Unfortunately its not a matter of if, but when your sump pump, ejector pump, backup pump or any of their switches will jam or fail. There are a few easy things to do to prevent this from happening. First, make sure your pit is clean. Debris from the building of the house can eventually damage the impellor and cause the pump to jam and short out. Second, make sure nothing else is plugged into the pump, and the pump is on a dedicated 20amp circuit.
I have two separate pumps in my pit, and a backup, and each is on a dedicated 20amp circuit. I had a customer that lived by the river with three pits, and three circuits, but the plumber accidentally plugged two of the pumps into the same circuit and when both kicked on at the same time it blew the circuit and flooded the basement. I also had a customer who heard the sump pump running in the basement and assumed all was well. The sump pump switch had stuck, and what they were hearing was the ejector pump running as the basement floor had flooded and was draining into the floor drain on the other side of the basement. They were home at the time, and it was flooding for at least 8 hours.
The very minimum option is to buy a floor water sensor with piercing alarm for $11 at Home Depot, with a detatchable sensor that you can dangle 6 to 12 inches into the pit, and buying you time to fix the problem before the water table overflows onto the basement floor.
A battery backup pump system will work, but assume the power is out for more than 8 hours, the battery will die, and then the basement will flood.
A great additional option is to add a alarm with phone dialer. For as little as $70 The ControlProducts WaterAlarm Plus comes with one sensor that will dial a phone number if it detects water.
The better system is one like the Skylink emergency dialer. The dialer unit can be purchased for as little as $80 and can have up to 16 wireless
alarm accessories added.
You can put one by the hot water heater, under sinks, by the washing machine, and by the sump pump and the dialer will dial up to 9 phone numbers and stores a 40 second message. You can even add door, smoke, and motion sensors to it as well to use as an burglar alarm system without the need for a monitoring contract. It is all wireless with lithium battery back up, and low level battery warning, and is a great solution for vacationing worries, especially during a wet chicago spring!
Call for a free estimate if you live in New Lenox, IL. or in the Chicago area. We can install sump pump battery back up systems and water alarms, and even finish your basement! 708-479-4570 Visit nantom.com for more information!