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Are Two Sump Pumps Better Than One?

Sep 21, 2012

Are Two Sump Pumps Better Than One?

  • Plumbing Services
sump pump

When you ask a homeowner what is the most important mechanical device or appliance in their home, you will get a wide variety of answers. Very few will consider one or two working sump pumps to be high on the list. However, many of the important mechanical systems of the home such as heating and air conditioning systems, electrical panels, and water heaters are located in the basement. Frequently, there are expensive finished rooms with the finer things we enjoy like entertainment systems, pool tables, and children’s play areas.

All of these things could be expensive to repair or replace in the event of a flooded basement and will highly affect the quality of life in your home. Many manufacturers recommend replacement of items such as water heaters and heating units if they are involved in a flood. If you have a basement or crawl space, you are probably using a sump pump to protect your home from water damage. Protecting your home from sump pump failure is not a wise place to cut corners and save a buck.

One of the best ways you can protect your home from damage caused by a failed sump pump is to install an Alternating Duplex Sump Pump System. Some sump pump pits may need to be larger in order to accommodate the two sump pumps used in the duplex system. However, most existing sump pump pits are sufficient to allow the installation of two sump pumps. The two sump pumps are controlled by an alternating controller which alternates the sump pump used with each cycle. As the water level rises in the pit, sump pump #1 turns on and empties the sump pit.

As the water level rises again, the alternating controller will cycle sump pump #2. This sequence repeats each time the water level rises in the sump pit. This has many benefits; for example, extended sump pump life by sharing the workload by two sump pumps. It keeps the sump pump from overheating and allows the sump pump to rest between cycles rather than running continuously. This break period is especially important during heavy rains. Also, if one sump pump fails, the second sump pump would take over the pumping duties. In addition, an alarm would sound to alert you to the failure of one of the sump pumps. This sump pump would continue to function on its own protecting your basement from flooding. This will give you time to repair or replace the failed sump pump.

Alternating Controller

The alternating duplex system is far more desirable due to the fact that it exercises both sump pumps. Without an alternator, the second sump pump will only see use when the first one fails. Over time, corrosion and a lack of use can wear it down so it may not work when it’s needed.

Installing a Duplex Sump Pump System can keep your basement dry. Every year many people experience flooded basements when a sump pump failure allows the basement to fill with water. For many people, the damage to finished basements, and mechanical equipment runs into huge amounts of money. Do not risk damage to your home or possessions due to a failed sump pump. Call Quality Plumbing Services at 847-259-0200 to schedule an appointment today or visit our website at

Keep in mind, all sump pumps require electricity to function. This post is addressing failed sump pumps only. Stay tuned for our next entry which will discuss how to protect your home from flooding or keep your sump pump working in the event of a power outage.

By zachadmachinescom

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