Should You Purchase a Battery Backup Sump Pump?

House model on water due to flooding - Mr. Plumber by Metzler & Hallam

Ever wonder about a battery backup sump pump for your home? Homeowners in Indianapolis want the best for their homes. To protect it, a backup sump pump is like insurance in case your primary sump pump fails. Luckily, Mr. Plumber has all the answers you need to make a decision.

But what does a sump pump even do? The ins and outs of sump pumps confuse those unaware of the benefits of a battery backup. The expert plumbers at Mr. Plumber gathered all of the most important information about sump pumps and battery backup sump pumps for guidance through this decision.

How Sump Pumps Work

Basements and crawl spaces house sump pumps in order to keep water buildup at bay. In Indianapolis, rain, snow, and other circumstances prove to be large problems for homes with basements and crawl spaces.

Pressure from water in the soil around the home’s foundation leaks into the foundation, which leads to flooding. When soil becomes saturated with water, it pushes through the walls and the floor. Soil also expands as more water collects, which pushes against the foundation. In this circumstance, the soil causes cracks that can allow water to leak through. Either way, you have a flooded basement or crawl space that requires thousands of dollars to fix.

To keep these problems away, sump pumps sit in sump pits—or the lowest point in a basement or crawl space—to collect water. Drains and natural water migration pools in the basin, then is funneled away from your home via pipes. These pipes have a one-way valve to transport the water in a single direction away from your home. This method ensures your space remains dry even when it rains cats and dogs.

On the other hand, if a sump pump stops working for whatever reason, that water floods your space. Additionally, a fan-like device called an impeller forces water toward the sides of the pipe, which creates a low-pressure area. Because of this, the water continuously moves through the pipe. When it comes to water, the more it settles, the more it causes problems—the sump pump moves water to prevent that!

Now that the general use of sump pumps has been discussed, we can move on to the specifics. All the pieces and parts that go into a sump pump directly impacts how flooded your home gets if it doesn’t work like it should. When heavy rain comes this summer, you want to be prepared!

Types of Pumps

Before we get to the reasons why a battery backup sump pumps benefits your home, the two types of sump pumps must be explained. Most homes today have a sump pump of some kind, so it’s important to know which one you have. And if for some reason a sump pump did not come with your home, you probably want to know which one to pick. Fortunately, there are only two options to choose from.

  • For this type of sump pump, the mechanics are located on the inside of the sump pit, which means they are constantly around water. Because of this, the only parts located above ground are a few pipes for maintenance, the float switch, and a plug for the motor. This option mostly pops up in finished basements. It’s also cleaner, quieter, and safer.
  • In contrast, the pedestal sump pump stays outside the sump pit. All of the mechanics are easily accessible at any time. Though some homeowners view this as an eyesore, it is the cheaper option of the two. Plus, repairs and replacements are much easier when all the mechanics are located out of the water.

Potential Problems

Of course, like with anything in life, sump pumps face certain problems that impact your quality of life. From malfunctions to complete failures, a sump pump can leave a basement or crawl space vulnerable with almost no warning.

There are ways to catch problems before they get out of hand, but checks to a sump pump usually requires the trained eye of a plumber, and the average homeowner can’t always have a plumber at the ready. To help figure out why your sump pump failed, here’s a list of potential causes.

  • Fuses and circuit breakers. A blown fuse, like a power outage, keeps a sump pump from its tasks because sump pumps need electricity. The same goes for a tripped circuit breaker. Loss of electricity, even on clear, sunny days, leaves you vulnerable to basement or crawl space floods.
  • Whenever it rains, your home runs the risk of a power outage. Unfortunately, a sump pump requires electricity to work, so a power outage impacts the functionality of your system. With a battery backup sump pump, the pump continues to work. However, a regular sump pump stops all functions in a blackout. This is the worst time for your sump pump to stop because it needs to run when it rains to get rid of all that water.
  • Clogs in the exit pipe. Exit pipes ensure water leaves the area around the home, but blocks get in the way of that process. Debris needs to be removed from the exit pipe regularly to make sure the sump pump efficiently moves water through the pipes.
  • Float switch issues. A float switch activates the sump pump as the water in the basin rises. If the float ball gets stuck on an obstruction, then it can’t accurately tell the sump pump when to start its process. When this happens, your sump pump has the potential to remain off during a storm even if you do not lose power.
  • Old pumps. About every 10 years, the sump pump in your home needs to be replaced. Old systems function less effectively than new systems, so if you’ve checked for all the problems previously mentioned and your sump pump still doesn’t work, it’s time to invest in a new one.
  • Pump overheats. Sump pumps overheat when overused. A simple reset usually fixes the problem, but if it overheats when a storm hits, then you need to restart the system to restore its functionality. That leaves your basement vulnerable while your system cools down, which takes some time. With a battery backup sump pump, you are free to reset the primary system.

Benefits of a Battery Backup Sump Pump

The problems that come with a dysfunctional sump pump seem impossible to fix quickly, but with a battery backup sump pump, the problems practically fix themselves. Whenever power outages or other issues stop a pump, a battery backup sump pump ensures the pump continues to function. Never worry about rain, snow, or sleet again with a battery backup sump pump.

With that obvious benefit in mind, here are some other reasons to invest in a battery backup.

  • Works around clogs. Clogs to the primary pipe cause stops to the system. A battery backup kicks into gear when the primary suffers from obstructions. The float switch in the battery backup detects when the primary does not work, then it picks up the slack. The float switch in the battery backup also detects when the primary pump’s float switch has problems, so no matter what you’re covered!
  • More affordable. There are two options when you decide to get a backup sump pump. You can either go for a battery backup sump pump or purchase an entirely new pump. It’s obvious to see which option costs less. Plus, at the end of the day, a second sump pump still loses power when blackouts or other problems roll around. A battery backup does not rely on electricity to function.
  • Simple installation. To install a battery backup sump pump, all the plumber needs to do is attach it to the current primary pump. There are no jackhammers or drills needed. Because of that, it causes less noise and produces less dust.
  • Double the power. Sump pumps handle regular quantities of rainwater without issue, but when a flash flood or similar occurrence takes place, the primary pump needs additional help. With the battery backup sump pump, you have two pumps at work to clear the excess water. Imagine how much water two pumps can remove from your home instead of one!
  • Ready to go. With proper installation, a battery backup charges on its own. That means the battery backup requires almost no maintenance on your end.

Make the Right Decision

A battery backup sump pump gives homeowners the peace of mind that their basement or crawl space remains unflooded. The decision to install a battery backup sump pump seems difficult at first, but the choice becomes clear when you learn about the benefits. Sump pumps ensure the safety of your basement or crawl space, so make sure it has a battery backup sump pump to keep water away. That extra bit of security sets homeowners’ minds at ease.

Mr. Plumber in Indianapolis, Indiana understands that homeowners want the best care for their home plumbing. Because of this, Mr. Plumber has all the facts you need. For more information about sump pumps and battery backup sump pumps, contact Mr. Plumber now. Our sump pump inspections are affordable and reliable, so don’t hesitate to call for more information. Our licensed plumbers are happy to help you obtain ultimate security against floods in your home.

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