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Do I Need A Battery Backup For My Sump Pump?

Areas that have a lot of rainfall, are close to a floodplain or have a high water table are likely familiar with a sump pump. These appliances are used to send water away from a house to a storm drain or drywell, preventing basements and lower parts of the house from flooding. Sump pumps will turn on more often in some areas, while in others, they may not turn on at all. However, it's always good to have a battery backup for the pump. Let's take a look at why a battery backup is so necessary for your sump pump:

Homeowners within areas that are susceptible to flooding are likely familiar with a sump pump. These fixtures ensure that even if torrential rain hits your area, your home can easily handle the excess groundwater without it flooding your basement. A sump system channels water to the lowest point in a basement or crawl space where it is allowed to accumulate inside a sump pit below floor level. A sump pump sitting inside the pit pumps out the water and directs it into a storm drain or nearby catch basin far away from the home’s foundation. This is essential for preventing basement flooding and associated water damage over the lifetime of your home. However, for many homes, especially those where flooding is common, a battery backup sump pump could be an essential line of flood protection for your home.

Likelihood of risk

Homeowners should determine the potential for flooding to gauge if the battery backup is right for their needs. Power outages can happen during strong storms, taking out the sump pump. If you have these situations a few times a year or even once a year, a battery backup will be worth the investment. This will eliminate the cost of repairs, water removal and other issues that come with flood damage. A battery backup will decrease your risk and give you peace of mind that your property is protected from problems.

It's important to note that an aging pump can also have a higher chance of failure without the need of a power outage. If your pump is 10 years or older, it's likely time to invest in a new one. If your sump pump is more than five years old, a battery backup will come in handy to ensure that your aging appliance comes back online quickly.

Wet Basement


As much as we try to predict what the weather will be like, it's not always clear what the fallout will be after certain events. If your area has significant rainfall and high winds, this often can cause power outages and flooding. When the power goes out, your electrically powered sump pump will stop running, and won't be able to prevent that incoming water from entering your home. A battery backup sump pump ensures that even if the power goes out or a circuit breaker is tripped, your backup sump pump will continue to operate effectively. While these events may only happen once in a blue moon, they do happen, and it's important to have a failsafe in place.

Easy to maintain

Battery backups for sump pumps have a number of benefits, including the fact that they are relatively easy to maintain. It's simple to install a battery backup, and that they will work even when there's no water supply. However, the battery water levels and terminals must all be checked on a regular basis. It's important to note that a battery can also run down before the power comes back, so it will be crucial to choose a solution that has the right capacity for your home. For example, if you have a pump that runs once a minute, you'll require a different battery capacity than a pump that runs every five minutes. These differences will play a big part in what battery is installed and how long you can expect to keep your pump operational.

Warns you of danger

The sophistication of battery backups for sump pumps is increasing to tell homeowners when to expect danger as well as when support is required. Some solutions monitor battery status, test themselves and alert homeowners in signs of trouble. This type of interfacing adds a layer of oversight that will be important to protecting your house and ensuring that your property remains dry. If your sump pump fails, and you have a finished basement, or important objects in your crawl space, how much would it cost to recover from a flooding event? A battery backup pays for itself in this regard, as it can notify you to prevent damage.

A sump pump isn't necessarily something that every house requires, but it has saved countless homes from the dangers of flooding and water damage. For those that are in higher risk of these events, a battery backup will be essential. With this, homeowners can have peace of mind as these appliances are easy to maintain, and many of them will sound the alarm to minimize potential damage. Call your Roto-Rooter expert today for a sump pump consultation or any questions that you may have about these appliances.


The weather may not be at fault for an inoperable sump pump – sometimes it can come due to certain issues within the appliance itself. As water flows through the sump pump, it's likely that there will be some debris that comes with it. While this may not be an issue initially, rocks, dirt, sticks and other debris can clog the pump’s intake screen.

Similarly, if the float switch on the pump gets stuck or doesn't activate, the pump won’t turn on and the homeowners will have to contend with water entering their basement. A battery backup sump pump is installed alongside your primary sump pump inside the pit. The plumber typically places it several inches above the primary pump so that it only activates when the water level reaches a predetermined level inside the pit. That way, the battery powered pump won’t turn on unless the primary sump pump fails to turn on. The pump is usually powered by a marine grade boat / car battery that is kept continually charged with A/C power. Without power to keep it charging, the battery will provide protection for up to 12 hours, depending on how often it must run to pump out the water.

Many battery backup sump pumps have systems in place that will sound an audible alarm signifying that the backup sump pump has been activated. That’s the homeowners cue to call a plumber to handle address the problem and minimize the potential water damage. Watch this video to learn more about sump pumps, including how to test them.

Sump pumps help keep your home dry, but when they malfunction or the power goes out, homeowners can end up with flooding and water damage. Call a Roto-Rooter professional today to install a battery backup for your sump pump and combat other plumbing needs.

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