How To Test Basement Watchdog Battery

A Basement Watchdog backup battery is vital to continue the operation of a sump pump if there is no electricity. You might be curious how to test the battery so as to find out if it works properly. In regard to this, we did thorough research to guide you on the testing process.

On the control unit of a Basement Watchdog, push the "TEST" button to check the battery of the sump pump system. By doing so, you can assess if the battery is defective or discharging. If there is something wrong, you can also check the battery's charger, power source, and fluid level.

Before testing, you should follow the safety instructions of the device. If you do not test the system's battery, you won't have a working backup for your sump pump. To help you get a functioning sump pump system, read further to learn more about a Basement Watchdog battery.

Service maintenance of electrical equipment, How To Test Basement Watchdog Battery

Testing A Basement Watchdog Battery

A Basement Watchdog battery acts as a backup for a sump pump system during power outages. This wet-cell battery will work with the fluid sensors of the system. With a backup battery, you can use the sump pump for longer. In that way, you can prevent water damage in your basement.

Testing will help to assess if the battery is discharging or needs replacement. Also, you can estimate how long the battery will last. You will also know if the battery needs refilling or replacement.

It is best to test your Basement Watchdog battery before use. To do this, you only need to push the "TEST" button on the device's control panel. The device will light up and sound if something is wrong with the battery.

Keep reading to learn what to do when the control panel alarms.

How Do I Stop My Basement Watchdog Alarm?

The control panel of the Basement Watchdog will light up "red" and beep if there are electrical or mechanical issues. If ignored, you might have trouble with removing water in your basement. Hence, the beeping sound from the backup sump pump needs immediate action.

Here are the Basement Watchdog controller warnings and the suggested solutions:

1. Battery

If the battery alarms go on, the discharge of the battery is below 25%. The warning means that the battery has around half an hour of running time left. If there is no power and the battery level is low, you should immediately replace the battery. When the power is back, recharge the battery.

You can also check if there is corrosion on the battery cable or terminals. If that is the case, the battery will need some maintenance. You have to remove and clean the cables and tighten the terminal. If the battery itself is old or broken, you need to replace it as soon as possible.

2. Power

During a hurricane or heavy rainfall, your area will likely experience power outages. You have no control over this issue. To silence the alarm, press and hold the yellow button you see on the backup control panel and wait for the power to come back.

The battery could also experience low voltage. If the AC receives less than 115 volts +/- 5%, you will need to wait for the electricity. If there is no outage, try turning off other appliances using the same circuit.

As soon as the power is back, the alarm will stop.

3. Water

The light and sound alarm goes on if the battery fluid is low and needs some acid or distilled water. You have to add some acid to activate the battery for the first time. After some use, the battery requires distilled water.

You can use tap water with low mineral content if distilled water is unavailable. But do not use well water and refrain from adding acid to the battery. Refill all the cells to stop the alarm.

4. Pump

You also get a warning if you have a broken or clogged sump pump. Replace the broken pump, and clean the strainer of the pump. Other reasons include a false activation of the float switch, and its cord wraps the AC cord. You should move the float switch away from the AC cord to address the problem.

5. Charger

The battery charger is another important component of the sump pump. You should see a green light on the controller if all the connections and power supply are present. If the light is red, the charger has a problem.

To fix the issue, check if it is loose or needs replacement. Another way is to secure the charger into the outlet and the rear panel of the control unit. If the sound doesn't stop, you might need to recharge the battery or replace it with a 400 ma charger.

6. Other Causes

If there are abnormal sounds other than beeping, the sump pump system might have a broken check valve that needs a replacement. Also, if there is a frozen or clogged discharge pipe, you should unclog or defrost it.

How Long Do Basement Watchdog Batteries Run?

Basement Watchdog offers two battery variants for their sump pump backup system. You can choose from a wet-cell Big Standby battery or an Emergency battery. The running time for the batteries and systems are as follows:

Big Dog Connect Special+ Connect Emergency
Big Standby Battery 50 hours 60 hours 100 hours
Emergency Battery 40 hours 48 hours 80 hours

The fluid sensor of the backup system will work if there is enough power. The connect modules of the system also notify you thru text, e-mail, or in-app notice. If the battery is low, the feature might not alarm you when necessary. You might not be able to recharge the battery in time when there is basement flooding.

The systems can run at intervals for several days on a single charge. A higher amp level will recharge the battery faster when charging the battery. When the power comes back, the system automatically recharges the battery.

The charging time also depends on the system type. The Big Dog Connect will take at least 6 hours, but you need to wait for 3 days for the Special+ battery. Among the three, the Emergency type will take the longest to recharge.

A fully-charged battery can work 5 to 7 hours continuously or 1-3 days with an intermittent duty. The battery will last for 3 to 5 years.

How To Charge Basement Watchdog Batteries?

Before you charge, remember these safety protocols:

  • Keep yourself protected against corrosion. Be sure to wear protective gear.
  • You should avoid touching your eyes when you are working near the battery.
  • Remove all personal metal items such as rings and watches.
  • At all times, avoid the battery acid coming in contact with your skin or clothes.
  • Also, make sure that your charging area has adequate ventilation.

After preparing yourself, follow the steps below to charge the battery:

  1. Unplug the charger from the electrical outlet.
  2. Then disconnect the battery cable rings.
  3. Afterward, remove the terminal.
  4. For the initial charging, add acid to the battery. It will reach 80-90% after 15 minutes after filling acid on 6 battery cells.
  5. The battery becomes fully charged when you connect the charger to an outlet.

You can bring it to the service station or use an automotive battery charger for succeeding charges.

What To Fill In A Basement Watchdog Battery?

Basement Watchdog wet-cell batteries do not have fluid inside when purchased. The dry battery only activates by adding 1.265 specific gravity acid into the cells. This acid is a combination of diluted sulfuric acid plus water. You can buy the acid when you buy the battery.

Be aware that sulfuric acid is harmful. It can cause blindness and burns to the body. You should avoid contact with acid when filling the battery. Always prioritize your safety when filling acid into the battery.

The next time you fill the battery, never use acid. Instead, use distilled water to fill the cells.

In Closing

Press the test button on the control unit to check if your Basement Watchdog battery works. Testing the battery is essential to check the fluid level, cables, or charging problems. If the device alarms, you should fix the issue before using the sump pump to prevent water in the basement.

Also, the battery has varying running times due to different battery types. To keep the battery for longer, you should follow the steps to charge and fill it with acid. After you successfully test the battery, your Basement Watchdog backup system will work at its best.

Read related articles about basements from these posts:

Should A Sump Pump Run Constantly?

Can I Drain Basement Dehumidifier To Sump Pump [And How To]

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