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Sump pumps are one of the first lines of defense that keep your basement from flooding whenever heavy rains fall or spring snows melt. However, how do you protect your home and your belongings against flooding if your sump pump fails or the power goes out for an extended period?

Sump Pump in BasementInstalling a backup sump pump system is one option. Sump pumps – like any mechanical system in your home – can fail, even during optimal operating conditions. Whether due to a defect, age or a blockage, having a second sump pump system installed and ready to step in when needed can save your basement from filling with flood waters. Fortunately, these systems are readily available in most hardware stores.

Most secondary pumps are made of plastic or cast iron, though many customers prefer cast iron for a truly sturdy backup pump. Make sure that your backup pump meets the same output requirement as your primary pump, though. You don’t want your primary pump to fail during a storm, only to find that your backup pump is only capable of doing half of the job.

Sump pumps also only work if your home has power, so if there is ever a storm or a power outage, your sump pump would not operate, potentially causing catastrophic and expensive damage to your home. Having a battery backup system for your home can help in these outages and emergencies. Connecting a backup power supply can keep your sump running during a storm or outage, and consists of a battery that connects to the pump.

There are a few different kinds of batteries on the market for your backup. Most common is a regular battery like the one for your car, but these only last about 12 hours if they have a full charge.  So if the power is out longer than that you could also have a flooded basement.   A new type of battery called AGM batteries – or absorbent glass mat batteries – have become a popular option for homeowners. These special batteries have a longer life than older versions, and do not require water to be added regularly or need as much maintenance as some older models.

Keep these tips in mind as you are shopping for your backup battery or secondary sump pump system, and make sure to keep your basement dry no matter what nature throws at you. Don’t forget to check out blog regularly, and look for an upcoming post on another option to keep your basement dry – water-powered backup sump pumps.