From power outages to failed float switches to clogs, there are many reasons your sump pump may fail, risking a flooded basement and putting quite the damper on your dream home. A wet basement can lead to many more problems than just ruining your beautiful wood floors or some carpeting; mold, rust, and unhealthy air to name a few.

No one has time for that. In this case, being left high-and-dry is a great thing, and exactly what you want!

When you’re looking at purchasing a home, Bob Vila recommends starting in the basement and searching for signs of water damage – like high water marks on the walls. If you plan on storing any valuables in your basement, or to utilize it as a living area, you should consider a backup battery for your sump pump.

A backup battery for your sump pump (a second sump pump installed adjacent to the first sump pump, and on a battery so that it is automatically activated when water levels begin to rise) can save many headaches. If your primary sump pump fails, the backup automatically takes over. If your power goes out, which isn’t uncommon in a storm, a battery backup sump pump could work for a few days depending on demand.

The cost of a backup battery sump pump can be an economical solution for diverting water away from your house. We use ION Battery Backup Systems, a division of Metropolitan Industries, which is recognized in their field as a high level pump system. The cost can range from $1,000 to $4,000 not including installation.

Other solutions to divert water away from your house include installing/repairing gutters (including oversize options), re-leveling slabs to drain away from the house, or installing an outdoor curtain to divert water away to a pond.

Sump_pump_ACWhen purchasing a sump pump, buy one with a cast iron core, not plastic – this will help heat dissipate into the surrounding water and protect the pump. If you have the space, choose a submersible pump covered with a lid, and a no-screen intake to reduce the chance of clogs. It’s also good to ensure your sump pump has an alarm to alert you when the water reaches a certain level.

Here at Icon, we encourage our clients to ignore Kermit (it can be easy being green!), and there are energy-efficient sump pumps that use less energy for pumping water (look for a wider pump discharge), less or zero oil for cooling the engine, or utilizing recycled materials in the packaging.

Whether you have one sump pump or two, you should always regularly test the pump(s) and check the valve is functioning and remove any debris so water does not flow back in the basement. The typical lifespan of a sump pump is about 10 years, and regularly testing the pump can help ensure its longevity.

The bottom line is that a backup battery sump pump can bring peace of mind at a reasonable cost – and that’s a beautiful thing, which is why Icon Building Group new homes (and major qualified renovations) have a 10 year limited warranty through Professional Warranty Service Corporation backed by Zurich Insurance Group. In order for us to participate in that program, we had to undergo an extensive screening process that analyzed our technical knowledge, craftsmanship, and financial stability.


Your dream home doesn’t have to be a dream anymore, and it certainly can come with the peace of mind of a guarantee (and a dry basement)!