Benefits of Battery Backup Sump Pumps

Should You Use a Battery Backup Sump Pump for Your Home?

Many homes throughout the Central Indiana area are equipped with sump pumps to keep basements and crawlspaces dry. If these systems fail, homeowners are at risk of serious water damage. Battery backup sump pumps provide peace of mind in the event of a sump pump failure or power outage.

Flooding affects homes with basements and crawlspaces regardless of whether or not they sit in a flood plain. The knowledgeable plumbing pros of Mr. Plumber discuss battery backup sump pumps and how they help protect your home.

A Sump Pump’s Job

Homes with basements and crawlspaces have foundation that sits below ground. When the water table within the surrounding earth is higher than the foundation level, water is able to seep in through cracks. Without a sump pump, this water builds up and floods the basement or crawlspace, which leads to significant water damage.

The sump pump’s job is to remove this water and expel it away from your home to keep your basement or crawlspace nice and dry. First, the home has a sump pit, which is a hole at the lowest point that extends several inches into the ground below the foundation. As water seeps in, it collects here. The sump pump sits within the sump pit. When the sump pit’s water level reaches a certain point, the sump pump activates and begins to pump water out of the pit and through drain lines that extend away from your home.

Sump pumps use electricity to operate. They are controlled either manually or automatically:

  • With a manual sump pump, the homeowner must physically go and turn the pump on when it needs to be used. If you are not home or are unaware that water levels have increased, your sump pump is unable to protect your home from water damage.

  • Automatic sump pumps do not require the homeowner to turn them on or off. They use a float switch, which is like the float in your toilet tank that controls water levels, to detect water levels within the sump pit. When water levels reach a set point, the float is triggered to automatically turn on the sump pump. Once water levels fall, the float drops to turn off the pump.

Not all homes in the Indianapolis area need a sump pump, but many do. Homes on slab foundations do not require a sump pump, as the foundation does not sit well below ground. If your home meets any of these conditions, you do need a sump pump:

  • Sits in a flood plain
  • Sits in a low area
  • Is in an area with heavy rains and/or snowfall
  • Basement is finished
  • Has experienced previous basement or crawlspace moisture issues

Will My Sump Pump Stop Working?

With regular maintenance and proper capacity, sump pumps last several years. Unfortunately, since they are installed in areas that are hidden from site, maintenance for sump pumps is often forgotten – this leads to a variety of system issues that have the potential to stop the pump from working when needed. Sump pumps also fail to work when needed for external issues, like power supply interruptions.

Common reasons why sump pumps stop working include:

  • Mechanical Errors
  • Switch Malfunctions
  • Power Outages
  • Excessive Use

If the home’s sump pump stops working, there is no equipment to remove excess water from the sump pit, which leads to flooding and water damage. This is where battery backup sump pumps come into play.

What Are Battery Backup Sump Pumps?

Battery backup sump pumps are like safety nets in case a home’s primary sump pump fails to work. It’s basically a secondary sump pump for the house. Battery backup sump pumps are installed to work in the same sump pit as the home’s main sump pump.

Battery backup sump pumps work when the main sump pump fails or is unable to keep up – in both these scenarios, water levels in the sump pit rise too high. The battery backup sump pump’s float switch is generally set a bit higher than that of the main pump’s, so when it is triggered, water level has climbed higher than where the main pump is set to start.

Unlike the home’s main sump pump, battery backup sump pumps do not require electricity to run – hence the “battery” part of their name. However, some models do allow the backup pump to run off the home’s utility power, but switch over to the battery if the power goes out. Others just use their battery to operate. Battery backup sump pumps use marine batteries made for damp environments so they are able to perform without damage or malfunction as the pump handles water. These batteries require minimal maintenance and automatically recharge to eliminate the risk of the battery being dead when the pump needs to run.

How long battery backup sump pumps are able to run depends on a few things: the model and how often they run. Each model is rated with a specific battery life, but that is impacted by run time. Typically, battery backup sump pumps are able to work for several hours off a full battery charge. In most cases, this is enough to protect the home through a short utility power outage. If the pump only cycles once every minute or less, its battery offers longer life than if the pump is needed to run constantly during the period without electricity.

Benefits of Battery Backup Sump Pumps for Indy Homeowners

The value of battery backup sump pumps is undeniable, especially when you take a look at the benefits they offer.

  • They are affordable and easy to install.
  • They reduce a home’s risk of water damage.
  • They alert homeowners to issues with the main sump pump.
  • They backup the home’s main sump pump in many critical situations.

Battery Backup Sump Pumps Are Affordable

If you’ve ever experienced a flooded basement, you know how much damage water can do – and how expensive it is to fix. Installing a battery backup sump pump is extremely affordable and costs much less than water damage repairs in most cases.

Installation doesn’t take much time and it isn’t an invasive process. The backup sump pump uses the home’s existing sump pit, so there is no need to add a second one. No breaking up concrete, no digging, no mess, and no hassle.

Backup Sump Pumps Reduce Water Damage Risks

As we hinted at above, water damage is expensive. Per the insurance Information Institute, an average of $10,234 in damage is seen with water damage claims. Water damage is the most significant risk homeowners face, according to insurance experts. One in 50 insured homes submit a water damage claim each year, and these numbers are rising.

Many homeowners believe they are covered if their basement or crawlspace floods, however this is not always the case. Unless you have flood insurance, you probably are not protected from flooding caused by rising water levels in a nearby river, creek, pond, or lake – most homeowners are aware of this. Unfortunately, many insurance policies also do not cover flooding in basements or crawlspaces caused by storm surges isn’t always covered. If a sump pump failure led to flooding in your home but the sump pump was not properly maintained, this may also be exempt from your policy – many policies are written to cover sudden plumbing disasters, not those that developed over time due to lack of care.

Defend your home and your wallet from expensive water damage – battery backup sump pumps are a smart investment that reduce the risk of water spilling into your home’s basement or crawlspace. Protect that finished basement you’ve worked so hard to transform, as well as the valuables and priceless keepsakes you store below your home. With a battery backup sump pump in place, you have added protection should your main sump pump fail.

Discover Sump Pump Problems Sooner

Many models of battery backup sump pumps have a built-in alarm which sounds when the system turns on. This is extremely helpful for homeowners because it alerts them of an issue with the home’s primary sump pump, which is not working as it should if the backup sump pump is triggered. You have a solution in place to deliver the water removal needed right now, and you are able to have repairs made right away.

While sump pump alarms exist, not every home has one. This combined with the fact that sump pumps are hidden away mean homeowners often do not discover sump pump problems until they discover something much worse – flooding.

Battery Backup Sump Pumps Have Your Home Covered

Battery backup sump pumps help you out in a number of situations where your sump pump cannot keep up, is unable to work, or has failed.

  • Heavy rainfall or snowmelt causes groundwater levels to drastically increase over a short period of time. The volume of water moving into your home may be too much for the main sump pump to handle, as it is only rated for a specific volume over a period of time. If the main sump pump is running but water levels in the sump pit are still climbing, your battery backup sump pump turns on to help with this burden and get that water away from your home.

  • Since the home’s main sump pump runs off electricity, any power outage takes it out of commission. Even a blow fuse or tripped breaker are able to stop it from working. In these instances, the backup sump pump turns on and manages water removal until power is restored.

  • Like we mentioned earlier, you may not know your sump pump has problems until it’s too late. Failure to have your sump pump maintained by a plumber each year often results in malfunctions like jammed float switches or clogged intake screens, which stop the pump from working properly. Should this happen, the backup sump pump is ready to work in its place and keep your home dry.

Battery Backup Sump Pump Installation from Mr. Plumber

Don’t risk the damage a sump pump outage could do in your home. Protect your household with battery backup sump pump installation from Mr. Plumber – contact us today to request an estimate!

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