How can I rig a battery backed-up sump pump for an exterior pit?


We live in an area where there's a relatively high water table, so our sump pump runs on a regular basis. Typically not a huge quantity of water (unless there's been a bunch of recent rains), but the pump will occasionally run for about 9 months of the year. Since our basement is mostly finished, I thought it to be critical to not only have a battery backup, but also a second functioning pump in case the primary one failed. My sump pit was plenty big, so my pit has two pumps in parallel. One is the standard 110v pump with float switch, and the second is a completely independent 12V pump with its own float switch. The 12V backup pump is run from a deep cycle marine battery with its own trickle charger and it all came as a set, except for the battery. I think the brand is Zoeller, but can't recall for sure.

The backup doesn't have nearly the pumping capacity of the main pump, but it will still drain the sump plenty fast for our needs. Just need to make sure the battery is...

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Battery backup sump pumps are used to supplement primary pumps.

Primary pumps can fail due to power outages, mechanical failure or excessive use.

When the power goes out, the motor overheats or there's too much water coming into the pit, you could experience flooding.

With a battery backup pump, you get several hours of additional protection from water damage.

There are two types of battery backup sump pumps - DC and AC/DC. Battery backup systems will switch to DC battery power when the AC power is out or when the pump fails. But while the power is on, some pumps can run directly off the AC wall current without depleting the battery. Units which run exclusively DC power will only pump off battery power.

Another thing to consider is which type of battery you choose. There are deep-cycle "maintenance-free" batteries, often sold as marine or solar batteries, as well as lead-acid batteries, otherwise known as "wet cell" batteries....

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Want to know how to prevent your sump pit from overflowing and your basement from flooding even if the power goes out?

With a backup sump pump – either battery or water suction powered – you will never again have to worry about your basement flooding (even in a blackout) next Christmas road trip to the in-laws.

Most people think that the extra price of a backup pump is not necessary. What do you think? I have first hand experience of basements flooding and needing to get a new carpet because the sump pump failed and there was no backup plan. What’s the price of a new carpet? Many $100s more than the price of a backup sump pump for sure.

There are two types of backup pumps, both have some pros and cons:

Battery Powered Backup Sump Pump


Doesn’t add extra water to the discharge.Higher flow rates than water powered and guaranteed flow rate (water powered based on supply water pressure).


Requires an extra submersible pump with...
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Help installing a 2nd pit for a battery backed up sump pump.

I live on a moderate floodplain and the house is surrounded with drainage tiles that end up in the well in my basement. I've lived here for 3 years and I've already replaced my sump pump twice. The first time was partially my fault because I didn't replace the check valve and I didn't make the 1/16" hole in the discharge pipe below well level. At the same time, my drainage backed up completely back in January and my drain to the street needed to be rodded out.

The point is, I'm not looking forward to having to re-install a sump pump knee deep in freezing water any time in the near future....

I have a dirt crawl space. I have one well that discharges the water vertically through a check valve (which I understand is a big no-no). The current well is cement walls that were cracked open rather unceremonously so drainage from the basement shower could make its way...

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Spring brings more than sunny days

and blooming flowers. This is also the season of rapid snowmelt, swollen rivers, and frequent rainstorms that raise the groundwater table and floods basements and crawlspaces with alarming regularity. It takes only a couple of inches of standing water to ruin household items, cripple mechanical systems, rust metal fixtures, and rot wooden posts.

Any home that regularly experiences even the slightest water penetration into the basement or crawlspace should be equipped with a sump pump. A sump pump is a submersible electric pump that sits in a hole, called the sump pit. The pit is located at the lowest corner of the basement or crawlspace so that when flooding occurs, water drains directly into the pit. When water in the pit reaches a predetermined level, the pump automatically kicks on and pumps the water into an indoor drain or outdoors through a PVC pipe.

Electric sump pumps are very effective and relatively affordable. But they...

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Hi All,

We are in the process of building our first house with a basement. I talked with one of the city engineers, and he stated that the area did not have any water table issues, but that the Storm Sewer height is higher than the basement drainage tiles, so they are routing that to a Sump Pit, and pumping it out.

I was looking at a few different battery back-up pumps, specifically ones from Basement Watchdog and Zoeller. Those models don't quite seem as heavy duty as a standard pump. So, my question is (provided there is enough space in the pit), can I have 2 standard pumps in the pit, with the secondary one maybe set up on a few bricks a few higher?

I could then take that 2nd one and hook it up to something like a UPS to power it in case of a power outage. Or maybe there is some sort of other type of battery backup that would output AC instead of DC power.

Anybody have any thoughts on this? Any positives or negatives? My family is extremely...

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Posted by Matthew Stock on Wednesday, February 8, 2012.

The most important device in your basement is a Battery Backup Sump Pump. Sure fellas, an argument can be made for your pool table or big screen TV, but you wouldn’t be able to enjoy them if your basement flooded. I’ve seen many o’ man caves ruined over the course of my career.

Your primary sump pump is only designed to work off your wall (house) current. So if you have a power failure, it’s about as useless as your big screen TV without a remote. Sump pumps are also prone to mechanical failure, especially as the pump ages.

Many times homeowners aren't aware that a battery backup system consists of both a battery and a secondary sump pump. Let's take a brief look at these two components, and what else to consider when buying a backup system.

Battery Backup Sump Pump Considerations

1. Battery Type

The two most common types of batteries on the market are Deep Cycle Marine...

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SUMP PUMP TYPES - CONTENTS: What is a sump pump? How do sump pumps remove building water or prevent water entry?What types of sump pump can I buy? Description of submersible sump pumps, pedestal sump pumps, battery backup sump pumps, & water powered sump pumps.Sump pump data specifications: water removal capacity data, battery backup sump pump. umping time or life, water consumption rate for water powered sump pumps. Where to buy & how to install sump pumps. How to inspect & maintain sump pumps to remove water from buildings or to prevent basement leakage or crawl space water entry POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about sump pumps used in building basements, crawl areas, other wet areas. REFERENCES

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

This article describes the different types of Sump Pumps, and describes how sump pumps should be installed, inspected, and maintained.


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Sump pumps in Iowa are an essential piece to the basement waterproofing in IA puzzle. Just like floor drains, many Iowa basements must have sump pumps in order to control basement and crawlspace water seepage. Many Iowa homes have installed sump pumps that are old, unreliable, and create moisture and health problems in basements or crawlspaces. The “construction grade” sump pumps are not as reliable or efficient as the high pumping, large capacity ECP sump pumps installed by WCI. Sump pump installation is no longer a weak pump set in a hole in the basement floor that creates more problems than they solve. Modern sump pump and sump basins now have the following waterproofing features:

Sump Pump Iowa

The purpose of a sump pump is to remove water that has accumulated in the sump basin. Sump pumps are a staple in many homes and are found in the basement. Sump pumps are often in basement where flooding happens regularly, however it is always a good idea to have one as a...

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I guess if I were you I would not even consider a "Battery Back Up Sump Pump". Reason you may be asking is that it is not a guarantee that they will work when needed. As with most homeowners, we don't always check on things when we are supposed to. If it is out of sight, it definitely is out of mind!

I would recommend a good water powered sump pump backup like the Guardian. This is just one of several brands on the market, normally available through a plumber since they don't sell these over the counter through a plumbing distributor. They are not cheap, runs about $450 - $500 but this must be plumbed into a 3/4" line, and installed before going to any fixtures or tees. Labor on these can be $350 plus. The water pressure from the city powers this and does quite well - for every gallon of water used, 2 gallons is pumped out. It requires a 1 1/2 PVC pipe for discharge.It does come with a Backflow Preventer for the water inlet pipe but you will need to...

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