Protect Basement from Flooding: Sump Pump Backup Battery


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Installing a battery backup sump pump is the best way to protect your basement from water damage during power outages. A backup pump provides peace of mind that your sump pump system will keep working even when the power goes out.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about battery-operated sump pumps, from how they work to installation tips and top products to consider. Continue reading to grasp the methods for preserving a moisture-free lower level of your house and preventing expensive damage due to dampness.

Why Do You Need a Backup Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a device designed to extract groundwater or surface water from a substructure or crawl space. This is a crucial system in the home designed to ensure dry conditions and avoid water accumulation in these lower-level areas.

However, sump pumps run on electricity. If your power goes out, your primary AC-powered sump pump will be unable to run, leaving your lower ground floor susceptible to excessive water accumulation..

That’s where a battery-operated sump pump comes in. A backup pump provides power to the sump pump when electricity is cut off. This gives you peace of mind that your pump will keep working even in a blackout.

Key reasons every homeowner needs a backup drainage pump include:

  • Prevent expensive harm to basement contents, flooring, walls, etc. from moisture and leaks during a power outage.
  • Avoid flooding if your primary AC sump pump fails or malfunctions
  • Protection if heavy rains overload your main pump
  • Redundancy if your main pump needs repairs or replacement
  • Continued drainage even if primary sump pump cord or outlet gets disconnected
  • Peace of mind knowing your lower ground floor is protected 24/7 against water

Installing a backup system is the sole solution to thoroughly safeguard your basement from water intrusion during an electricity failure.

How Does a Battery Backup Sump Pump Work?

A battery-operated sump pump works by providing power to your primary AC sump pump during a power failure. Here is an overview of how the systems work:

  • The system consists of a DC battery-powered backup pump, battery, power adapter, and alarm/control system.
  • The backup pump and float switch are positioned adjacent to your main AC sump pump in your sump basin.
  • The battery is connected to a a device that ensures it remains fully powered at all times.
  • When the power goes out, the battery kicks in to run the pump when water levels rise.
  • The backup pump pushes water out of the sump basin through a discharge pipe.
  • A signal will sound to alert you if the pump activates due to high water.
  • Once power is restored, the battery recharges and the system returns to standby mode.

Backup pumps are designed to automatically switch over to power accumulator when the main pump loses power. Quality pumps can pump out up to tens of thousands of gallons on a fully charged battery.

Installing a complete backup system provides protection 24 hours a day against water accumulation in the basement..

What to Look for in a Backup Sump Pump

When selecting a backup sump pump for your home, there are a few key features to look for:

  • Power – Look for 1/3 HP or higher to match your primary pump’s strength. The pump needs to keep up with water inflow during power loss.
  • Battery – A 7AH or larger sealed lead acid battery is ideal for longer runtimes. Look for batteries rated for sump pump use.
  • Battery life – Get a pump with a battery that provides at least 8 hours of runtime. Some can last for days to handle extended outages.
  • Charger – Select a pump that features an automatic float system ensuring the battery remains at maximum capacity.
  • Alarm – Audible and visual signals alert you if the auxiliary pumping system is activated.. This indicates a problem with your main pump.
  • Automatic switchover – The system should automatically switch to battery backup power when the main pump loses AC power.
  • Reviews – Choose a reliable brand with excellent reviews and feedback from property owners.. Look for at least a 1-year warranty.

Follow these tips and look for the best sump pump backup system you can afford for your home and basement size. By doing so, you ensure the highest level of safeguard against moisture-related harm.

Where to Install a Battery-operated Sump Pump

The location where you position your backup pump system is crucial for its optimal functioning. Here are some guidelines on the ideal placement:

  • Position the pump and float switch next to your main pump in your sump pit. It should be mounted at the same height as your main pump.
  • The pump needs to sit upright on a solid base. Make sure the inlet screen is 6 inches or more from the bottom of the sump basin so it won’t suck up sediment.
  • Ensure the device that detects liquid levels is positioned in such a way that it can ascend and descend without any hindrance.
  • Run the discharge pipe separately from your main pump’s line. Join them together outside the home or in the discharge line.
  • Place the battery box on a shelf or elevated surface close to the sump pit. Elevation helps improve battery lifespan.
  • Put the charger up high where it won’t risk getting wet.

Ensuring the correct installation of the auxiliary water system components guarantees effective drainage and triggers the process when necessary.

How to Implement a Battery Backup Sump Pump

Establishing a backup drainage pump system takes some mechanical aptitude but is a straightforward DIY project for many homeowners. Here is an overview of backup  sump pump installation steps:

Gather Tools and Materials

You will need a drill, screwdriver, pliers, PVC cement and primer, pipe clamps, and possibly an extension cable. Make sure you have all parts including discharge hose or piping, hose clamps, and necessary adapters.

Mount the Backup Pump

Position your pump in the sump basin next to the primary pump and secure it in place with a base or bricks. Ensure correct float switch height.

Run Discharge Line

Measure and cut PVC pipe to route the discharge line outside. Glue joints and set up a backflow check valve near the pumps. Fasten the line with clamps.

Connect Battery and Alarm Panel

Connect the battery terminals to the pump per the manual. Mount the notification panel on a wall and plug sensors into the pump.

Connect Power Cord

Plug the power adapter into an interior GFCI outlet. Run an extension cable if needed to reach an outlet. Don’t use an exterior outlet.

Test the System

Check the auxiliary pumping system by disconnecting the AC pump and elevating the float switch. The battery pump should turn on when the float rises. Plug primary pump back in.

Be sure to check your local codes and manufacturer instructions for all installation steps. If any part of the process leaves you uncertain, think about seeking professional assistance for the system’s implementation. Proper setup is key to adequate backup protection.

Top 5 Battery Backup Drainage Pumps

Here are 5 of the best battery backup drainage pumps to protect your basement from potential flooding during power outages:

1. Zoeller Aquanot Battery Backup System – Comes with 7AH battery for 8 hours of protection. Dual buoyancy sensors.

2. Wayne WSS30V Backup Sump Pump – Very affordable system. Battery can run for 11 hours. Produces a noticeable sound.

3. Superior Pump 91250 – 1/3 HP cast iron pump. Uses maintenance-free battery. Notification system and dual buoyancy sensors.

4. Liberty Pumps SJ10 – Can operate for 24 hours on its 33AH sealed lead acid battery. Also has water-operated option.

5. Glentronics Pro Series Backup System – Industrial grade and very reliable. Battery provides 18 hours of runtime.

Always size your backup pump appropriately for your home’s water flow rates. Investing in a quality system from a top brand is recommended for long-term reliability.


Here are answers to some common homeowner questions about backup sump pumps:

How long does the secondary pump operate on battery power?

Backup runtime varies by battery capacity but 8-24 hours is typical for most models. Larger batteries provide longer runtimes.

Where is the best place to place the battery?

Place the battery box on a shelf or platform above and near the sump pit. Elevation helps increase battery lifespan.

Do I need a backup pump if I have a water-powered pump?

Yes, you still need a battery backup system. Water-powered pumps rely on city water pressure which can fail. Battery units provide protection when both AC power and water pressure are lost.

How often should the battery be replaced?

Approximately every 3-5 years. Check manufacturer specifications. Use a voltage meter to regularly test battery condition.

How do I maintain the sump pump backup system?

Periodically inspect the pump, test the alarm, check water levels, and examine the battery terminals. Clean the sump basin annually.

Implementing a reliable backup sump pump provides essential protection for your home against basement flooding and water damage, especially during power outages. Follow the tips in this guide to choose the right system and install it properly. Test it regularly to be confident it will work when needed. Investing in a backup pump gives you invaluable peace of mind!

Additional details on Sump Pumps and Backup Systems

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