Author Topic: Battery Backup for Sump Pump?  (Read 1688 times)

dcozad999

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Battery Backup for Sump Pump?
« on: June 13, 2017, 12:21:28 PM »
I am inexperienced in this realm, but just moved into a new place and one of my biggest fears is a flooded basement.

The new neighbor says he's had 2 sump pumps go bad in the last few years, so I would like to head off any problems by getting a battery backup.

Any recommendations?

MandyM

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Re: Battery Backup for Sump Pump?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2017, 12:25:58 PM »
Hmmm, a pump "going bad" won't be saved by a battery unless I am misunderstanding. You face two issues here: 1. a broken/clogged/otherwise incapacitated pump and 2. a power outage. A battery would help with #2. A spare pump will help with #1.

Case

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Re: Battery Backup for Sump Pump?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2017, 12:31:43 PM »
I am inexperienced in this realm, but just moved into a new place and one of my biggest fears is a flooded basement.

The new neighbor says he's had 2 sump pumps go bad in the last few years, so I would like to head off any problems by getting a battery backup.

Any recommendations?

We have the 'triple safe'.  Our house flooded (due to rising ground water) right after we moved in.  We were young inexperience homeowners, and freaked out and bought more than was necessary.  The triple safe is 3 pumps; a (large) pump, a (less large) pump, and a battery back-up pump.  It is overkill.
We are not really in an area that is in serious flooding risk; rather, it happened because we didn't have proper gutters.  If you live in a place where sump pumps are actually needed to keep the basement dry regularly, god help you.  You are fighting nature.  We solved our problem more with proper drainage than with the fancy pump.

Anyways, since you are relying on the battery back-up to stay dry, maybe become knowledgeable about how long the battery will last, test it regularly, and maybe get a second battery if you are really paranoid.  THere is also the option to get a pump that is powered by city water, but they are rare an inefficient.  Best solution is to avoid living in places that are likely to flood.

bobechs

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Re: Battery Backup for Sump Pump?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2017, 01:16:26 PM »
Triple redundancy for all physical components and logical paths in your sump pump system.

And redundant text- or cellphone notification in realtime of any system failure.

Then you can sleep.  Until the alarm sounds.

Then, bucket brigade.

salmp01

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Re: Battery Backup for Sump Pump?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 03:12:40 PM »
My basement flooded twice in the last 10 years. 
The first time my sump pump failed (just stopped working). 

The second time we had a big storm and the power was out for the entire weekend.  Unfortunately, I was out of town and my basement flooded.  All my neighbors that were in town used generators to keep their sump pumps running.  One neighbor had a battery backup and that only lasted a few hours before that failed. 

So now I have a standard sump pump and a backup water powered sump pump (Liberty SJ10).  In addition, I have a water detector (D-Link DCH-S160) that will send me an e-mail if the water rises to a certain level.  Many people have sump pumps and never have issues so what I did may be a little overkill but now I sleep better at night!   

nobody123

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Re: Battery Backup for Sump Pump?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2017, 11:08:51 AM »
Don't store anything in your basement that is important (files, etc.).

Make sure you maintain the sump pit.  If it has any mud / debris in it, clean it out with a wet/dry vac.  If the next hard rain brings in more than a trace amount of debris, have someone camera your drain tile, since part of it is letting the mud in.  The mud will foul up the pump and / or switch, and the drainage system won't be working properly.

Make sure you have a cover on your sump pit to keep toys / etc. from rolling in and interfering with the switch.  I've known several folks who have had their basement flood because either a stray toy kept the float switch from engaging the pump, or it kept the pump from turning off, and burned it out.

Don't overbuy a pump.  If you need a 1/3 HP pump, don't buy a 3/4 HP thinking it is better.  It will just short-cycle and burn out more quickly.

Personally, I have a spare full-size sump pump ready to swap out if the installed one fails, as well as a battery backup pump.  I don't have high hopes of the battery backup keeping up with a torrential rain, but I figure it might buy me enough time to get important things in the basement out of harm's way.  A plumber told me that by the time the water level would kick the backup pump on, chances are I'd already have water coming up through the basement floor.  Luckily I haven't found out if he was correct.

Check with your insurance policy to see what level of stormwater backup coverage you have if the sump pump fails.  The default is usually zero.  If you have a finished basement, it costs a lot to have a service company come in and rip out the soggy carpet, do the flood cut of the drywall, and repair the damage.  I've been in two neighbors flooded basements with water up to my knees from the same storm (both had sump pump failures).  One had adequate insurance, the other had a really low limit.  Want to guess which one considers the flood a non-issue?