What is a Backup Sump Pump?
A backup sump pump is an additional pump which is installed to serve as a back up in the event the primary pump should fail. There are many reasons why a primary pump may stop working including float or switch failure, power outages, clogged intake screen, broken impeller or drive shaft and normal wear and tear.
Here are some factors that need to be reviewed.
The main factors that should be considered when making a comparison of the different types of sump pumps include charger strength, power source, dependability trigger, operational capability, materials used for construction, protection from solids and sludge, size of discharge, alarm notification as well as manufacturer’s warranty.
1. Sump Pump Power Source
The backup system you install will require an alternative source of power that is not the same as the main sump pump. Other than electricity there are various types of power sources that can be used.
- A Battery can provide power as a backup for the sump pump. The pump is plugged into the battery via a wired housing case. The power is administered through the use of 12 Volt or 24 Volt batteries. Depending on the manufacturer, the type of battery and voltage will vary.
- Water pressure can provide the power necessary to keep a backup sump pump operating. The pressurized water requires a pounds per square inch (PSI) of 40 to 100. It must come from a municipal source.
- Portable generator this provides power by converting propane or gas into energy. The pump must be plugged into this generator in order to operate.
- Automatic start standby generator this provides power for the sump pump when it is plugged in.
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various sump pump power sources.
- The Batteries will require monitoring to ensure that they are constantly operational. Backup systems are usually designed with an alarm to alert the owner when the backup needs to be replaced or maintained. The batteries are usually rechargeable.
- Water power does not require gears or moving parts, but it does require water pressure of 40 to 100 PSI. For this reason private water wells cannot be used as only a municipal provider will be able to provide the reliable water pressure. Currently it requires 1 gallon from the municipal water supply to pump out 2 gallons of water using a sump pump. This can end up costing you a lot of money if you are charged for your water use.
- The portable generator unit must be installed outside and a manual start up. Most are powered with propane tank.
- Automatic start standby generator are quite expensive to buy and install. They can cost four to ten times more than a portable generator, but these ones will fire up automatically, even when you are on vacation. These types of generators use propane tanks or natural gas for operation and are capable of providing power to several household appliances during a power outage.
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2. Sump Pump Charger Strength
- The higher the charger strength the faster the battery will be recharged after use.
- This stronger and this charge strength the shorter the time the battery will require recharging after usage.
- Charge strength will vary from as low a four to a high as 20.
In the next part of this sump pump review I’m going to get into the sump pump triggers, dependability and operational capacity. Go to part 2 of the sump pump review.