Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump Vs. Battery Backup Sump Pump

A sump pump is essential to avoid a flooded basement during severe rain seasons. However, if heavy rain and a power outage, your main sump pump may fail to protect the basement from flooding. Besides, it is fairly common to experience a localized power loss during a storm. As a result, you require the best battery backup sump pump. But the question is, which is better, a water-powered backup sump pump vs. battery backup sump pump? 

What’s a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a piece of pumping equipment used to help prevent flooding in basements. It protects your basement from rising waters, which increases repair costs repair and causes structural damage. Furthermore, power outages can occur due to floods, the main pump may fail to work, or its capacity may not be enough. So, that’s where a backup sump pump comes in. This unit will operate even when the power goes out or when there are main pump malfunctions.

A sump is a constructed pit (usually a hole) carved beneath the surface of your basement floor. This pit is usually referred to as a basin, and it holds the sump pump. The pump is outfitted with valves that detect rising water levels or pressure. When the water level rises too high, sump pumps automatically pump away the floodwater from the basement, through a discharge line. The primary function of a backup sump pump is to discharge wastewater when the main sump is not functioning.

Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump Vs Battery Backup Sump Pump: Which is Better?

Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump

This backup sump pump is very popular in areas where electricity keeps failing throughout the month. A water-powered backup sump pump can help during flooding and power outage. Besides, it’s a strong defense against flood damage to your property even in the heaviest rains. Most people usually prefer to use this sump pump as their backup in their basement.

The sump pump operates on a basic principle; flow water at high speed through a pipe to create suction, emptying your sump pit. The created suction then draws the sump water into a chamber where it’s mixed with municipal water before being released outside.

Ensure it’s on a high level above the main pump when installing it. If the water-powered sump pump is activated, the water supply will run through the cavity at the sump pit’s higher level. And when water flows down the channel, it creates a vacuum-like motion, sucking water from the sump pit and discharging it outside. Additionally, the float rises higher when the pressure rises, ensuring that the backup sump pump is activated. Later, the water begins to drain from the sump pit.

Pros for water-powered backup sump pump

  • A water-powered backup sump pump will save you time and energy from the monitoring batteries, especially during power outages.
  • With this backup sump pump, you won’t need to check and replace batteries or keep a watch on a charger to ensure it is working properly.
  • Using the backup sump pump will also save money on replacements, maintenance, and repairs in the long run.
  • It has unlimited run time because your home’s municipal water pressure usually powers it; they can run indefinitely as long as the water is available.
  • A water-powered backup sump pump can be a viable backup sump system in regions where a pressurized municipal water supply (city water) is available, eliminating a battery power supply requirement.

Cons for a water-powered backup sump pump

  • Discharges out 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of sump water using 2 gallons (7.6 liters) of pressured fresh water. Water use will be reflected on the water bill.
  • Clean and drinking water is being wasted to remove dirty sump water.
  • It’s more costly than a battery backup sump pump since it requires the installation of a reduced pressure valve and water pipe.
  • A large water bill will arise if the float becomes stuck in the on position.

For more detail, read: Disadvantages of a water-powered sump pump

Battery Backup Sump Pump

A battery backup sump pump is common in areas with no municipal water supply. Besides, a battery backup sump pump is a supplementary sump pump system installed in the sump basin next to your primary electric pump. A regular sump pump is powered by a 12 volt or 24 volts DC battery. Conversely, the battery backup sump pump has its float switch, so when the water level increases in the sump, the float rises, and the backup pump activates.

In the case of a power outage or a primary pump/level control failure, the battery-powered backup sump pump will take over as the primary pump until power is restored or until you fix or replace the sump pump. Besides, the unit features an alarm that usually sounds if there’s a power outage, the battery isn’t fully charged, the voltage is low, or the pump is running.

Pros of a battery backup sump pump

  • Ease of installation – Because they frequently use the same discharge line as your primary sump pump, installation is usually simple.
  • It supplies power when the main sump pump fails during floods.
  • Unlike a water-powered backup sump pump, a battery backup operates even when no water is available.
  • Versatility – Almost any home can use them
  • Some battery backup sump pumps may be rather strong, pumping 3000 gallons per hour (GPH) at 10 feet of lift.
  • If the primary sump pump cannot manage all of the water volumes, the battery backup pump will do it quickly.

Cons of a battery backup sump pump

  • You must monitor the battery water levels regularly
  • You must replace the batteries every 3-5 years
  • The batty may discharge before power is restored 

Frequently Asked Questions Between Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump Vs Battery.

1. Which is better, a battery backup sump pump or a water backup sump pump?

Water backup sump pumps can run endlessly if your home has city water pressure. And you will no longer have to be concerned about power outages lasting longer than the battery life of their battery-powered pump.

2. Can I use a car battery to power a backup sump pump?

If the primary battery fails, you can use a standard car battery to operate the backup sump pump in an emergency.

3. How do you clear a clog in a sump pump?

If your current sump pump is having trouble starting, consider the following troubleshooting process. Since your sump pump is clogged, physically remove the clogging material by releasing the vacuum and disconnecting the suction tube. This allows the water to flow back through the suction tube to get it of the debris.