How Does a Battery Backup Sump Pump Work

How Does a Battery Backup Sump Pump Work: 6 Steps [DIY Guide]

Last Updated on April 15, 2023

A battery backup sump pump is a safety measure that allows for the continued operation of a sump pump in the event of power outages. It provides a reliable source of pumping power, even in emergencies, ensuring that water from floods or rising water tables is quickly removed from your basement or crawl space.

The pump is connected to a battery. Its working process begins with powering the battery, activating the float switch, operating a check valve, suctioning the water up, and finally discharging water outside.

Different types of batteries, such as lead-acid and lithium-ion, are used for this purpose. A power outage can cause serious water damage without the battery backup sump pump with higher cleaning and maintenance costs.

Get the lowdown on how a battery backup sump pump protects your home from water damage with its powerful operation.

How Does a Battery Backup Sump Pump Work: 6 Steps

Battery Backup Sump Pump Work

Battery backup sump pumps are a necessity for many homeowners. It ensures the basement remains dry if the primary sump pump fails by providing backup power to keep the water from flooding.

Utilizing mechanical and electrical components, the system can be activated by a float switch triggered by rising water levels in the sump pit. This allows for an automatic operation that is both safe and efficient.

1. Powering the Battery:

A typical setup consists of a large 12-volt battery, a converter that converts Alternating Current (AC) power into Direct Current (DC) power, and another heavy-duty pump attached to the battery.

The battery backup sump pump sits slightly higher than the primary pump, as it needs enough pressure to push the water away from your home’s foundation.

2. Activating the Float Switch:

A float switch is attached to the battery backup sump pump, which automatically triggers the device when the water level in the sump pit rises too high. The float switch sits on top of the liquid, and as it rises or falls, it opens and closes electrical circuits to activate the pump.

This means that as soon as the water reaches an unsafe level, electricity will automatically be provided to begin running the pump should no other source be available.

With a battery backup pump, you can rest assured that an audible alarm will sound during any malfunctions with the primary system. This noise instantly alerts homeowners to potential trouble, avoiding costly damages and keeping your home safe from unexpected water damage.

3. Operating the Check Valve:

The check valve is placed between two pipes, allowing water to flow in only one direction. As such, it prevents backflow, allowing the suction process to work more efficiently so that water from your sump will not be discharged outside your home.

4. Suctioning Water From the Pit:

Once activated, the battery powered sump pump begins by sucking up any excess water in your basement’s sump pit. This helps maintain a dry environment and prevents flooding or other unwanted issues.

5. Lifting Water Upwards and Discharge Water Outside:

When enough pressure has built up within the pipes themselves, it lifts water upwards from your basement. This will prompt the movement of water through them toward their discharge point outside.

Usually, away from any living areas to minimize potential damage should flooding occur. It should be noted that while these pumps can often reach heights of up to 10 feet, they are most efficient at 5 feet or less.

6. Shut Off the Device Automatically:

Once the water reaches an acceptable level again, the battery backup sump pump may be automatically shut off. This provides you with added peace of mind knowing that you are relying on effective technology with reliable accuracy rather than having to monitor things manually.

The Benefits of Using a Battery Backup Sump Pump

The Benefits of Using a Battery Backup Sump Pump

Having a sump pump installed in your basement can be the difference between having a dry and safe living space or dealing with costly floods. But many homeowners don’t realize the benefits of investing in a battery backup sump pump, which provides an extra layer of protection against flooding and water damage.

1. Peace of Mind During Electrical Outages

Power outages are inevitable, especially during storms and other extreme weather conditions. Without electricity to power your sump pump, excess water in your basement could lead to major flooding damage.

A battery backup sump pump ensures that even during an electrical outage, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your basement is still protected from flooding.

2. Improved Efficiency During Heavy Rainfall

Heavy rainfall puts additional strain on traditional sump pumps due to the increased water they need to process and remove from your basement. While standard pumps can handle some degree of heavy rainwater buildup, they often struggle when faced with larger amounts of rainwater at once.

By installing a battery backup system, you can reduce the workload on your primary sump pump, thereby increasing its efficiency during heavy rainfall.

3. Reduced Risk of Flood Damage

By installing a battery-powered sump pump system in your home, you’ll be able to reduce the risk of basement flooding damage drastically. This added layer of protection will ensure that no matter what Mother Nature throws at you, your basement will remain dry and safe from any water-related damage.

Which Types of Batteries are Used for Battery Backup Sump Pumps?

Which Types of Batteries are Used for Battery Backup Sump Pumps

Regarding battery backup sump pumps, two main types of batteries are used: lead-acid and lithium-ion. Both of these batteries have their own unique advantages, making them suitable for different applications and providing the user with a range of options in terms of performance and cost.

1. Lead-Acid Batteries:

Lead-acid batteries are the most commonly used type of battery for battery backup sump pumps. They’re relatively affordable compared to other types of storage batteries and can store enough energy to provide up to 10 hours’ worth during outages.

Deep-cycle lead-acid batteries are typically recommended for use with sump pumps due to their ability to provide sustained power over long periods. Combination 12V lead-acid batteries also have a CCA rating and AH rating that should be considered when choosing the appropriate type for your system.

Gel cell and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are specialty types of lead acid batteries that offer additional benefits over traditional wet cell lead acid models. These two types do not sulfate easily, meaning they won’t need frequent recharging or maintenance as often as wet cells do.

Their terminals don’t corrode, making them ideal for use in basement locations with higher humidity than average. The downside is that Gel Cells and AGMs generally cost more than standard lead acid models, so they may not be suitable if budget is an issue.

2. Lithium Ion Batteries:

Lithium ion batteries are a newer technology compared to the more established lead acid models. Still, they are becoming increasingly popular due to their higher storage capacity and longer cycle life. They also perform better in terms of safety since they don’t contain corrosive liquids like typical wet cell lead acid models.

When considering lithium ion models for use with battery backup sump pumps, it’s important to keep in mind that they tend to cost more than lead-acid batteries. But they can be suitable for continuous operation during extended power outages thanks to their superior energy density.

What Features to Look for in Selecting a Deep Cycle Battery for a Sump Pump?

What Features to Look for in Selecting a Deep Cycle Battery for a Sump Pump

Our deep cycle battery for sump pump review can be a great way to learn about the features and performance of various models available to ensure you choose the ideal solution for your needs. From this review, there are several features you should consider.

You want to determine the type of battery that best suits your application. A flooded lead acid battery is popular due to its lower cost and higher energy density. It is also highly efficient and can be recharged easily.

Also, pay attention to the amp-hours rating of the battery. The higher the amp hours, the more power it can supply over time. Be sure to choose a battery with an adequate capacity for your needs so you don’t have to recharge or buy new ones frequently.

Take into account any additional options, such as built-in redundancies or temperature control systems, that can further improve the performance and longevity of your deep-cycle battery.

These features usually come at an additional cost but can provide peace of mind knowing that an efficient and reliable energy source powers your sump pump.

What Triggers a Backup Sump Pump?

A backup sump pump is typically triggered when the primary sump pump experiences a failure, an overwhelming amount of water, or a power outage with the float activation switch. Additionally,

These pumps are designed to turn on automatically if the water level in the sump basin rises above a certain predetermined threshold. This is to prevent flooding from occurring beneath and around the home.

How Often Do You Add Water to Sump Pump Battery?

Adding water regularly to a sump pump battery is unnecessary, as it is typically self-contained and sealed. In most cases, refilling the battery may only need to be carried out every five years.

However, it is important to undertake periodic testing of the backup system. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacing or maintaining your battery backup system.

Can You Hook Up a Battery to Your Existing Sump Pump?

Can You Hook Up a Battery to Your Existing Sump Pump

Adding a dedicated battery backup system to an existing sump pump installation is possible. It should be noted that professional installation and setup are recommended to ensure that everything is properly connected and working correctly.

How Long Do Battery Backups Last for Sump Pumps?

A sump pump battery backup depends on several factors, including how much continuous pumping is required. If running continuously, fully-charged batteries can last anywhere from 4-10 hours, although that time can be decreased with longer run times.

Regarding non-continuous pumping, batteries can last around 1-3 days, depending on the frequency and length of run time needed for each cycle. Generally speaking, though, most battery backup pumps last for 3 to 5 years. Certain factors, such as extreme weather conditions or lack of maintenance, can shorten the lifespan.

Protect Your Home and Wallet with a Battery Backup Sump Pump

Battery backup sump pumps can help save us from costly repairs due to flooding in our homes during an electrical outage. Knowing how these devices work is essential to prepare for such emergencies.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, and protect your home and wallet by installing a battery backup sump pump today. Unexpected power outages can put you at risk of basement flooding damage, escalating maintenance costs associated with cleaning up the disaster. Make sure you’re prepared before tragedy strikes.

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