A sump pump alarm is the best way that you could protect your basement from overflooding. While sump pumps drain out water that has accumulated before it crosses the maximum level, due to technical problems the mechanism sometimes fails. In such a case, you could choose to attach a separate alarm system onto the pump circuit that could warn you before the basement turns into a pond. Instead of investing in an expensive alarm fitted pump, install one at home without burning a hole in your pocket.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Sump Pump
- Alarm System
- PVC Pipes
Step 1: Initial Steps
Purchase a regular alarm kit from the hardware store near you. Test it to see if the ringing sound is loud enough to reach you in every part of the house without much delay. Do not go overboard while paying for an alarm system as, all you would require is a basic set up that must be fitted in a way that on contact with rising water levels, it gets activated.
Step 2: Setting Up Pipes
You need to set up the sump pump in the right process so that the alarm works properly. Generally the pump is installed in a crawl area of the basement. Make sure that this place is near the water discharge pipe. Now make a hole using a drill in the side of this pipe. It must be at least 5 inches above the lower part of the pipe. The diameter of this hole must be 1/6 inch.
Step 3: Installing the Pump
Buy a check valve if the pump kit does not already provide one. Fit this to the end of the pipe. Use couplings to fit it firmly on the pipe. Next, take a Fiber pipe of the same length as the drainage pipe and attach it to the check valve top with the aid of couplings. Keep attaching pipes to the open ends of the previous pipe unless the last pipe leads to a point that is at least 25 feet away from the house. Check your local building codes before beginning work, however.
Step 4: Making a Simple Alarm
Check the power supply of your home so that the buzzer of the alarm system can be fed by it. The power supply must never be more than the voltage needed for the buzzer. Attach one end of the buzzer to a terminal present in the power circuit. Make sure that the wires or terminals are taped so as to reduce risk of accidents. Now you need to place this near the sump pump at a level that you mark as the maximum permissible limit for the water to rise up. Make a socket here. This may be simply screwed in to the wall after a switch kit is bought. Insert the buzzer plug into the socket.
Step 5: Connecting the Alarm
Now take either of the buzzer wires and attach it to an iron strip that you get in the alarm kit. Connect the other wire to the magnet. Place a wooden board at the point of water level marked and ensure that this must be loosely attached to the buzzer circuit so that due to its position the magnet and iron are separated. Make sure that the buzzer is switched on whenever the pump is in use. As soon as water reaches this point, the force of rising water shall displace the wood and the circuit shall be complete as the magnet shall move and cling to the iron strip, causing the alarm to buzz loud. Your simple sump pump alarm is all ready for use!