Battery backup sump woes

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-25-17, 12:37 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 441
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Battery backup sump woes

Hi all

Long story short, sump in the garage started to fail (wasnt coming on) and battery backup kicked on (via live power, I suspect)--along with an alarm that wouldnt stop when I hit the reset button. If I unplugged it, the alarm shut off (but the pump didnt work--turned out the battery was junk). So, I replaced the battery. (I also replaced the main pump, so thats done). Little Giant model SPBS-12 system.

Here is the thing: I suspect there may still be a problem.

When I connected the battery, the alarm still went off. I had to disconnect it then reconnect it before it shut off. Per Franklin Electric (Little Giant) tech support, an alarm that wont shut off indicates bad battery. I suspect this battery is fine. I suspect there is something wrong with controller, and it thinks it cant charge the battery.

When I spoke with tech support, they advised me to test the float-- apparently its designed to both turn on the pump (it does) and the alarm when the pump is in the on state (it definitely does this), but it also should turn off the alarm when pump is off. I will do that this weekend.

What concerns me is that the reset alarm function doesn't work. I am suspicious that this is indicative of the system being unable to charge the battery (says as much in the manual)

So, my question is this: how can I test if the head unit is functional in terms of charge ability? I am trying to decide if I should (a) replace the head unit (b) replace entire setup with new battery backup system or (c) go for broke, and put another water backup in...

(a) & (b) are roughly equivalent if I go Little Giant brand and install myself (head unit is 80% cost of the system). This would be $300-600. (c) was quoted as $1800-2000

My plumber says (shockingly) that battery backups 'always have problems' so he doesnt offer them. He also says I shouldnt expect more than 3-4 hours from a fully charged battery. Any experts here able to confirm/dispute this?

Thanks for any and all advice, as always!
-K
 
  #2  
Old 01-25-17, 01:43 PM
C
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Disconnect the float switch and see if the silence button will shut off the alarm.

What does the battery charge indicator read?

Have you checked the fuse?

Battery backup systems do require periodic testing and maintenance. They work fine for short term power outages but should not be expected to run the pump for days.

You may want to charge the battery with a separate charger so you know it is fully charged and then go from there.
 
  #3  
Old 01-25-17, 01:57 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 441
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thank you!

Disconnect the float switch and see if the silence button will shut off the alarm.
-->Plan to do this this weekend. Assuming I can just disconnect at the battery. There are two connections at each terminal, I assume one to the head unit, one to the pump/floatswitch)


What does the battery charge indicator read?
When I connected the terminal, it was yellow (indicating charging). When we replaced the primary pump, we unplugged the battery unit as well--after checking the float, which triggered alarm which turned off when we unplugged-- when we plugged back in, light went to green (charged)


Have you checked the fuse?
-->No. I'll have to hunt for that. Not sure what it does?

One other thought: the old battery was bulging. At auto parts store, they tested it (it was dead), but they said bulging is usually a sign of overcharging. Little Giant Tech Support said they've never had a case of a bad head unit overcharging a battery

CarbideTipped

Disconnect the float switch and see if the silence button will shut off the alarm.

What does the battery charge indicator read?

Have you checked the fuse?

Battery backup systems do require periodic testing and maintenance. They work fine for short term power outages but should not be expected to run the pump for days.

You may want to charge the battery with a separate charger so you know it is fully charged and then go from there.
 
  #4  
Old 01-25-17, 06:01 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,857
Received 1,336 Votes on 1,234 Posts
He also says I shouldnt expect more than 3-4 hours from a fully charged battery. Any experts here able to confirm/dispute this?
That is correct. The newer the battery.... the longer the run time.

Little Giant Tech Support said they've never had a case of a bad head unit overcharging a battery
I wouldn't believe that for a second.

I deal in high end alarm systems. When I call tech support with a problem i hear the same thing.

I'm fairly certain the "script" says to not acknowledge a problem as occurring previously.

I see bulging/split batteries in alarm systems that were lightly charged.
Batteries just naturally dry up internally from the constant charge on them.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: