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Beeping… It’s enough to make anyone drive anyone mad. So, how to make it stop? Basement Watchdog has a troubleshooting guide, which I will link at the end of the post, but I have taken it a few steps further to ensure that you don’t have to endure the song of your alarm for longer than you need to.
1. Battery Fluid Level Is Low
If the “water” warning light is lit on your alarm, you may find that you need to refill the fluids. Adding distilled water to the cell of each battery should take care of the problem for you. This is because the battery needs the liquid in order to conduct electricity.
Without sufficient water, your battery will not function optimally and can become damaged. Therefore, if you are sure to keep a regular check on the fluid levels, it will help preserve your battery. Not only that, but it will prevent incessant beeping in the future.
But you should only have to fill the battery approximately every 4 to 6 months. Anything significantly shorter than this may indicate an underlying problem, which requires professional investigation or replacement of the unit.
2. Improper Installation of Fluid Sensor
You have to install the fluid sensor in the correct position. There is a hole on the top of the alarm for the sensor, and you need to make sure it is pushed in enough.
The water light also comes on if this is the issue, so how would you know that this is the problem and not the fluid levels? Well, this is not a problem that will develop over time. If your fluid sensor is installed incorrectly, there will be beeping from the moment you turn it on.
Check your alarm manual to ensure that the fluid sensor is where it should be.
3. Using a Non-Basement Watchdog Battery
If you aren’t using a Basement Watchdog battery, you will not be able to use the fluid sensor function. Not working properly, the fluid sensor will assume there is a problem with the fluid levels and give a warning unless it is attached to the battery’s positive terminal.
When attached to the positive terminal of the battery by securing the sensor onto the terminal with the wingnut, the fluid sensor is essentially “deactivated”. You will have to keep a check on the battery, should it require fluid refills, to make sure it continues working and doesn’t get damaged.
4. Using Maintenance-Free Battery
Maintenance-free batteries do not require fluid to be added to the battery, so they do not need the fluid sensor to be active.
If your fluid sensor is active, it will register the lack of fluid in the battery as a problem.
If you connect the fluid sensor to the positive terminal of the battery, again using the wingnut to secure it, you will bypass the fluid sensor, and the battery will continue to work without the alarm beeping.
5. Corrosion of Battery Terminals
If there is a build-up of a white or green substance, you have corrosion on your battery terminals.
Corrosion negatively impacts connectivity at the terminals, decreases conductivity, and shortens the life of your battery. The Watchdog can detect corrosion, and the alarm lets you know it needs cleaning.
You must clean the terminals as well as the cables and wing nuts if they are affected. You should use a wire brush to remove the majority of the corrosion (something like the Premium Battery Post/Terminal Corrosion Cleaning Brush (amazon link)). Then use a corrosion cleaner like STAR BRITE Corrosion Buster Pen (amazon link), or you could try a baking soda and water mixture.
6. Loose Battery Cables
The alarm might be beeping as a warning of an unstable connection. This can happen if the battery cables are loose and the contact is compromised.
This is, thankfully, a pretty simple fix. To secure the contact between the cables and the battery, you just need to tighten the wing nuts at the terminals.
7. Battery Charge Is Depleted
If your battery charge is below 25%, the alarm will warn you that the battery needs replacing or recharging. This is likely to occur during a power outage.
You need to replace the battery if it is beeping while the power is out. The alarm is warning that there is only about 1 hour of juice left in the battery. After that, it will not have the power to pump anymore.
The battery will recharge when the power is restored.
The following video covers how to replace the battery:
8. Battery Is Faulty or Damaged
A faulty or damaged battery will likely display problems from the beginning. Unless something occurred to damage the battery, of which you would probably be very aware. The pump will not be working properly without sufficient power. However, you need to allow a new battery 24 hours to charge properly.
You will have to replace the battery. Warranties will likely mean that you can have a faulty battery replaced with little hassle. A damaged battery might be covered by a warranty or, depending on the cause, it might be covered by insurance.
(Find the video for how to replace a battery in section 7.)
9. Battery Is Old
If the battery has been around for a few years, you may find that it is at the end of its lifespan. The beeping occurs because the battery is no longer able to function optimally.
An old battery needs replacing, and that should sort out the beeping problem.
Watchdog batteries generally last around 3 to 5 years but can last longer if you take good care of them. So, if there is beeping and you haven’t bought a battery for a few years, you are likely dealing with an old battery.
(Find the video for how to replace a battery in section 7.)
10. The Power Has Gone Out
A power failure will cause the alarm to go off. There is nothing you can do to solve this, aside from waiting for the power to come back on. The pump will continue to run off battery power, so you don’t have to worry that the system isn’t working. But you can also silence the alarm for 24 hours by holding the reset button for a beat or two.
11. Tripped Circuit Breaker or Blown Fuse
A circuit breaker could have tripped, or a fuse may have blown, causing the power to shut off to the alarm. You need to reset the circuit or replace the blown fuse.
However, you should investigate further if the circuit trips or fuse blows again. Both these systems are designed to cut power when the circuit is overloaded or pulling too much electricity. You may need to change the outlet you are using for the Watchdog if it is damaged or to where it can be better accommodated or where it is on its own circuit.
If you are experiencing constant tripping or frequent fuse breaking, you should call in an electrician to diagnose the issue and address it. The electricity turns off as a protective mechanism to help prevent fire and injury, so it is best not to ignore it.
12. Insufficient Outlet Power or Outlet Failure
If your outlet is damaged, you will need to repair or replace it. Check the wiring and components for any breakage or wear. You can also move the pump over to a working outlet.
An outlet with insufficient power may be caused by too many appliances drawing power from the outlet, wiring faults, or an old electrical system needing an update.
To provide the most optimal power to the pump, you need to check the power requirements in the manual. You may need to put the pump into an outlet with its own circuit.
13. Backup Battery Unplugged
The alarm’s beeping is to inform you that the backup battery is not connected. This is important as the sump pump is designed to keep water out of your basement. However, the pumps are electrical, and if the power goes out, a backup battery is needed to keep the system running.
You just need to check that the battery is securely plugged into the pump and that the connection is snug.
14. Backup Pump Clogged
The pump can get clogged by debris and dirt and an alarm will sound to inform you that the pump cannot operate properly.
You need to go and remove the strainer for the pump and clean and clear it out. You should find that this will solve the problem. If it persists and the pump still isn’t working, the pump may be broken.
15. Faulty or Broken Backup System
If the backup system is not working, the alarm will go off. The backup system is essential to keep the Watchdog functioning in the event of a power outage or a failure in the primary system.
If any of the components in the backup system are broken or faulty, you will need to replace them. You might need to take the backup system in for service to establish what is wrong and requires replacing.
When the backup system is working again, the alarm will no longer activate.
Having your basement or crawl space sump pump working is important in some areas and absolutely vital in others. Flooding and humidity in the basement are enemies of the entire home as moisture issues spread upwards very easily.
Moreover, stagnant pools of water are an attraction for all kinds of insects that you do not want living in your home, such as flies.
So, if the solutions mentioned above do not match your problem or you have tried them, and nothing appears to work, the best thing would be to call the Watchdog Basement helpline. They are experts on their products and will be able to advise you best.
You can contact them on 800-991-0466 and by selecting option 3.
The official Basement Watchdog troubleshooting guide
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