Sump Pump - Backup Components

Sump Pump - Backup Components - battery-powered backup sump pump Many sump pump systems are equipped with a battery-powered backup sump pump if the primary sump pump stops working. Piping from the secondary pump meets of with the plumbing from the primary to either flow into the sewer line or horizontal pipe exiting the house. A backup sump pump is equipped with the following parts/features:
  • A battery-powered 12 V sump pump with its own check valve, piping, and water level sensor. The check valve and piping merge into the water line of the primary sump pump, the backup pump's own check valve prevents water from backing up into either pumps.
  • A typical lead-acid battery. The rechargeable battery may either be a special long-life standby battery or a marine deep cycle battery.
  • A trickle-charge battery charger. The trickle-charge battery charger system may have a display panel that let's you test and monitor the battery holding a charge. Most sump pumps work by activating once groundwater reaches certain levels in the sump pit. Other alternative sump pump systems can be activated by changes in municipal water pressure. Sump pump systems driven by municipal water pressure, also have separate check valves, floats, and pumps.
If the backup system is rarely required to perform, or rarely used, it may fail to perform when it is finally needed. For this reason, backup sump pumps should be periodically inspected to make sure all of its components are operational and ready to go in the event of real need. Some battery control units can monitor the viability of the individual system components and alert on failures and parts that need to be replaced.

In the event that a single or dual system manage to function, or when the amount of water being pumped fails to keep up with the amount filling the sump pit, an alarm can be built in to alert the people in the house of an emergency. A simple battery powered alarm, loud enough to alert people in the upper levels of the house, can be programmed to go off if water levels in the sump pit rise to a certain depth in the sump pit.

Maintaining your sump pump system. Though some sumps are more durable than others, they all must be maintained periodically. Sump pumps should be periodically inspected for proper functioning, typically once year is considered adequate for most models. Sump pumps that are called into service more often than others, due to heavy rains, or soils with high water pressures, may wear out more quickly, and they should be inspected more often. Sump pumps, like all other machines, will wear out and fail eventually. The failure of your sump pump at the wring time could be expensive in time, resources, and diminished air quality in your home.

When inspecting a sump pump and associated structures (pipes, basins, check valves) you should check for signs of rust, corrosion, and debris. To try to stretch the life of the sump pump, you should check for and remove any observed debris, sand, gravel, dirt, and other materials. This debris in the pump to be cleaned out can hinder the pump's performance and can allow the sump to overflow. Also check for and remove dirt and debris in the check valves.