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Do You Need a Sump Pump Battery Backup?

backup sump pump batteries

A sump pump is critical for moving water away from your house. Without it, one rainstorm can flood your basement and/or lower floor. Unfortunately, heavy rain and severe storms are often accompanied by power outages. Battery backup can keep your sump pump going if the power goes out. Regardless of how often your sump pump turns on, it’s a good idea to have this option.

How Does a Sump Pump Battery Backup Work?

There’s no one-size fits all solution that works with all sump pumps. Some retailers try to sell batteries this way, but don’t prioritize important technical factors. Each type of sump pump has its own requirements, so it’s best to do your research because the size of the pump, its horsepower rating, and how it is constructed can determine the type of battery you need.

In many cases, a sump pump has its own backup system. There are two types:

DC Backup: If the pump runs only on DC power, it will only function if connected to the battery.

AC/DC: The pump runs on AC power from a wall outlet, without using the battery, but if the power goes out, will switch to DC battery power to keep running.

Some sump pumps require a specific type of battery if you’re going to add backup. Marine, solar, lead-acid, and other deep-cycle batteries work with pumps. A maintenance-free battery is a simple solution while lead-acid, or wet-cell, batteries require distilled water to prevent them from drying out.

Reasons to Use a Backup Battery

There are a few reasons why battery backup is a good idea. Before you invest in a new battery or system, here are some things to think about:

Risk of an Outage: Power outages are common during strong storms, when you’re most likely to need your sump pump. If your area is at a high risk of flooding, a backup system is a good investment, even if outages happen just a few times a year. It certainly avoids the cost of water removal, cleanup, and repairs.

Age of the Pump: The older a sump pump, the higher the risk of failure. A battery backup system can be useful for a pump you’ve had for 10 or more years. If the pump goes offline, the backup can quickly get it back online, avoiding the consequences of potential flooding.

Frequency of Use: Constant use wears out parts more quickly. If your primary pump seems to be constantly running, the water table may be high enough to warrant having a battery system. This way, you won’t deal with flooding if the pump suddenly fails.

Maintenance: Backup battery systems for sump pumps are easy to maintain. Depending on the battery, water levels and terminals must be checked regularly, but the backup system will work without a water supply. Battery backup is even more effective when it matches the capacity of the pump.

Alerts: Sump pump battery backups are becoming more sophisticated. Some include status monitoring, self-diagnostics, and automatic alerts. Therefore, you can act on a problem, call a technician, and have it fixed before a flood impacts your home.

Call Cardinal Plumbing for Sump Pump Help

Serving Alexandra, Sterling, Gainesville, and other parts of Northern Virginia, Cardinal Plumbing can repair or replace your sump pump, or suggest and install a battery backup system. We can ensure your sump pump is working to avoid more serious problems, and also provide a range of other plumbing, HVAC, and water treatment system services. Book an appointment online or call 703-721-8888 for professional, same-day service.

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