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Why Do I Need a Battery Backup for My Sump Pump?

Why Do I Need a Battery Backup for My 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.

Nature's unpredictability

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.

Equipment malfunction alerts

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.