Depending on where you live, flooding may be a regular occurrence in your basement or crawlspace. However, assuming that you want to preserve your home’s foundation and keep all of your belongings from getting waterlogged, then having a sump pump is always a good investment.
However, while a primary pump may be sufficient for some homes, in many cases, you will need a battery backup sump pump to kick in whenever necessary. Because you want to avoid flooding at all costs, finding the best backup pump is essential to protecting your home and your belongings.
Today we’re not only going to be looking at the best battery backup sump pumps, but we’ll go over how they work, why they are valuable, and how you can make the right choice for your home.
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Selecting the Best Battery BackUp Sump Pumps in October, 2019
1. Wayne ESP25 Upgraded
2 year Manufacturer
2. Zoeller 508-0006 Aquanot
3-year Limited Warranty
3. Superior Pump 92900
1 Year Limited Warranty
4. PumpSpy Technology PS1000
Warranted for a
5. Basement Watchdog BWE
2 Year Warranty
Why Do I Need a Battery Backup Sump Pump?
Simply put, buying a secondary pump for your basement or crawlspace is like putting extra insurance on your basement.
Even if you have a strong and reliable sump pump already installed, there are some situations where a backup is more than necessary.
First, if the power goes out in your home, your primary pump may not kick on at all. That’s why having a battery-powered backup is crucial since it can operate independently of any power issues.
Second, if you ever experience heavy flooding, your primary sump pump may not be able to handle it all. If that happens, you could get water into your basement or crawlspace regardless of how well the pump is working.
Finally, because sump pumps don’t operate very often (or hopefully they don’t), they are not infallible and can break down. Even if you test your pump regularly, there’s always a chance that something could malfunction (i.e., the float switch not activating). Thus, having a backup is necessary.
Best Battery Backup Sump Pumps - In Depth Reviewed
#1. Wayne ESP25 Upgraded 12-Volt Battery Backup System -- (Editor’s Choice)
For the most part, when picking out a battery backup sump pump system, you’ll be looking at models that operate independently of your primary pump. That being said, you will either want something that can almost match what your primary pump does or a unit that only adds some additional flood protection.
This model from Wayne is one of the former. With a robust flow rate of 2900 gallons per hour, it will likely perform similarly to your current sump pump. The benefit of that kind of performance is that if your primary pump fails, this one will still keep your basement dry, regardless of the circumstances.
One thing that I like about this pump, in particular, is that it can run on AC power or the battery. If the power goes out, the battery will kick on. Once power is restored, the system will automatically recharge the battery as needed so that it’s ready to go next time. Overall, this kind of setup will save you time and money in the long term, as well as reduce the wear and tear on your battery.
As we’ll see, most battery backup sump pumps come with some kind of alarm system. This feature is helpful because it notifies you when the machine is active, which can let you know that either your primary pump has failed, or that the flooding is much more severe than usual.
- Rugged steel and cast iron construction
- Flow rate of 2900 gallons per hour
- 600 GPH at 15 feet
- Audible alarm notifies you when the pump is active
- LED display shows system readiness
- Runs off AC power if available
- Automatically recharges battery
- Two-year limited warranty
- Requires a heavy-duty 75 amp-hour battery
- Controls are not very intuitive
#2. Zoeller 508-0006 Aquanot Sump Pump System with Battery Back-Up
For some people, buying a primary sump pump and a backup separately seems kind of impractical. Since they operate independently of each other, you have to install them in such a way that both of them won’t kick on at the same time.
Fortunately, that’s not a problem with this system. Zoeller is a brand that makes a lot of high-quality dual-pump models like this one. What we like most about this unit is that it comes pre-assembled, which helps make installation even easier.
Because this is a primary and secondary pump, you get a flow rate of 43 gallons per minute (2,580 per hour). This pump is also made of high-quality metal and plastic components so that it won’t break down quickly.
One unique feature of this dual pump system is that it can connect to your home alarm. This way, you can be sure to hear when it goes off, even if you’re nowhere close to the basement or crawlspace. During a flood, this integration is helpful (although meaningless if the power goes out).
- Dual pump design - primary and backup
- Reliable metal construction
- Flow rate of 43 gallons per minute
- Easy to install
- Runs off AC or DC power
- Audible alarms built-in
- Comes fully assembled
- Light indicator for convenience
- Burn out and overcharge protection
- Automatically recharges the battery
- System can connect to home’s security alarms
- Both pumps have to be installed, cannot be separated
- Battery backup is not as reliable as other models
#3. Superior Pump 92900 Powered Battery Backup Sump Pump
Although most battery backup sump pumps can run on both AC and DC power, some models like this one from Superior Pump only run off the battery. On the one hand, it does make installation a little easier since you don’t have to worry about plugging into an outlet. However, it also means that you have to take the battery out to recharge it regularly.
Thankfully, this system comes with an LED display that tells you how much charge is left on the battery. Thus, as long as you check in on it consistently, you shouldn’t have any issues with forgetting to keep the battery in tip-top shape.
One thing to keep in mind about most battery backup pumps is that they are not meant to replace your primary pump. Even though some models are much more high-performance than others, they are mostly designed to kick in and operate for just a couple of hours, not to keep your basement dry for extended periods.
With that in mind, this particular pump can only remove up to 23 gallons per minute. That’s not the best we’ve seen, but thanks to the compact size and easily deplorable design, it should be suitable for most basements and crawlspaces.
- Rugged thermoplastic protection
- Mounting hardware for easier installation
- Audible alarm with mute function
- Easy to use menu controls
- Tethered float switch for reliability
- Flow rate of 23 gallons per minute
- Cost-effective model
- Lightweight and compact design
- One-year limited warranty
- Does not use AC power
- In some cases, the unit may drain your battery while not in use
#4. PumpSpy PS2000 WiFi Battery Backup Sump Pump System with Internet Monitoring
If you’re looking for a sump pump that is both useful and high-tech, then this model from Pump-spy is going to be your best bet. Compared to the other units on this list, the PS2000 is the next generation of sump pumps.
What makes this model so unique is the fact that you get a wirelessly connected system. Best of all, it has its own cellular antenna, meaning that you don’t have to piggyback on your home’s wifi for it to work.
This pump comes with its own app, which notifies you when the machine turns on, as well as when the battery is low or when you need to replace it. Considering that the sensors automatically scan the pump at all times, this information is more than helpful, particularly if you’re not at home.
The other great thing about the sensor system is that you can connect it to your primary pump as well. This way, you can get updates about both pumps and how they’re working. If the primary does fail, you’ll get both a text and an email about it so that you can take action immediately.
Overall, even though this pump is more expensive than most, the high-tech aspect more than makes up for the price tag. Also, considering that it has a flow rate of 3000 gallons per hour, it’s more than capable of handling any flooding you may experience.
- Rugged metal and plastic construction
- Smart sensors can notify you via text
- Automatically scans itself and your primary pump
- Runs off AC power if available
- Intuitive menu screen and LED indicators
- 3000 gallons per hour
1625 GPH at 15 feet lift
- Automatically recharges battery
- Integrated app for more notifications and customization
- No need for a wifi connection
- More expensive than other pumps
- The app may be a bit buggy
#5. Basement Watchdog BWE 1000 Gallons Per Hour.
When picking out the best battery backup sump pump, the brand you choose can make a difference. We’ve already seen some high-quality options on this list, but Basement Watchdog is one of the more cost-effective ones you can find.
By that, we mean that this machine will serve you well as a backup pump, but it won’t be quite as reliable as other models on this list. Yes, it does have some decent features, but you may have to check on it and maintain the pump more than you would with other models.
As far as the flow rate goes, this model can pump up to 2000 gallons per hour. It comes with automatic sensors for both the pump and the battery, and the indicator lights will tell you the health and performance of the machine at all times. Better yet, there are tips on what to do to fix any issues that may arise.
One thing we like about this system is that the pump itself is ultra lightweight and compact. Thus, if you have a tight space in your basement, you can put this pump inside without any problems.
- Rugged plastic construction
- Flow rate of 2000 gph at zero feet
- Automatic sensors monitor both the pump and the battery
- Intuitive LED indicators
- Can run on AC power
- Automatically recharges the battery
- Maintenance fixes printed on the sensor box
- Compact and lightweight design (less than 10 pounds)
- Easy installation
- Two-year limited warranty
- May not work with standard batteries. You may have to buy a proprietary battery for this pump
- In rare cases, the charger may stop working properly
#6. Zoeller 507-0008 Pre-assembled Sump Pump with Battery Backup
Our last battery backup sump pump is another two-in-one model from Zoeller. If you like the idea of pairing your primary and the backup pump into one machine, then this is another great choice from an equally excellent company.
Although this particular model doesn’t connect to your home’s alarm system, it still has all of the features you need.
First, it’s made of high-quality metal and plastic. Second, it runs on both AC and DC power, meaning that it can recharge the battery automatically if it ever comes on. Third, it uses audible alarms to notify you when the backup is engaged so that you can plan accordingly. Finally, it’s pre-assembled to help you install it more easily into your basement.
Overall, if you like reliability and simplicity, then this dual-pump system is an excellent way to go.
- Dual pump design
- Rugged metal construction
- Pre-assembled for easy installation
- Compatible with all group 27 batteries
- Automatically recharges battery
- Audible alarms when the backup is active
- Compact design fits in most spaces
- Does not work with any other backup sump pumps
- In rare cases, if the primary fails, so will the backup
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How to Choose the Best Battery Backup Sump Pumps
As we’ve mentioned, one thing to remember is that your backup pump is not designed to replace your primary model. That being said, having a unit with a similar flow rate can usually be the best case scenario, just in case your primary pump fails for any reason.
When looking at the flow rate, one thing you have to consider is the amount of lift needed in your setup. Because these pumps are designed to draw water out of a basement or crawlspace, you’ll likely have to be moving it vertically by about 10 feet or so.
In most cases, the flow rate listed is the number of gallons moved at zero feet (flat terrain). The more vertical lift required, the lower the number will get. Ideally, you’ll want a backup pump that can do at least 500 gallons per hour to ensure that it will keep your basement dry. Fortunately, most of them exceed that, so you should be fine.
Considering that these pumps have to rely on battery power, you need to be sure that they can protect the battery from environmental hazards. Obviously, if they’re working, then water is coming into your basement, so you have to keep the power source dry at all times.
In most cases, these pumps will have thick thermoplastic housings for the battery, but you have to see if it’s waterproof or not. If it isn’t, then you have to position the battery above the pump so that it won’t short out. Ideally, though, the casing will be able to repel water so that if your basement does get flooded, the pump can still work.
Another thing to consider with construction is whether the materials are rust resistant. Steel and cast iron need to have coatings to protect them from rusting, but that can wear off over time. Plastic housings are usually best because they can’t corrode, but they are more susceptible to damage.
In most cases, backup pumps will come with some kind of alarm system. The reason for that is because you want to be aware if your backup is on since that will signify that your primary pump is either faulty or overloaded with water.
In most cases, if your primary pump isn’t able to remove water fast enough to avoid triggering the backup, then you’ll probably want to go down to inspect the situation. If water levels are rising too quickly, you may have to augment the pumps with other actions so that the rest of your house doesn’t get flooded also.
AC vs. DC Power
For the most part, we like battery (AC vs DC) backup pumps that can run off of AC power as well as the battery. The reason for this is that you can reduce the overall wear and tear on the battery since the pump will work when power is available.
The other benefit is that when power is restored, the system will automatically recharge the battery. If you had a pump that was battery-only, then you’d have to remember to do this yourself. In some cases, if you didn’t even know that the pump activated (i.e., you weren’t home when the basement flooded), then you might not realize that the battery is drained, which could put you in a bad situation next time.
Battery Backup Sump Pump Buyer’s Guide
What kind of battery should I use?
We highly recommend any deep-cycle batteries for your sump pump. Typically, they will say deep-cycle or marine on them. Starter batteries (like those in your car) are not ideal since they will drain way too fast. AGM or gel models are best because they require almost no maintenance (beyond the occasional recharge).
One thing to pay attention to is the number of amp hours on the battery. Ideally, you should get one that has at least 75 aH so that it will last long enough to keep your basement dry.
Should my backup pump match the same flow rate as my primary pump?
Although it’s not necessary, it can be a good idea for them to match or be relatively close to each other. This way, if your primary pump fails for any reason, your backup should be able to handle the load. However, you shouldn’t rely on the backup unit to sustain that kind of performance, particularly if it’s running on battery power.
Do I need an alarm system with my backup pump?
Simply put, yes. That being said, if there is a mute feature, that can be helpful since the alarm can be annoying if it stays on for too long. As long as the pump is keeping water out, you don’t need to be reminded that the machine is working.
Can I install a backup sump pump myself?
In most cases, you can, but you want to make sure that you know what you’re doing. Since you have to install piping from the basement to the surface, you need to make sure that you don’t cut through any wires or other pipes along the way.
Ideally, though, you would get a professional to install it for you unless you’re simply swapping out an old backup pump for a new one. If the pipes are already there, you don’t have to worry as much.
What if my backup pump fails?
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if both your primary and backup pump fail. The best thing to do is to determine why so that you can avoid it next time. For example, if the battery was drained, perhaps you need to install a better battery. If the system was overloaded by too much debris, a filter trap might be the best solution.
Once you figure out the cause of the failure, it can give you insight into how to prevent it in the future.
How can I test my sump pump to see if it’s working?
Because you don’t want to wait until your basement floods to see if your investment has paid off, it’s always a good idea to test both of your pumps periodically.
All you have to do is bring a bucket of water down and pour it into the pump. Once it activates, let the water drain out until it shuts off. Then, do the same thing again to make sure that it will turn back on.
If either pump fails the test, then it’s time to find a replacement or to figure out what went wrong and fix the issue.
If you want a high-quality battery backup pump that will keep your Wayne ESP25 Upgraded, then we highly recommend the PumpSpy model.
We love this machine not only because it’s high tech and monitors your system automatically, but because it has the performance to boot. With a flow rate of 1625 at 15 feet, you’re sure to keep your home dry as a bone, even if your primary pump fails. Overall, even though this is one of the more expensive models, it’s worth every penny.