The complete sump pump backup plan

(NC)—Your home could suffer structural damage if the weeping tiles around the basement foundation are connected to municipal sewer lines, warns the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

“Water can be pushed back in the weeping tile during a storm sewer surcharge…cause cracking or heaving in foundation walls and basement floors and increased rates of water infiltration flooding,” according to an institute handbook.

Weeping tiles should be connected to a water reservoir or sump in the basement floor. Where possible, water can then be pumped onto your lawn and away from your home. Some cities will help pay part of the cost of installing a sump and pump.

Tom McDonald, a plumber and supervisor with Toronto Water, offers tips on what to request:

A pedestal pump: Unlike the submersible pumps, they are not subject to leaks in the electrical wire and casing, and would be less difficult to replace during a storm.

A flexible connector: This makes it easier to remove a burned–out pump and slip in a replacement pump. You should have an extra pump ready to attach to the exit pipe at the flexible connector. Such pumps may cost less than $100.

A check valve: These are installed on the exit pipe to prevent water from flowing back into the sump when the pump shuts off.

A ground fault circuit interrupter: A GFCI electrical outlet will protect you from deadly electric shock, and reduce risk of house fires and damage to your sump pump.

Uninterrupted power supply: There are now battery packs costing about $300 that would power an hour or more of intermittent pumping if a storm ever cut off your electrical supply. Other options include power generators connected to your natural gas supply, or a back–up sump pump powered by pressure from a city's drinking water system.

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Carol Ireland

Carol Ireland

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Millennium Inc., Brokerage*
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