Though we’ve already stressed the importance and benefits of maintaining your home sump pump in our previous posts, Sump Pumps Part One and Sump Pumps Part Two, it can never hurt to learn a little bit more about this hardworking appliance. Amazing as home sump pumps are, like everything else in life (and especially in houses), they can fail. Most sump pumps run off of your home’s electricity, which is convenient most of the time but in a really nasty storm can be the exact opposite. If your home’s power gets knocked out for any reason, so will your sump pump’s power, which is exactly why having a separate battery powered back-up sump pump that doesn’t rely on your home electricity is so crucial.
Most battery back-up sump pumps are designed to be extremely convenient. The general idea behind them is pretty simple: the power goes out and your main sump pump stops working; the battery back-up sump pump senses that the main sump pump has shut off and it starts working in its place. Different types of battery sump pumps come with different useful features as well. Some types will turn on whenever your main sump pump fails, even if the power hasn’t gone out. Some will set off an alarm when the main sump pump shuts off and (if you’re worried about battery life) some will set off an alarm when their battery power is low and needs to be replaced soon.
After learning how battery back-up sump pumps work, many people wonder why they can’t just use a battery powered sump pump as their main pump. Though it may seem the most logical to have a sump pump that doesn’t rely on your home electricity, unfortunately it isn’t the most feasible. Not only are battery powered sump pumps less powerful than electric sump pumps, the batteries are also extremely expensive. Battery back-up sump pumps are designed to be just that, back-ups. They have neither the short term power or the long term energy necessary to function as a regular home sump pump, so don’t forget to keep your main sump pump as happy and well maintained as possible no matter what.