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UPDATED: 06/25/14

Frequently Asked Combination System Questions

  •   Q: Why do I need a combination system? A: All of the Basement Watchdog combination systems come preassembled for easy installation and offer primary and battery backup pump capabilities. They also have a compact design that fits into pits with diameters as small as 12 inches.
  •   Q: What is included with the Basement Watchdog combination system? A: All Basement Watchdog combination systems come with a primary pump with dual float switch, backup pump with a mounting bracket, control unit for the backup pump with a dual float switch and battery fluid sensor, transformer, a rubber union, battery cap, and extra zip ties to secure wires.
  •   Q: What additional items will I need to supply for my combination system? A: You will also need to supply a 12V standby battery. All Basement Watchdog standby batteries are specifically designed to work with our battery backup systems. They are the only batteries that will accommodate the battery fluid sensor. You will also need to supply six quarts of 1.265 specific gravity battery acid (30HDC140S and 24EP6 batteries only). For some installations you may also need additional items: 1 ½" rigid PVC pipe, 1 ½" PVC pipe connector or 1 ½" rubber union, and PVC pipe cleaner with cement.
  •   Q: How easy is it to install a Basement Watchdog combination system? A: For convenience, both pumps have been pre-assembled for easy installation with a "Y" connector and two check valves. All combination systems come with a detailed manual that includes pictures of the installation process. Easy to follow videos are also available to help guide you.
  •   Q: I already have a check valve in my plumbing setup, can I leave it? A: All Basement Watchdog combination systems come with two built in check valves. It is highly recommended to remove the existing check valve because it will reduce the pumping capacity of both pumps.
  •   Q: Do I have to fill your battery with acid? A: The Basement Watchdog Maintenance Free/AGM standby batteries don't require any acid. The Basement Watchdog Wet Cell standby batteries are sold dry and have to be activated with acid. This allows us to make sure that our customers get the most out of the battery. The life of the battery starts when it is filled with acid.
  •   Q: Can I use a maintenance free battery on your systems? A: A maintenance free battery can be used on the Basement Watchdog Emergency (BWE), Basement Watchdog Combination (DFK961), the newly updated version of the Basement Watchdog Special+ (BWSP+) and Basement Watchdog Big Combination sump pump system (BW4000) with Special + backup controller. Look for the "+" on the upper left hand corner of the BWSP+ control panel to ensure compatibility.
  •   Q: I am using a maintenance free battery, what do I do with the fluid sensor rod? A: To permanently disable the water fluid low alarm, attached the fluid sensor rod to the positive terminal of the battery. This can be done by tightening down the wing nut on top of the positive terminal and the fluid sensor.
    fluid sensor rod
  •   Q: Can I connect two batteries to my combo system to allow more run time? A: This can be done only on the Basement Watchdog Big Combo. The two batteries need to be connected in parallel (+) to (+) and (-) to (-). A special cable can be ordered directly from Glentronics at 800-991-0466 option 3. We also recommend using batteries that are the same size and age. Do not connect more than two batteries in parallel.
  •   Q: Is there a way to be alerted about issues the combination system might have when not home? A: We have systems that feature a remote connection. It can be used to connect to an auto dialer, security system, or other devices. This can only be done on the Basement Watchdog Big Combo (BW4000).
  •   Q: Do I need to plug my system into a surge protector? A: Power surges and power spikes can occur at anytime. Unfortunately they can damage the electronics inside the control unit of your backup system. Protect your backup system with a surge protector which is a device that suppresses power surges. A surge protector can be purchased at any electronics or hardware store. They are rated in joules. At least 1500 joules is recommended for any of our backup systems. We do not suggest plugging the primary pump into a surge protector.
  •   Q: How do the dual float switches operate on the combination system? A: The float switch will turn on the pump when the water raises either float, and it will remain running as long as the water is above the float. When the water drops below the float switch, an internal timer in the control unit will keep the pump running to empty the rest of the water in the pit. The backup control unit will run the pump for additional 25-60 seconds. The dual float controller for the primary pump will keep the pump running for additional 10 seconds.
  •   Q: Why does each float switch have two floats on the combination system? A: For added reliability, the float switch has two floats. Should one float switch fail to operate, the second float automatically activates the pump. This means that the combination system features a total of four float switches for extra reliability. The primary pump's float switch features a protective cage that prevents debris or other wires from interfering with the movement of the floats.


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