WHY SOME HOMES HAVE BASEMENTS, AND OTHERS DON’T.

There are many factors that determine if a house has a basement.

It may have to do with the soil the house is built on. Dry soils (like Clay) create problems with expansion and contraction as they absorb water and then dry out. This expansion/contraction puts added pressure on basement walls, causing them to eventually crack and let ground water in.

Some areas have rocky soil and the cost to dig a basement is expensive. In some states like Florida,
Alabama and Louisiana, the soil is too damp to build one (because of swamp lands or wetlands).

In a coastland area, the chances are the soil will be damp too because of a high water table.

Some areas have basements because they provide shelter in case of a tornado. West coast houses aren’t likely to have basements because they are in earthquake areas.

The frostline (the depth in which the groundwater in soil is expected to freeze, which depends on the climate conditions in that area) has a lot to do if there is a basement or not. In northern areas the frostline is deep and builders have to dig deep to go below it for the home foundation. Here it makes sense to put in a basement.

Where the frostline is shallow, builders don’t need to go as deep and a crawl space will do.

The cost of building a basement vs. a crawl space is also a factor. It’s much less expensive for a crawl space.

But many home buyers like the extra space a basement provides. It can be used for storage, as a recreation area or as an added living space. If there is a possibility of ground water getting into the basement, an interior water drainage system with a sump pump can be installed.

Existing basements or crawl spaces with moisture problems can be fixed using a combination of an interior water drainage system like ICC Approved QuikFlo, combined with a water diverter like Polydrain and a sump pump (we recommend a Pitboss or Big Boss Sump Pump, or a PumpSpy Battery Backup System for added peace of mind). An Aprilaire Dehumidifier can also be added to remove excess moisture.

If you have any questions about any of these products and would like more information, please contact us at 800.677.7791.

Want To Save $$$$ On Your Shipping Costs?

If you have been placing multiple small orders in a short period of time that all get shipped out on a skid, we can save you some $$$$.

Many trucking companies charge “pallet pricing” where the rate is based on weight and size (dimensions: length/width/height). Standard pallet size (48″L x 40″W x 48″H) and weight (usually less than 1650 lbs) is priced one way. Larger and heavier pallets are shipped at a higher rate.

We normally ship with a 4′ x 4′ pallet size (larger products like ICC Approved QuikFlo Drain Pipes / Durawall & Safewall / System Platon may need to go on a larger sized 4′ x 8′ skid).

The good news?

The trucking company we use to ship 90%+ of our orders does not charge this way.

They charge per skid.

So as long as the skid fits within the height of the truck, the cost is the same for Skid A. as it is for Skid C. (shown above). Most of our skids ship for within $65. – $100. The larger 4′ x 8′ skids may cost $10. -$15. more.

SO STACK EM’ UP!

Next time you think about placing a small order that ships on a skid, add more products. You’ll save extra $$$ over time on shipping costs that you can put into your own pocket!

Sump Pump Short Cycle…And Why You Shouldn’t Worry About It.

Lots of contractors and homeowners have questions about their sump pumps short cycling. Most of the time, it’s not something you need to worry about. Most sump pumps are sitting in a sump basin, so they collect the same amount of water every time. Once the water rises, the pump turns on and pumps out the water in the basin, then it turns off. So the pump is actually pumping out the same amount of water every time it cycles.

For our purposes, let’s say your sump pump basin holds 5 gallons of water. Now a 3/4 HP Pump will pump out the water at a faster rate than a 1/3 HP or 1/2 HP Pump. And most sump pumps will pump out the water that comes into the basin regularly without any problems.

What you have to plan for are those rain events that happen once or twice a year where a LOT OF WATER comes into the system at a very short period of time. In these events, a 1/3 HP Pump or a 1/2 HP Pump may not be able to keep up with the rising water level. If this happens, the basement will eventually flood.

Now it is true that during one of these rain events a higher HP pump may run a few more cycles than a lower HP Pump. But the smaller HP Pumps may not be able to keep up with the torrential rains that may occur.

So the trade off for the few dozen extra cycles on the switch of your main sump pump isn’t worth the risk of flooding your basement (and most pump switches average 100,000 cycles anyway).

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW

 

 

 

Why Electric Sump Pumps Are Better Than Water Powered Sump Pumps.

Some contractors will recommend installing a water powered sump pump. This type of pump uses your home water supply to power the pump. If the power goes out during a storm, your home water supply will automatically power the pump and keep your basement from flooding. But here’s the catch. What if the water pressure also drops during a prolonged power outage (need a minimum of 20 PSI to operate efficiently)? The pressure may not be strong enough to power the pump.

Then guess what…your basement floods!

Water powered sump pumps are also very expensive to run compared to a battery backup electric pump. A water powered sump pump uses 1 gallon of your city water to pump out either 1 or 2 gallons of water from your sump pump basin. Using the ratio of 1 to 2 at 1,000 Gallons Per Hour (GPH), this system will use 5,000 gallons of water to prevent 10.000 gallons from flooding the basement.

It wastes a lot of water, and if it runs a long time do you really want that water bill?

Also, if you have a well pump this system will not work.

Many cities won’t approve a water powered sump pump because of the wasted drinking water. And also because they don’t like the idea of your home water line being connected to a sump pump discharge line carrying “greywater”, in case there is a backup from the sump pump.

Some water powered sump pumps (like the Zoeller Model 503) are not maintenance-free. Their instruction manual states a filter needing to be installed in the water supply line to remove particles before they reach the pump. And these pumps need to be manually activated once a month to prevent calcium deposits and debris from building up in the unit, or the pump may fail.

Will you remember to do this every month for years to come?

The water powered sump pumps operate quietly which is one nice feature. Except when the ON/OFF switch breaks, because it usually breaks in the ON position, which means the pump will run continuously using your home water supply. CHING!, CHING!

If you are looking to get a new sump pump, or to replace an old one that’s seen better days, we recommend purchasing a new ELECTRIC sump pump (preferably a Richtech pump like the Pitboss or Big Boss).

An electric sump pump is much easier to install than a water powered sump pump (you don’t need to connect it to your home water supply like the water powered sump pump). And more economical to run.

If you install an electric sump pump with a battery backup, your pump can run up to 166 hours depending on how often it cycles (and you can also add additional batteries if needed to make it last even longer).

And the Richtech AGM Batteries we recommend for the backup system are maintenance-free and come with a 3-Year Full Replacement Warranty.

Using these batteries in combination with a Pitboss Battery Backup System or a PumpSpy Battery Backup System will assure your peace of mind knowing your system is working properly.

Contact us at 800.677.7791 for more information on our full line of electric sump pumps.

What Our QuikFlo ICC Certification Means To You

We are currently in the process of having our QuikFlo Water Drainage Pipe certified by the ICC (International Code Council) for use in ground water drainage. The ICC is the nationally recognized Industry Standard for Building Products.

It means QuikFlo has approval for all Retrofit Applications. Now it will be easier to close deals with homeowners, get approvals from city inspectors and boost credibility for your company.

We’ve gotten the engineer’s report and recently had the ICC inspector visit our plant to check on the product and our testing. New procedures are in place to make sure the QuikFlo Pipe that you order is made from the best quality material possible. We are using micrometers and calipers to check the pipe thickness for consistency. So you know you will always be getting an exceptional product designed to move the maximum amount of ground water at the highest speeds possible.

We will also be laser etching our product with the QuikFlo name, Richtech logo, production date and ICC Certification Number.  ICC approval makes an already great product even better.

We’ll Set You Straight On Fixing Bowed And Cracked Basement Walls

Water pressure against the outside walls of your basement is a problem. And this problem only gets worse with the freeze/thaw cycle.  Soil pressure can crack a block or concrete wall both horizontally and vertically. To fix this problem, the foundation must be stabilized. A fractured basement wall is a serious issue which has a negative impact on the value of your home.

Fortress Stabilization Systems developed a Carbon Fiber/Kevlar Grid that will halt any further movement of the basement walls that have minimal deflection (less than 1″…anything over this we recommend you use The Stabilizer Foundation Reinforcement System, mentioned next).

And this system is easily installed by a qualified basement waterproofing contractor. Without any outside excavation. So no damage to your shrubs, walkways and driveways.

Once installed properly, the grid lies flat against the wall and can be painted so it is hardly noticeable. And your basement wall will never bow or crack again.

The Stabilizer Foundation Reinforcement System uses Top Adjustment Brackets, Fixed Bottom Brackets with I-Beams to straighten and reinforce bowed and cracked basement walls. It attaches an the I-Beam to the floor joist above and the floor/footing below, every 5 to 6 ft along the foundation. This is a pre-engineered, permanent solution that restores structural integrity to a foundation wall.

For more information on these systems or to find a qualified installer in your area, give us a call at 800.677.7791

Sump Pump Failures (And How To Prevent Them) !

A sump pump is your basements security blanket. It may not run all the time (unless you live in an area with a high water table), but when you need it, you want to make sure it’s in good working condition. That means you want it to be free of any mechanical issues so you won’t have a problem when it starts raining.

Here are some reasons your sump pump can fail, and how to find a solution to the problem.

Problem:  POWER FAILURE    Solution:  BATTERY BACKUP SYSTEM
Heavy rainstorms and power failures can go hand in hand. If the power goes out, you sump pump may not work, and your basement can flood. We recommend a PumpSpy Battery Backup System. It has a backup sump pump and battery so if the power goes out, the battery backup will still power your pump.

Problem:  STUCK SWITCH    Solution:  ADJUST SWITCH POSITION
This is one of the most common problems for a sump pump to fail. Make sure the switch has plenty of room so it doesn’t get stuck against the pump. Moving the position of the switch or cleaning the area around it can remedy this problem.

Problem:  PUMP IS TOO SMALL    Solution:  LARGER PUMP AND/OR BACKUP PUMP
If your pump isn’t the right size for the amount of water entering the basin, it can easily become overwhelmed, which means a flooded basement. Make sure your primary pump is at least 1/3 HP (larger if you live in an area with a high water table). Or you can install a PumpSpy Battery Backup System which has a backup pump that pumps more per hour than any other backup system, and can easily handle the excess water.

Problem:  CLOGGED OR FROZEN DISCHARGE LINE    Solution:  FREEZFLOW / BASIN LID
If your discharge line become clogged or frozen, flood water will flow back down the pipe and flood your basement. Installing a FreezFlow to your outside discharge line will let the water discharge through the specially designed vents, preventing a backup in your basement. Also covering your sump pump basin with a lid will prevent debris and small critters (mice) from entering the basin and clogging the pump and line.

Problem:  SMELL COMING FROM BASIN    Solution:  CLEAN BASIN AND PUMP
If you have excessive odors coming from the pump, dropping a chlorine tablet in the basin every few months should help get rid of any algae growth causing the smell. Chlorine will also help neutralize any iron ore algae and prevent it from clogging the pump.

Problem:  OLD PUMP    Solution:  NEW PUMP / BACKUP PUMP
How much your sump pump is used will determine how long it will last. Some pumps may last up to 7 years or more. If you pump is constantly running due to a high water table in your area, the lifespan may only be 3-5 years, or less. Having a PumpSpy Battery Backup System will give you a backup pump in case your primary pump fails due to age. And the FREE 24/7 Monitoring Service will send you updates and alerts so you know the status of your sump pump system. This will come in handy if you ever have a problem (IMPORTANT: Insurance companies may reject homeowners basement flooding claims if they can’t prove their sump pump was well maintained).

Problem:  PUMP NOT CORRECTLY INSTALLED    Solution:  CALL A PROFESSIONAL
If your pump isn’t working properly, it may have been installed incorrectly. You can check it yourself, or call a professional if you aren’t sure how to do it yourself.
Some issues you may want to check:
1. Is there a Check Valve on the discharge line and is it working?
2. Is there an air relief hole in the discharge line?
3. Is your pump sitting/packed in gravel which could interfer with the on/off switch and float arm.

Problem:  DEFECTIVE PUMP    Solution:  TEST IT FIRST
Though unlikely, you may have gotten a defective pump. Make sure to test it after installation to make sure it is working properly.

Why You Should Order A New Aprilaire Dehumidifier Right Now.

Aprilaire Dehumidifiers are the industry standard. So we know once you try them in a basement or crawlspace, you’ll know what thousands of other Aprilaire customers already know. That Aprilaire Dehumidifiers are the best.

The Model #1850 Aprilaire Dehumidifier removes up to 95 pints of moisture per day! And these trouble-free, reliable dehumidifiers offer an industry leading 5-Year Warranty. They are designed, tested and assembled right here in the USA, and offer world class tech support and customer service.

We are so sure that once you try an Aprilaire Dehumidifier you’ll be as impressed with it as we are, we’re making a special limited time offer to contractors only. Purchase an Aprilaire Dehumidifier from us now and love it 110%, or return it to us and we will pay 100% of the cost to ship it back (you may return your Aprilaire Dehumidifier at no cost within 60 days of purchase).

So what have you got to lose? Call us now at 800.677.7791 and we’ll send your order out immediately.

Are You Ready To Become A PumpSpy Certified Installer?

PumpSpy Certified Installer training will be starting in the fall. This program will teach you how to correctly install PumpSpy products like the Battery Backup System and Smart Outlet. This training also includes ways to promote your business using these products. Once you have completed this training you will be able to install and set up the PumpSpy apps for your customers so they will be able to check on their sump pump system 24/7 with the PumpSpy Free Monitoring service.

PumpSpy products give your customers peace of mind knowing their sump pumps are working during heavy rainstorms. And you will be able to answer any questions the homeowner might have on why they should be putting a PumpSpy system in their basement. You will also learn how to trouble shoot any issues that come up for your customers.

And PumpSpy Certification includes selling tools for you to use to increase your sales, and your profits. You will receive PumpSpy Certified Installer hats, shirts, certificates, I.D cards, literature,  yard signs and more.

Find out how you too can become a PumpSpy Certified Installer.  Call us at 800.677.7791 to find out more.

PumpSpy. Watching your sump pump system 24/7.

How Much Will A Flooded Basement Cost To Repair?

Frequent storms are a problem, especially this time of year. With the hot weather comes the humidity/thunder/lightning/rain. Some of these rainstorm can deliver a large amount of water in a short time. Is your basement sump pump in good working condition? If the power goes off during the storm do you have a generator or battery backup system  to keep your sump pump working until the power comes back on?

If you have a PumpSpy Battery Backup System, you’re in good hands. It has a backup sump pump and battery to keep your system running even if the power goes out. And the FREE 24/7 monitoring sends updates and alerts to your smart phone, tablet and computer so you can check on your system from anywhere at anytime.

If you wonder what it would cost to install a PumpSpy Battery Backup System, let’s look at what it might cost you NOT to install one. Searching a few websites that list flood repair services, we found a wide range of costs to bring your basement back from a flood. If it is a minor flood (several inches of water), it could cost up to $10,000. to repair. A more substantial flood could raise that cost between $25,000. and $50,000.  What if your furnace, washer/dryer, furniture all need  to be replaced, in addition to wallboard and flooring. And don’t forget any personal items that may be damaged and irreplaceable, like family photo albums.

Also, make sure you check your insurance homeowner’s policy to see if you are covered for any of this. Some insurance companies won’t cover claims if you can’t prove you had a sump pump in good working condition. So now, the cost to repair your basement isn’t just your homeowners insurance deductible, it’s the full repair cost. And it’s all coming out of your wallet now. YIKES!

So the question is…can you afford NOT to install a PumpSpy Battery Backup System?