Whether your basement is a work in progress, or a fully finished man cave with all the bells and whistles, the last thing you want to wake up to is a flood. You may already have a sump pump to protect your basement from water damage, but what happens if you lose power?
Thankfully, battery-powered backup sump pumps can provide you with the protection and peace of mind you need. Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about selecting a pump, and we’ll cover some of the best options in the market in our best backup sump pump roundup.
Let’s jump right into five of the best options on the market today for a backup sump pump.
PumpSpy Technology PS1000
The PS1000 from PumpSpy is one of the most technologically advanced sump pumps available.
The PumpSpy system includes the pump itself, an AGM battery, and a monitoring system. It hooks into PumpSpy’s central servers, and provides constant monitoring of both your main and backup pump systems.
The PS1000 hooks up to your main sump pump via a 120v outlet. It monitors the main pump to ensure it’s working properly. In the event of a power outage, the PS1000 automatically kicks on and begins pumping.
This pump also has an audible alarm. This alarm will sound if your main system fails, or if there’s another type of alert for your backup pump.
Depending on the lift of your sump, the PS1000 can pump out anywhere from between 1,625 and 2,990 gallons per hour. The battery is large and powerful, and it will operate for as long as 166 hours provided that the pump cycles every five minutes.
Should you need the pump to cycle on more often, the battery life shrinks dramatically. If the pump is constantly working, you’ll only get about five and a half hours of life out of it.
This pump also includes the PumpSpy app, so you’ll be able to monitor the system from your smartphone.
- Constant central station monitoring
- Works in concert with your main pump
- Battery automatically recharges when power is restored
- Limited battery life if the pump is constantly cycling
When it comes to sump pumps, no name is as synonymous with quality as Wayne. As the industry leader, you can always expect quality and reliability from this company.
The ESP25 is one of Wayne’s most popular backups. It was recently overhauled to provide even greater value for the consumer. The original ESP25 was made from plastic, while the new model features an epoxy steel body and a cast iron base for added durability.
This powerful backup unit provides up to 2,900 gallons per hour of pumping power on the ground. Those figures diminish significantly depending on the lift of your sump. For example, if you have a 10’ lift, the pump only does 1,680 gallons per hour.
The ESP25 is made in the USA and carries a two-year warranty should anything go wrong with your pump. It also features audible alarms that alert you to any changes in your system.
This pump is made in the USA from quality components and it’s among the quietest and most reliable pumps on the market.
One thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that this pump does not include a battery. So, you’ll need to purchase a separate 75 amp battery to run this pump. The recommended Wayne battery will set you back about another $250 on top of the price of your system.
However, given Wayne’s reputation for excellence, that may be a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered in the event your main pump fails.
- Trusted reliability
- Made in the USA
- Solid construction
- Doesn’t include a battery
Zoeller Aquanot 508
If there’s a brand with a reputation for quality and reliability that can challenge Wayne, it’s Zoeller. The 508-0005 is one of their most popular and reliable sump pumps. It’s a smart choice for your next backup pump.
This pump features solid construction and is hand-assembled in the United States. While many of the components are plastic, it does feature a solid aluminum seal pocket and cooling plate for added durability.
The control box features overcharge and burnout protection. It also features alarms, lights, and warning systems that keep you updated on the status of the pump as it works. A large LCD screen keeps you informed of the pump’s status at all times.
This model also features a set of dry contacts that allow you to hook the backup pump to your existing home security system and station monitoring.
A large battery compartment allows you to use this pump with 12v batteries up to 13″ long by 7-1/2″ wide and 9-1/2″ tall. The 508 accommodates all group size 27, 29, or 31 batteries.
This unit pumps a maximum of 2,340 gallons per hour at a five-foot lift, which provides ample power for virtually any installation. The Aquanot 508 carries an impressive 3-year warranty so you’ll be covered should anything go wrong with your pump.
- Made in the USA
- Strong warranty
- Can be hooked up to an alarm system
- Doesn’t include battery
Superior Pump 92900
If you’re looking for a budget priced pump that still provides ample power and impressive features, this model from Superior Pump may be a great choice for you.
Ideal for smaller basements, this sump pumps a maximum of 1,380 gallons per hour. This model features all thermoplastic construction for the pump itself, float switch and battery box. This model is compatible with any AGM or deep cycle marine battery.
The simple electronics are easy to understand, and you’ll find connections for the float switch, pump, and AC charger on board. An ultra-loud 87-decibel alarm is included to alert you to any changes in the pump’s performance. The alarm can also be muted if you prefer.
While this pump doesn’t provide nearly the same power or build quality as some other pumps we’ve covered, it’s considerably more affordable, and it’s reliable as well. So, if you have a smaller basement, this pump is well worth considering.
- Easy to use
- All plastic construction
- Doesn’t include battery
Liberty Pumps Model 441
The 441 model from Liberty Pumps blends quality construction and components with an affordable price to create a pump that offers compelling value and reliability.
This pump handles a maximum of 1,260 gallons per hour. This makes it a good choice for smaller basements. It also features a compact, vertical switch, which is ideal for installations where space is a concern.
The kit includes the submersible pump, battery box with a control panel, and an automatic switch. It’s compatible with any group size 27 or 31 deep cycle marine or AGM battery. A tee, check valve and bushings are also included for hooking this pump up to either 1 ¼” or 1 ½” connections.
An advanced 1 amp battery charger has overcharging, reverse polarity, and short circuit protection, and it recharges your battery quickly and efficiently.
Depending on how often the battery is cycling and the lift on your sump, this pump provides up to six days of backup operation, which is ideal for serious storms and longer power outages.
This model includes a three-year warranty, so you’ll be well covered should something go wrong with your pump.
- Reliable operation
- Pumps for up to six days without power
- Strong warranty
- Mediocre pumping capacity
- Doesn’t include battery
Whether you opt for one of the great options on our list above, or you choose to go with a different model altogether, there’s some important features and considerations you’ll need to make to choose the best backup sump pump for your basement.
Having a backup sump pump is one of the smartest decisions you can make if your home has a basement.
The sump pump inside your basement is designed to pump any excess water out of your basement. However, your home has to have electricity. Should the power go out, your sump pump becomes about as useful as a glass hammer.
Thankfully, that’s where a battery backup pump comes in. These pumps go to work when you need them most. They begin pumping out excess water as soon as your main pump loses power. These backup pumps ensure that even if you’re without power, you’ll be able to keep your basement clean and dry.
Chances are, your backup pump won’t have much to do 360+ days of the year. But, for those couple days out of the year where you’re experiencing severe weather and potential power outages, they’re worth their weight in gold.
The first major consideration you’ll need to make is the type of battery in the pump. There are two types of batteries available: deep cycle marine and AGM batteries.
Deep cycle marine batteries are very similar to what you’d find in an old car, and you’ll need to continually add water to the battery cell for it to function properly. Meanwhile, AGM batteries harness newer technologies and run without any maintenance at all.
AGM batteries also provide greater run time than deep cycle marine batteries and last longer before they need to be changed.
Next, you’ll need to decide on the material the pump is made out of. For the most part, backup sump pumps are made from one of two materials: cast iron or plastic.
As you’d imagine, cast iron pumps are far more durable than a plastic one. So, if you’re looking for a pump that’s going to stand the test of time, go with a cast iron model.
The output of the pump is also a primary concern you’ll need to address. I’d venture to say that if you take a look at most people’s backup pumps, they usually pump significantly less than the main pump. This is a recipe for disaster.
Chances are, you’ll only be using your backup pump when you’re dealing with a particularly severe storm. So, the last thing you want is to have an underpowered pump that can’t handle the amount of water coming in.
When searching for a backup pump, make sure that it provides as much output as your main pump.
There are two types of backup pumps available, AC/DC pumps, and DC only pumps.
With an AC/DC pump, you plug the pump into a wall outlet, and it will receive power from that outlet until there’s a power outage. Only when there’s a power outage will the pump switch to battery power.
These pumps tend to last much longer because when there’s power coming from the outlet, the battery isn’t drained at all.
Meanwhile, DC only pumps can’t be plugged into a wall outlet, and are powered entirely by their battery.
A DC only pump may be suitable for your needs, but since the battery is constantly in use, they have to be changed more often. It’s also possible that you’ll find yourself in the dreaded situation of having a dead battery when you need your pump to be working its hardest.
Depending on the size of your sump, the size of your backup system may also be an important factor to consider.
If you only have a tiny sump, you’ll need to purchase a pump that’s compact enough to fit inside.
Further, some pumps have space requirements to work properly. You’ll need to make sure your sump is large enough to afford the pump ample clearance on each side so it can function as it was intended.
Q: Do I Need A Backup Sump Pump?
A: Technically, no. Some people are exceptionally lucky and have basements that are so well built that leaks and flooding will never be a concern. Chances are, you aren’t one of those people.
Having a battery backup pump ensures that you’ll have the help you need if severe weather takes your main pump offline. Considering that a backup pump may be able to prevent thousands of dollars in damage to your home in the future, it’s usually a very worthwhile investment.
Q: Where Do I Put a Backup Pump?
A: Your backup pump will go right inside your sump, probably next to your main sump pump. Since the backup pump will be installed inside your sump, it’s critical that you choose a pump that’s able to fit in your sump.
Q: How Long Do Battery Backup Pumps Last?
A: Properly maintained, your new backup pump should last for many years. Backup pumps with AGM batteries tend to outlast those with deep cycle marine batteries, and AC/DC pumps tend to outlast DC only pumps.
Keep in mind that while your backup pump should last for many years, the battery inside may need to be changed several times over the lifespan of your pump. AGM batteries usually last for 5-7 years before they need to be changed while deep cycle marine batteries must be changed more often.
Q: How Much Should I Expect to Spend On A Backup Pump?
A: Like everything else, your needs and budget will dictate how much you’ll need to spend on a new backup pump.
You’ll be able to find cheap models that cost around $100. The adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to these budget-oriented pumps.
Meanwhile, top-of-the-line models are available for just under $500, and they provide a robust array of features while providing the peace of mind you deserve when searching for a new sump pump.
When it comes to purchasing the best backup sump pump for your basement, reliability, ease of use, and power are all major considerations you’ll need to make. It’s critical that the pump you choose provides the pumping power that your basement needs.
Other factors, such as build materials, warranty, and battery compatibility are also worth considering.
Of the five popular pumps we’ve covered above, each one makes a compelling case as to why it’s a smart choice for your basement. But there can only be one winner. When it comes to the best backup sump pump, our choice is the Wayne ESP25 model.
Wayne’s industry-leading reputation for excellence coupled with the high pumping capacity and exceptional build quality of the ESP25 make it our choice for a backup sump pump, and they provide the peace of mind you’ll need when the power goes out in the middle of a severe storm.
Of course, you may find that a different pump fits your home’s needs better than the ESP25 does. In that case, we recommend evaluating each pump you’re looking at based on the brand’s reputation, build quality, warranty length and pumping capacity of the pump. For more tool guides, check out The Saw Guy. You can find information on circular saws, chainsaws, snow blowers, and more!