode, and it can cause the furnace to overheat – when in the heating mode.

Low quality / fiberglass filters should not be used because they allow too many particles to pass through, which will accumulate on the blower fins.  This will shorten the lifespan of your blower.

low quality filter

Costs for pleated filters vary by quality. I suggest using the lower priced filters (approximately $3 per filter), unless you have an allergy / respiratory issue.

Some filters, such as the one below, are advertised as “allergen filters” and these tend to be more expensive ($5 – $12 each). These are also much more air restrictive, which can actually cause problems with your heating / cooling system. Therefore, it is advised to stay away from filters like these unless you need them for health reasons.

MonthlyMaint Pleated Filter

Other Types of Filters

Wide Filters: Some systems use wider filters, such as this 4″ filter. These filters require less frequent changes (every 3 – 6 months), but they also cost much more. If you have a filter like this, see the label for replacement instructions.

Electronic Filters: If you have an electronic air filter, the cells and pre-filters must be cleaned periodically. There are different methods for doing this and some of these methods are listed below (see your owners manual for specific instructions).

How do I clean my Electronic Air Cleaner?

First turn off the power to the Electronic Air Cleaner (circled in red). Wait 30 seconds, then remove the access door. Pull out the cells and pre-filters. Then replace the access door while cleaning.

 

Method #1 – Using the dishwasher:

Honeywell recommends consulting the manufacturer of your dishwasher before you attempt to wash the electronic cells.

  • The only recommended washing methods for Electronic Air Cleaner cells are with soaps that are safe for use on aluminum, such as automatic dishwasher detergents.
  • Do not use Coil Cleaners or Contact Cleaners.
  • When placing the cells in a dishwasher, set four glasses upside-down to rest the cells on top of. This will protect the cells from the dishwasher spikes that may break ionizing wires, and bend collector plates.
  • You can place the pre-filters in the dishwasher as well.
  • Never allow the cells to go through the drying cycle. This will “bake on” any materials that were not removed during the wash cycle.
  • Be careful when removing cells after washing. The cells may be hot, and sharp edges may cause cuts.
  • After washing the cells, take a clean cloth and gently wipe down the ionizing wires.
  • Establish a regular schedule for washing your cells


Method #2 – Using a tub:

You may also use a tub with hot water to wash your electronic cells.

  • Dissolve approximately 3/4 of a cup of automatic dishwasher detergent per cell in a large plastic tub.
  • Let soak for 15-20 minutes.
  • Agitate up and down few times then remove.

Click here to see demo: [29k]

Note: Be sure to use a dishwasher detergent with sodium silicates which will protect the aluminum cells

You can always set the cells and filters outside and wash them off with a garden hose. Use good pressure but be careful not to bend the collector plates. If they are very dirty, you can spray them with any household detergent and let soak for a minute. Then spray off.

After Cleaning:

Let the cells and filters air-dry. Try not to re-install until they are completely dry. Make sure the collector plates didn’t bend during the cleaning process. Then re-insert pre-filters and cells into the unit, close cover and turn on power supply.

Categories: Uncategorized

Time To Drain Your Water Spigots

This was originally posted in Oct of 2012, but it serves as a helpful reminder for many of us.
With the cold weather upon us, it is time to perform the very important maintenance ritual of winterizing your exterior water spigots.  Forgetting to perform this chore can result in frozen pipes.  When pipes freeze, they expand and this can cause breaks / leaks & flooding.  Every year I hear about basements flooding because of this.  Don’t be that guy.

Types of Spigots
There are two primary types of spigots: The first I simply refer to as a “standard”, or “regular” spigot, and the other is referred to as a “frost-free spigot”.
Frost-free spigots are designed to eliminate the risk of freezing pipes.

A frost-free spigot has a stem portion that extends into the house, where an interior, built-in valve is located.  So once the exterior valve is turned off, the water flow is actually shut off inside the heated wall line.

If the faucet is properly installed (sloping to the house exterior), the stem portion is drained when the faucet is turned off, eliminating any water from the areas of the pipe that can freeze.  Note: You still must remember to disconnect any garden hoses before the winter.

Some frost-free spigots also have built-in anti-siphon valves (circled in red – below).

Anti-siphon valves are like one-way gates for water.  The purpose is to keep unsafe / dirty water from reversing flow and entering the drinking water supply.

In most cases, frost free spigots do not have interior shut off valves, but if they are present, they should be turned off for the winter season.

Standard (older styled) spigots must have interior shut off valves and if they don’t, you need to have them installed.

How to Winterize a Standard Spigot

Opinions vary on the best way to drain outdoor spigots.  Here is the approach I use at my own home:

1) EVERY FALL:
Before the first freeze, turn the water flow on to all exterior spigots.

2) Next: shut off all interior valves (usually 2) that supply water to the exterior spigots.

3) Next: open the air petcocks (small caps located on the interior shut-off valves). This will allow air to enter the pipe and will help drain the remaining water out.  After the water has drained out, replace the petcock caps.

I believe it is best to leave the outdoor valves open during the winter. The reason is that it is more likely for a valve to freeze up in the closed position than in the open position (valve handles that freeze in the closed position often develop leaks, due to damaged washers).

Categories: Uncategorized

Ice Maker Not Working? Try This Easy Repair.

 Before calling the repair man, try this easy repair.

DSCN9919
If your ice maker isn’t working, there’s a good chance that the water supply line is simply frozen.  This prevents the ice tray from filling and thus, stops the production of ice.  If this is the problem with your ice maker, there is likely a very simple method to get things working properly again.

First: Before proceeding, first make sure of the obvious; make sure the ice maker is on.

frenchdooricedispenseronandoff3If the shut off arm is in the up / horizontal position, the unit will not work.  The arm must be lowered for the unit to operate.

If the arm is in the proper position, the next step is to turn the power to the refrigerator / freezer off.  This will stop the production of cold air and will also allow the water line to begin thawing naturally.  You will not need to take all of your food out to conduct this repair, so feel free to leave all of your items in place, as long as you have access to the ice maker.

sample controls for cold air flow

sample controls for cold air flow

Next: clear away any ice that may have collected on the ice tray.  Be careful not to pry too hard at ice that is stuck – to avoid damage to the components.  If the ice does not remove easily, just leave it there (you will want to put a tray, or towel below any ice buildup to collect dripping water).

ice buildup on tray

ice buildup on tray

Next: Remove the ice storage bin and dump whatever ice is still remaining into the sink.  This is a good time to clean out the bin.

Next – Find the Supply Line

Your supply line should be about the width of your thumb.  Many are white, but different ones will vary in color.  The line will likely enter from the back wall and will connect to the ice tray.

DSCN9921

Next – Get a Hair Dryer

Ge out your hair dryer and plug it into an outlet that is nearby, yet far away from anywhere that may get wet from the refrigerator. Use your hair dryer continuously on the fill tube to thaw it.  This should only take a few minutes.

DSCN9925
Blow hot air over the ice tray as well.  Do this until you are satisfied that the supply line and tray have thawed completely.

Next – Turn the cold air flow back on

Once air flow is restored, you will need to put the cleaned ice bin back in place.  It should not be long before you hear the ice maker functioning again.  If this does not work, try heating the supply line one more time.  If that still has not resolved your problem, there likely is something else in need of repair.

LogoBlack100x100

Categories: Uncategorized

Is Your Sump Pump Ready For Spring?

images
If you have already lived through the dreaded experience of a flooded basement, then you know how much damage it can cause.  Even one inch of water can take many hours to clean up and can cause thousands of dollars in damage.  When properly working, a drain tile system, with sump pump is your best defense to prevent flooding, but like many other home appliances, a sump pump can stop working.  This is a great time to check the operation of your pump to ensure that it will work during the winter thaw and spring rain periods.

Here are a few common things to look for:

If the sump pump does not seem to be working at all, the first things to check are the electrical connections.  Make sure the pump is plugged in properly, and check the circuit breaker.  If your pump is plugged into a GFCI outlet, be sure the outlet has not tripped (check the reset button).

Most sump pumps operate on either a float activated pump, or an internal / diaphragm activated pump.

float with cord

sample float with cord

 

 

float 1

float with no cord

 

diaphragm

diaphragm pump

Most problems with sump pumps tend to be float related.  The float is a vital part of a sump pump, and it is also one of the most vulnerable.  The float rises with water in the sump pit, which in turn triggers the pump to start pulling water out of the pit.  To check the float, slowly pour some water into the pit. If the float rises with the water and the pump activates and then shuts off when the water has been removed, you’re in luck.  It is not recommended to lift the float with your hand, due to the potential risk of shock.

 

If the water that is ejected returns into the pit after the pump stops, you may need to replace the check valve (or install one if none exists).  Also be sure to check that there are no leaks / cracks in the discharge pipe.

a check valve should be located on the discharge pipe – just above the floor level

Also, check that the pipe terminates far from the foundation.  If the water is draining right next to the foundation, it will simpy return to the sump pit again.

You can drain water above grade, or below grade.  If you go below grade, you should have a fitting (with air gap) installed so that water can escape if the pipe happens to clog with ice.  Underground portions of pipe should also maintain a positive slope away from the home.  This also helps prevent ice buildup.

freezing-sump-pump-discharge-line-protection-lg

sample fitting with air gap

 

Floats that are connected with a cord tend to be the most problematic because they can become tangled.  This can prevent the pump from turning on, or off.  A pump that does not turn off will burn out.

float can become tangled / stuck

A build up of debris in your sump pump is a major cause of sump pump failure.  If your pump is not working, check your inlet suction screen to make sure that there is no blockage.  Ideally, this sump pump maintenance would be performed every few months and especially after heavy or persistent rainfall.

Sometimes debris can work itself past the screen and jam the impeller.  To see if this is your problem, first unplug the pump, then disconnect it from the piping and remove the pump from the pit.  Disassemble the pump to access the screen and impeller.  Remove any debris, reassemble and replace the pump.

Note: you can periodically pour white vinegar through the unit which will help eliminate any build-up in the system.

If you spot an oily film on the surface of the water in your sump pump, verify the condition of the oil seal.  The appearance of oil probably indicates a faulty oil seal which may cause the motor to burn out.

If your pump runs all the time, you should invest in a battery back-up pump

A Backup System Can Protect your Home in a Power Outage

When a storm passes through it can result in a power outage.  This leaves you with no light, or heat, but it also means that you have a disabled sump pump.  This can cause your drain tile to overflow, resulting in a flooded basement.

Installing a battery operated, backup pump will prevent this problem from occurring.  The backup power comes from a car battery — or even better, a deep cycle boat battery.  When the power is on in the house, the battery system will automatically charge itself.  The backup pump is activated by a sensor that is located slightly higher than the one for the main pump.  In the event of an emergency, when water rises above the level of the backup sensor, the backup system uses its DC power to turn itself on.  Depending on the particular model of battery-powered backup system, there is generally enough power to keep your sump pump working for several hours.

The batteries come in two different styles: sealed and unsealed.  A sealed battery is considered maintenance-free and usually supplies power for 3 to 3½ hours.  An unsealed battery has ports that you can open in order to check the level of the fluid and add distilled water as you see fit.  Typically, an unsealed battery will last for about 7 hours.

Categories: Uncategorized