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What Type of Battery is Best for a Sump Pump?

Power - by Joe Weber - updated on 5/12/2023

Watchdog sump pump battery next to a sump pump

A sump pump, if your home has one, is an important piece of equipment that helps keep your basement dry but it is also prone to flooding. In the event of a power outage, a sump pump battery can provide backup power to keep your pump running and your home dry.

How Does A Sump Pump Work?

Sump pumps are typically located at the lowest point in the house and the location is specifically chosen to prevent flooding after heavy rainfall and severe weather.

In very basic terms, sump pumps have pits that collect water, once the water level reaches a certain point the pump automatically turns on and pumps the water out of the pit, through a pipe, and away from the foundation of the home into the yard. American Family Insurance has a very helpful article   that walks you through the basics of sump pumps and their maintenance, check it out!

Sumps will continue to operate as long as you have power. However, if you lose power, that is when you are at the highest risk of flooding because your sump pump will not operate. This is why it is so important to have a sump pump battery backup. Having that extra layer of security will help the sump pump keep your basement dry even if you are in the middle of a powerful storm and have no power.

Do I Need A Sump Pump If I Don't Have A Basement?

If your home was built on a concrete slab like many homes in the south then odds are there is no sump pump, and really no need for one. Sump pumps are designed to pump water away from your basement before it floods. No basement; no sump pump.

What Battery Should I Use for My Sump Pump Backup?

It is best to use a battery that can handle the exposure to more vibrations and one that requires little maintenance. That is why AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are the battery of choice for sump pumps.

Some benefits of using AGM batteries for your sump pump are:

  • AGM batteries are maintenance-free. You do not need to routinely add fluid or water to the cells.
  • AGM batteries last longer in standby operations than flooded batteries
  • AGM batteries can power a sump pump intermittently for days without a recharge
  • AGM batteries typically have a longer life than traditional flooded batteries

If you purchase a complete pump system from The Basement Watchdog like the Basement Watchdog Big Combo CONNECT you will be getting everything you need to get pumping. Including a battery, 24/7 system monitoring and even alerts when the system recognizes that the battery requires attention.

Take a look at the Basement Watchdog selection of batteries and systems available at Batteries Plus.

How Do I Maintain A Sump Pump?

Maintaining your sump pump is easy and an annual checkup is recommended to ensure it's properly functioning at all times. It's best to do this in early spring to prepare for spring storms.

Always unplug your sump pump before the inspection.

  • Perform a visual inspection. Take the cover off of the sump pump pit and look inside. If the water inside looks like there's oil resting on top, your pump's motor may need to be serviced.
    • Remove any debris in the pit and screen. If any debris is in the water, remove it. Pull the pump out and check that the inlet screen is clear of any debris so water flows freely into the pump.
    • Inspect the float. Make sure that the float is resting on the top of the water and moves freely. If something is blocking the float the pump will not work correctly.
  • Test the pump. Plug the sump pump back in. Fill the pit with a bucket of water or enough so the float reaches the sensor to switch the pump on. Once the pump is running, go outside and make sure that the water is being pumped away from the house.
  • Flush the discharge pipe. Running the test should flush out any debris from the pipe but if you notice that the pump is running and no water is coming out of the pipe, you may need a little extra help.
    • Unplug the pump.
    • Disconnect the pipe from the pump.
    • Use a high-pressure water hose to force any debris out of the pipe. If a hose is not ideal you can also use a plumbing snake to clear out any debris.

How Can I Protect My Sump Pump in the Winter?

When the temperature starts to drop below freezing, the sump pump itself should be pretty safe. It is inside after all. The one thing that you do need to keep an eye out for is the discharge pipe freezing.

One of the best ways to prevent the discharge lines from freezing is by using a lot of insulation on the outdoor sections of the pipes. You could bury the lines deeper underground or use hay and a tarp on exposed pipes. You can also stop by your local hardware store and pick up proper insulation for your pipes if you are in an area that gets very cold.

For more information on winterizing your sump pump, check out our helpful article "How Do You Winterize a Sump Pump?".

How Can Batteries Plus Help with My Sump Pump Battery?

If you find yourself in need of a new battery for your sump pump backup system, Batteries Plus should be your first place to stop for a replacement. Stop by, call your local store or shop online for our selection of sump pump batteries from The Basement Watchdog, Duracell Ultra and X2Power.

Looking for a new sump pump battery?

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