We’re always reading about home improvements, and the value they might add to a house. Usually we’re talking about large improvements like remodeling a kitchen or a bathroom, and there are lots of resources that will tell you what percentage of your investment you’ll recover for the improvement if you sell your house.
What about relatively small improvements? What about improvements which may not add value to the selling price, but which provide satisfaction for the owner or cheap insurance for the house? Let’s look at two scenarios which hopefully will never happen to you:
Scenario #1: We have a bad storm which results in water coming into your basement. While you’re backup generator kicked in just fine, your sump pump didn’t work and you ended up with several feet of water in your basement.
Scenario #2: Same as scenario #1 except that you don’t have a backup generator so you were smart enough to install a battery-operated backup sump pump. However, this particular storm has the pump working long enough to drain down the battery, so you end up with several feet of water in your basement.
You might be interested in knowing that there is such a thing as a water-powered sump pump that doesn’t need electricity at all. It operates by a very simple principle: it uses the pressure of your house’s municipal cold water line to create a partial vacuum which sucks up the water in your sump pit and pumps it outside. It depends upon adequate city water pressure to operate, it’s usually a lot more expensive than a simple electrically-powered sump pump and it “wastes” water when it’s operating (many water operated sump pumps use 1 gallon of city water to pump up 2 gallons from the sump pit).
There are several good videos on You Tube that show how the water powered pumps work, but even after all of the brokers’ open houses I’ve gone to, I don’t remember seeing a single water powered sump pump. If any of our readers have one, please leave a comment telling us of your experiences. Likewise for any plumbers who have installed one. Thank you!