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Is a Battery Backup Sump Pump Worth it?

Every year, flooding causes millions of dollars in damage to homes around the country. Indianapolis homeowners are not excluded – even if you don’t live in a flood plain, your home could be affected by flooding. While many homes are equipped with sump pumps, without battery backup sump pumps, your home may still be vulnerable.

Rising groundwater levels put homes at risk when they are not equipped with the right protection. Battery backup sump pumps work to keep your home dry in the event your primary sump pump fails. Learn the valuable benefits battery backup sump pumps offer and why you should install one in your Indianapolis area home today.

What Does a Sump Pump Do?

When groundwater levels rise, water is able to enter the basement or crawlspace through foundation cracks, which causes water damage. Sump pumps are installed in a home’s sump pit, which collects this water and the sump pump moves the water out and away from your home to prevent damage.

The sump pump is powered by your home’s electrical system. A manual sump pump requires the homeowner to turn it on when needed, which is problematic on its own – you may be unaware that groundwater is rising, or be away from home during a heavy downpour. Automatic sump pumps are a better choice – the system is activated when water levels in the sump pit reach a certain point.

Sump pumps are installed in homes in low-lying areas, flood plains, or in regions that receive heavy rain and/or snowfall. If you experience wetness or moisture issues in your home’s basement or crawlspace, a sump pump is needed.

Reasons Why Sump Pumps Fail to Work

As the sump pump is out of sight, out of mind, you may not know it’s failed until you have a basement full of water and see your possessions floating around. Your home’s main sump pump may fail for various reasons, which include:

  • Mechanical Failure
  • Excessive Usage
  • Power Outages
  • Switch Failure

Without battery backup sump pumps, each one of these reasons for sump pump failure leaves you exposed to water infiltration and the damage that results. 

What Is a Battery Backup Sump Pump?

A battery backup sump pump is an additional sump pump for the home. It is installed next to the home’s primary sump pump and works off the same sump pit. Its float switch is set slightly higher than the primary pump’s, so it is able to detect when the main pump is not properly working and automatically turn on.

In homes, battery backup sump pumps are either DC or AC/DC powered. Some backup sump pump models are able to run off the home’s AC current when the home has utility power, then switch to the battery’s DC current in the event of a power failure. Other models only utilize power from the battery. Most batteries used for backup sump pumps are designed for marine use, so they are able to work in wet conditions without failure. They are also maintenance-free and the battery charges on its own. 

Battery backup sump pumps turn off and on as needed to remove water from the sump pit. The amount of time the battery is able to last depends on how often the system runs. If it has to run continuously through an outage, the battery is depleted sooner than if the pump runs once every minute or less.

Battery backup sump pumps are a great protective measure for homeowners. Their installation is typically more affordable than installing a second sump pump. Installation is simple and non-invasive, as the battery backup sump pump utilizes the same sump pit as the primary – no jackhammering or digging is required. 

Many battery backup sump pumps are also equipped with an alarm that alerts the homeowner when the backup system is activated. You receive warnings of rising water levels and are able to take action to remove valuables from the area just in case. Some systems also monitor the sump pump’s battery level and provide an alert if there are system issues, so you are able to make necessary repairs to avoid a system failure.

Why Do Homes Need Battery Backup Sump Pumps?

Battery backup sump pumps provide homeowners with an extra level of protection against water damage caused by excess groundwater. While the home’s primary sump pump is the main line of defense, there are situations where these systems fail. When the primary sump pump fails, if there is no backup in place, the home is left vulnerable to water damage.

Even if the primary sump pump is in good condition and maintained on a regular basis, battery backup sump pumps are still important. Power outages occur for many reasons, including severe storms – the very type of weather event that dumps a high volume of water around your home. Battery backup sump pumps do not run off your home’s electrical system, so they are able to operate using their battery for several hours to protect your home against water damage while utility power is out.

Benefits of Battery Backup Sump Pumps

Battery backup sump pumps are extra insurance for your home. They protect the home itself as well as its valuable contents. Top benefits of battery backup sump pumps include:

  • Protects Your Home Against Expensive Water Damage
  • Works During Power Outages
  • Backup Pumping Power in Case Your Primary System Fails
  • Aids the Primary Sump Pump When Water Levels Become Too Much

Water Damage Protection

According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage claims against homeowners insurance policies average $10,234 in damages. Water damage claims are the second most frequent type of claim made for homeowner losses. One in 50 insured homes has a water damage claim each year.

Insurance carriers have noted a rise in water damage claims over the past years, and say water damage is the top risk to homeowners. Unfortunately, not all homeowners insurance policies cover water damage – standard policies typically exclude coverage for storm surges and flooding from rising bodies of water. Plus, if neglected maintenance leads to a sump pump failure, your insurance policy may not cover the damage caused.

Battery backup sump pumps are a way homeowners are able to reduce the risk of water damage and the resulting expenses. A flooded basement can cost thousands of dollars to correct, especially when the basement is finished. Damage and destruction of valuable items stored in these areas raise costs, but not everything that is damaged may be replaceable, such as priceless keepsakes and mementos. With a battery backup sump pump in place, there is less of a risk that your home will sustain water damage should the primary system fail or be overworked.

Pumps Through Power Outages

A tripped breaker or blown fuse takes your sump pump out of commission, oftentimes without the homeowner’s realization. Without power, water levels in the sump pit continue to rise and spill over into the surrounding basement or crawl space. Power outages caused by storms with heavy rains also leave homes without a working sump pump. 

A battery backup sump pump is not dependent on your home’s electrical power to operate, so an outage or an electrical issue does not prevent it from moving water out of your home. These systems have their own float switch that triggers the pump to turn on, and their battery allows them to operate hours on end.

Protection from Sump Pump Failure

Oftentimes, sump pumps do not receive the maintenance they require to properly operate throughout their service life. They’re out of sight and out of mind, so a home’s sump pump may not receive annual maintenance from a plumber – this leaves the sump pump vulnerable to malfunctions that lead to water damage.

Clogs in the sump pump intake screen and jammed float switches are common malfunctions that prevent sump pumps from operating as they should. Of course, these issues are not noticed until the sump pump fails to work when needed. With a battery backup sump pump installed, the home still has a system in place to remove excess water even when a main pump malfunction occurs.

Extra Help for Your Sump Pump

Sump pumps are designed to handle a certain volume of water. In heavy rains or with significant snow melt, the amount of water coming into your sump pit may be too much for your primary pump to handle. You are more likely to experience flooding and water damage without backup measures.

Battery backup sump pumps detect when water levels are too high. They automatically turn on and get to work to help alleviate the burden placed on your primary sump pump during these times. 

Williams Comfort Air Installs Battery Backup Sump Pumps

Make sure your home has the protection it needs to avoid costly water damage in any circumstance. Williams Comfort Air offers skilled installation of quality battery backup sump pumps for homes throughout the Central Indiana area. We also provide sump pump maintenance and repair to care for your home’s primary sump pump system. Request an estimate – contact us today!

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