Combination Sump Pump Buyer's Guide
How to Pick the Perfect Combination Sump Pump
The Rolling Stones once famously sang, "You can't always get what you want." Of course, the Stones weren't talking about combination sump pumps at the time because then the song would've been "You can always get what you want!"
Combination sump pump systems provide you with both a primary sump pump as well as a battery backup sump pump in a convenient, easy-to-install package.
What Causes a Primary Sump Pump to Fail?
Combination sump pumps give you the best protection against primary pump failure. There are three main reasons why primary pumps fail:
- Power Failure – When the power goes out, your primary pump won’t work (unless you have an emergency backup).
- Mechanical Failure – Pumps burn out, switches get stuck and these things usually happen when you need your sump pump the most.
- Weather Events – Flash flood rains or excessive snowmelt can put more water into your sump pit then your pump is able to handle.
Backup Batteries for Combination Systems
Battery backup systems switch to battery power when the home's power is lost or when the pump fails. But while the power is on, some pumps will run directly off the AC wall current without depleting the battery.
Only when the power is lost will the pump run off battery power for a limited time.
Knowing how to choose a battery for your sump pump is critical to how well it will perform. There are many different types specially designed for each job. Traditional car batteries are filled with water, requiring you to add water occasionally. Maintenance-free batteries are fully sealed, which you can set and forget. No matter the type you choose, sump pump batteries should always be marked "deep-cycle."
Float Switches & Water Alarms
Another reason battery backup pumps are called into service is during a rainstorm or rapid snowmelt. If the primary sump pump cannot handle the amount of water in the pit, your basement can start to flood. A backup unit with a float switch installed above your primary pump can solve this problem. An early line of defense is choosing a sump pump switch that can reliably turn your pump on at the moment it's needed.
Choosing a reliable water alarm on a sump pump system is another component worth considering. When the primary pump can't keep up and the water rises in the pit, the backup sump pump goes to work. But when you're not home and don't know the pump is in action, you're left in the dark. The best benefit of a battery backup sump pump with a reliable switch and alarm system is the peace of mind you get knowing you've got multiple layers of protection.
New Sump Pump Technology
Sump pumps are getting smarter every day, and it's now easier than ever to have your sump pump tell you when something is wrong. Smart sump pump technology allows your entire system, not just a part of it, to alert you of any number of unique problems facing your sump pump.
A smart sump pump system communicates as a single unit, so you'll be alerted if there is an issue with your float switch, alarm system, primary sump pump, backup pump, or other components. Did you know that you can program your sump pump to text or email you in the event of a sump pump emergency?
These pumps can be more expensive, but if you have a finished basement, it's a worthwhile investment. With some sump pump brands, you'll be able to see full diagnostics via a web browser or smartphone app so you always know how your whole system is performing—no more guesswork or worrying, ever again.