Installing the Mother of All Sump Pump Systems Plus Water Leak Sensors Anyone Can Use
We've been on hold in the basement after our sump pump failed and flooded waiting for State Farm to process the claim. Since we're not moving very quickly we decided to have a company come take a look at our basement and foundation to flag any other potential water issues before we put anything back. We planned to at least add a battery back-up to our sump pump, but knowing there was water in the basement multiple times before, we wanted to make sure we didn't jump right into the rebuild without mitigating potential future problems. And since the foundation is very visible, seemed like the right move to make.
Basement Foundation and Water Analysis
We had Midwest Foundation Repair come out to analyze our basement, sump system and I even had them take a look at all the concrete and the foundation all around the house. We have some sinking concrete out front, so while I didn't want to hear a lot more bad news, I felt like it'd be better to start structurally before we continue cosmetically. Their review and estimates are free - except they were here FIVE HOURS all said and done. Time is money, right, so "free" is relative. The good news is, they felt like our foundation was in good shape, no concerns with the floor or walls of the basement, and our drain tiling that runs around the house underground and dumps into the sump pump seems to be in tact and doing its job too. Phew!
But while we literally just paid a ridiculous amount of money for a new sump pump, with Sunday labor fees in our post-vacation crisis, the sump pump they installed was a standard model and he thought we would benefit from more than one, plus a larger water well. He suggested for a house our size, and because our sump pump is very active, it may not be able to hold enough water - and for only one "meh" sump pump to keep up, that could be why we still had water problems before. Makes sense since you can see how rusted the TOP of the cover of our sump pump was, and why we had water in that room shortly after we moved in even though the "sump pump was working fine." It may have been working but not keeping up.
The Mother of All Sump Pump Systems
All this being said, I was sold - hook, line and sinker. Figured their biggest, baddest model of a sump pump would give me the peace of mind I was looking for so we can re-finish the basement without as much worry. Control what we can control. My sales guy even came with props - which was cool to see the inner-workings of their TripleSafe Sump Pump System.
The TripleSafe has three pumps inside a larger well - a primary pump, a second pump installed higher that can take over if the first goes out or needs additional support, and a battery powered backup too. The external battery backup allows for additional running time just in case of a power outage. The whole thing is sealed with a lid and there's a water alarm on top that sounds off just in case any of this goes down. (Though I had already bought some wifi enabled water alarms I'll share later on - keep reading!)
New Sump Pump Installation
I wanted this done STAT so was thrilled they were able to squeeze me in to a cancellation on the schedule the very next week.
Glad the room our sump pump is in was already a disaster. They had to drill out a larger well in the concrete, pull everything out, and then pour new concrete to re-seal the well.
They were able to connect the primary pump to our existing sump line. But for the second pump, we needed to run a second pipe out of the house to take the water up and out to the yard. More drywall cut out in here... why the heck not at this point.
Only unfortunate part is the new line had to come out the front of our house due to the position of the sump. Drilling through the brick, they really did a nice job. We can spray paint over this any color we want to help it blend in, but at least for now it's positioned behind a bush.
The line runs underground along the house and dumps about 15 feet out from the house into a drain in the ground. The crew was nice to snake the line between the plants we have currently so we didn't have to replant anything.
It only took them about three hours start to finish. And now we've got all the sump pumps, all the backups and a lot better peace of mind.
Wi-Fi Enabled Water Leak Sensors
For an extra precaution now that I know the power of water where you don't want it, I bought some water alarms online that are actually Wi-Fi enabled so they will notify me on my phone if they get wet.
While I appreciate the water alarm that's baked into our sump system, it requires you to be home to hear it. Having one more layer on top that doesn't require being home is a great add-on that was pretty cheap too.
Plus, with a 4-pack, I placed them in other areas that could cause water issues like under our furnace and water heater, and our washing machine. The 20-yr old washing machine is on the list of things I'm keeping my eye on that will likely die before I want it to, so having an extra safeguard from bigger issues if it leaks seems like a good idea.
Just to make sure they worked, I tested each by setting them in the sink with some water on the bottom. They alerted my phone through a notification and also sent an email! How smart for such little guys!
I wish this blog post was more exciting and decorative, but oh the joys of home ownership! That's why... #housedonemandead. :)
Need a fix-up? Here's what we used:
TripleSafe Sump Pump System Midwest Foundation Repair
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