Nobody wants to deal with a flooded basement, but when the power goes out, so does your sump pump. Such an appliance requires power to run when it removes excess water out of your basement and away from your home’s foundation. A battery backup not only ensures your sump pump runs when the lights go out, but that your home remains dry and structurally intact.
How a Sump Pump Battery Backup Works
Your sump pump needs the power to operate, but power outages can happen at any time. A sump pump battery backup works by using a secondary sump pump, which is installed right next to the original one. Powered by a strong battery, the secondary sump pump kicks on whenever the original fails to remove excess water. A sump pump battery backup is also handy when the original pump is damaged, or if there’s too much water. Disasters do happen, which is why it helps to prepare your appliances for the worst.
What to Consider When Shopping
Ensuring your home stays flood-free requires installing the right kind of sump pump battery backup. Knowing which sump pump battery backup will work best for your home will depend on a few key features. Since this particular type of backup is an addition to your original sump pump, it’s also important to have a proper installation.
Picking the right installer is crucial to ensuring a fully functional sump pump, and so are the following features.
- If it has an alarm system. For a reliable sump pump battery backup, you’ll need one that includes an alarm. Battery backups with an alarm will go off once activated, as well as help you monitor its battery life or alert when there’s a problem.
- It’s pump capacity. If the original sump pump is struggling enough to keep your basement dry, then you’ll want to make sure the backup can pump enough gallons if needed. It’s usually a good idea to get a backup that can pump the same amount of water as the original. Most primary sump pumps pump water at about 35-60 gallons per minute, so try to find a similar or higher pump capacity.
- If it self-tests. It might sound contradictory, but a sump pump that seldom runs is actually bad for the pump itself. That’s why some sump pump battery backups are designed to test themselves routinely. A sump pump that constantly sits in water is more likely to break down than a pump that runs constantly, usually because of built upscale or corrosion.
- If it can accept a secondary battery. For nasty rainstorms, especially if you live somewhere that experiences long power outages, it might be wise to find a battery backup that can take a second battery. Adding another battery to your sump pump battery backup will double the amount of runtime to keep your sump pump running without power.
- If it runs on AC. Some sump pump battery backups will run only on battery, slowing depleting its life until it’s time to replace it. Other batteries, however, can also run on the AC power generated in your home without depleting the battery. While it’s not necessary to find a sump pump battery backup that can run on AC power, it can help to save money on battery replacements.
When It’s Time to Replace Your Sump Pump
Unfortunately, your sump pump is built to only last about 5-7 years. Replacing an old or damaged sump pump is crucial to keeping your basement dry and foundation structurally sound. Knowing when it’s time for a replacement, however, can vary, but the sooner you repair or replace a damaged sump pump, the better. To take proper care of your sump pump, make sure to watch out for the following warning signs.
- Unusual noises. If you start to hear a rattling or grinding sound, then your sump pump may need a repair. Odd sounds can indicate multiple problems, such as a damaged impeller or jammed fan.
- Constant vibrating. The impeller is what draws water into the sump pump, as well as the occasional debris, which can end up damaging it. A sump pump that constantly vibrates is usually caused by a damaged impeller and will need a replacement.
- The pump runs all the time. If it seems like your sump pump is constantly running, then the issue may be that it’s too small to keep up with your basement. A pump that consistently runs could also mean a faulty switch that will need a replacement.
- Motor issues. If your sump pump doesn’t work at all, there could be an issue with the internal wiring. If the issue is that the motor keeps getting stuck, then you may need to replace the filter.
Treat Your Sump Pump Right with a Backup
Nobody wants to deal with the grief and expense of cleaning out a flooded basement, but sometimes the sump pump itself just isn’t enough. Installing a sump pump battery backup ensures your sump pump works when you need it. Installing a battery backup, however, will require some professional help. Prepare your home for the worst of power outages. Hire a professional to install a battery backup today.