If your home in Oswego, Yorkville, Plainfield, Naperville or Aurora has a basement or a crawl space, you’re familiar with a sump pump. Because of its location in your home, you might not think of the pump very often, but it is a VIA (Very Important Appliance) to your property.
Your sump pump protects your home from flooding by excess rain and groundwater. It achieves this by channeling water to the lowest point of the crawl space or basement, where the water gathers within the sump pit in the floor. Located in the pit, the device pumps the water out to a storm drain or catch basin well beyond the home’s foundation.
The sump pump is usually powered by electricity. As long as the power is available and the pump is in good working condition, the pump should serve well in keeping spaces dry. However, should the power go out or the sump pump fail during a storm, there will obviously be a problem.
At other times, a pump’s operation might be compromised by dirt, rocks and sticks that may have gathered in the pit. This debris can clog the pump’s intake screen. Another cause of pump malfunction can be an unsecured power cord that floats into the path of the float switch (we’ll discuss float switches more in a moment).
In this discussion, we’ll talk about why it can be smart to have a battery backup sump pump.
What Is a Battery Backup Sump Pump?
Although it might sound like it is one, a battery backup for your sump pump isn’t really a battery. Rather, it is a pump system that can activate independently from your main pump if it should go out. Many battery backup pumps run on 24- or 12-volt DC power.
Professional sump pump installers will often install the backup above the main pump within the pit. It will usually have a float switch that will activate the pump when the water level inside your home rises in the sump, making the float switch rise as well. If the main pump doesn’t run as it should, the float switch will prompt the backup pump.
The battery backup’s value to you is that it will assist the main pump if the main pump cannot do its job in removing excess water. Whether the main pump malfunctions, loses power or becomes overwhelmed, the battery backup will spring into action in removing the water. A battery backup sump pump also will alert you – usually with a warning light or alarm sound – if the main pump fails or starts to malfunction.
When running on a fully charged battery, many backups can operate for up to several days, which should be ample time to address any issues with the main pump. Newer backup models also often have export terminals, meaning they can connect to an auto-dialer that can send alerts to designated apps or contact numbers.
An important thing to keep in mind is that while battery backup pumps work much as main pumps do, they are overall less powerful and will underperform if a main pump is not in place. The two pumps are partners: Think of the main pump as Batman and the backup as Robin.
On that note, backup pumps must have their batteries to operate, so you want to be sure that the connected battery is holding its charge and properly powering the backup pump, especially if you know severe weather is on the way. With even a little attention and awareness, you can often depend on your backup pump to serve you for years.
Installing a Backup Sump Pump: What Is Your Risk?
To determine if you should have a battery backup sump pump in your basement or crawl space, you can start by considering a few different things:
- Is your home in a flood zone?
- How often do you experience power outages during the year?
- Does your main sump pump run with noticeable frequency when it rains?
- Do you have a finished basement, or do you keep property of value in the basement or crawl space that could be ruined or damaged by flooding?
If you can answer yes to even just one of these questions, installing a sump pump as a backup to the main pump is a wise choice.
Installing a Backup Sump Pump: Which Is the Right Pump?
The benefits of installing a backup sump pump in your basement or crawl space are clear. The backup also is typically easy to maintain. The key is choosing the right backup for your home. If you have a backup pump that is not the right size or type or that is not compatible with the main pump, there’s a good chance you’ll still run into problems.
To ensure you have the correct backup, your best bet is to partner with trained and experienced sump pump installers. Beyond advising you about the proper backup with the right battery capacity, they can also inform you about sump pump costs so you can make a good choice based on your budget. Professional sump pump installers can give you tips on how to prolong the life of your main and backup sump pumps as well.
Installing a Backup Sump Pump: What’s Involved?
Once you have chosen the optimal backup for your home, installing the sump pump involves a few basic steps. The professional installer will attach the backup unit to the wall, connect the proper cables with their terminals, plug in the backup and then test its compatibility with the main unit. This can all usually be completed in under a few hours.
Contact Aquaduct Plumbing Today
The waterproofing experts at Aquaduct Plumbing serve Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield with installing, repairing and maintaining sump pumps and battery backup sump pumps. We can also help you choose the basement sump pump that will best serve your home for the right sump pump costs, as well as inspect an existing sump pump for performance. Simply call (630) 504-9594 – we’ll be glad to hear from you!
All sump pump products installed by Aquaduct Plumbing are made in the USA and backed by a manufacturer’s warranty and a service warranty.
Did You Know?
Having a backup pump can result in a discount with some homeowners insurance policies.