Is an automatic generator a better solution than The Protector iControl battery backup sump pump system for the purpose of basement flood prevention?
Occasionally, we are told that a Protector iControl is “not needed” because the house has (or is getting) an automatic generator. While the auto-gen is a wonderful luxury that offers many benefits, this short analysis shows why it is not necessarily the best solution for the specific purpose of flood protection.
Automatic Generator: $5,000-$10,000
An automatic generator is a natural gas (or propane) fueled engine placed outside your home that detects power loss and can automatically turn on to provide power to selected circuits. Cost depends on size of generator needed, location of unit, access to panel and circuits, and what kind of work is involved in running the gas and electrical lines.
Can provide power for multiple items in home.
Capable of providing power for an “unlimited” time
Relatively high cost
Does not prevent flooding if pump or pump switch fails
Does not prevent flooding for many other reasons (frozen pipe, too much water, etc.)
Does not detect flood causing problems
Is not usually monitored and capable of communicating with homeowner
Does not have REMOTE ACCESS for managment, control, and Peace Of Mind
High potential remodel costs after installation of all power and gas lines and equipment
Might fail to start without homeowner’s knowledge
Protector iControl system: $1199 to $1599 (plus batteries and installation)
The Protector iControl system is the industry’s top choice for prevention, detection, and informing the homeowner of problems. Its single or dual pumps, dual sensors, and single or dual batteries provide redundancy and prevent flooding from the harshest rains and longest power outages. Its detection abilities are capable of finding nearly any problem or concern through scheduled self testing. The internet connection allows anytime, anywhere access to all functions.
capable of preventing the worst floods and lasting through the longest power outages
detection of any sump-related flood-causing problem
thorough notification process
REMOTE ACCESS and control of system for ultimate Peace of Mind
Far lower cost than an automatic generator
Does not provide backup power for other household circuits (lights, etc.)
If backup power to just a few other items is crucial (supplying power to a freezer, for example), the homeowner can purchase a manual generator for approximately $300 suplemental power. You will know when the generator needs to be started because you will get notification from your Protector iControl that the power is out!
While the automatic generator is a great solution for being able to power multiple circuits automatically, it comes up short in thoroughly providing flood prevention. In terms of basement flood protection, an automatic generator can only do one thing; provide an alternative source of power to a circuit. It is not designed to protect against all the other reasons basements flood, and has no capabilities to detect and notify the homeowner of potential problems. The relatively high cost of an automatic generator and its lack of flood protection devices makes The Protector iControl the smartest and most thorough choice to protect your basement from flooding.
If your primary purpose in selecting backup power protection is to make sure your basement does not flood, then the cost and lack of self-testing and notification features of an automatic generator will likely prove that the Protector iControl system is a far better choice.
On the other hand, if you feel that powering other circuits in your home is worth the cost of an automatic generator, then you should consider the fact that more than 60% of people flood because of reasons other than power outage. Many people that install an automatic generator ALSO install The Protector iControl system for the reasons listed above. In fact, the iControl systems are often specified by engineers, architects, and generator installers to provide the flood protection needs of the building. More and more insurance companies and now requiring the iControl in order to extend coverage.