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Question DetailsAsked on 6/18/2011

Best sump pump

I would like to know about a battery powered vs. water powered back up sump pump

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1 Answer


Granted, the obvious limitation of a battery system is that power could "run out" during a long power outage. However, in our experience this is one of the rarest reasons people actually flood. Far more common reasons for flooding are the "fixable unknowns". Equipment that can self test and be able to recognize a problem during fair weather will be much more useful during foul weather.

A high quality battery system will use energy efficiently, while pumping a lot more water, which will give the homeowner, or contractor, time to connect a generator or get another battery. Again, this is typically only the most extreme case. A high quality system like the one mentioned below will be able to run for several days at a 5% duty cycle (approx 10 secs of run time every few minutes).

Battery systems are FAR superior when it comes to pumping capacity, self testing, and technology. Systems like The Protector iControl are even internet connected with an online interface to be able to monitor, manage, and test the equipment. This is especially useful when the homeowner is not home but would like to make sure everything is ready in anticipation of the advancing storm.

That said, we recommend that if you use a water powered pump, be sure if can pump at least as much water as your primary sump pump. Only one that we know of does so. Also, you will need 55psi or better and a 1" trunk line to produce good flow. Proper backflow valves are required and must be tested by a licensed inspector every year. Check your state/county for local codes, since water powered pumps are now being banned for reasons such as wasting water and the health concerns of cross-connections.

We also have articles on our website addressing how to choose between a battery backup sump pump and an automatic generator, for example. Thank you for reading.

Jeff Sloss, President
Basement Flood Protector, Inc.


Answered 9 years ago by floodnot

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