When your basement floods from a storm or a nearby pipe leak, your sump pump should be able to remove the water by sending it to a storm drain or dry well in the vicinity. By installing a sump pump in your home, you can effectively minimize water damage and keep your home in good condition. However, sump pumps won’t work during an outage if they aren’t equipped with another power source.

While there are several types of alternative power sources to choose from, a backup battery is the most affordable one. When shopping for a battery backup for your sump pump, you’ll discover that there are many types on the market. In this buyer’s guide, you’ll learn how to select the best battery backup.

Common Causes of Sump Pump Failure

Sump pump failure can occur for many reasons, some of which can be fixed by having a battery backup on hand. A sump pump can fail when the switch gets stuck in the off or on position, which means that you can’t control the system. If the switch is stuck in the on position, repair services may be needed to prevent additional problems.

It’s also common for sump pumps to fail because of a power outage, which is when a battery backup will kick in. This issue can also occur when a power cord is damaged or a circuit is tripped. Some of the additional causes of sump pump failure that you should be on the lookout for include the following:

  • Check valve failure
  • Motor failure
  • The pump’s float is stuck
  • Discharge piping malfunction
  • Casing failure

Signs of Sump Pump Failure

If your sump pump isn’t working because of minor damage or a temporary power outage, a battery backup may be enough to ensure the system continues running. There are, however, some issues that are more difficult to fix. To avoid a costly replacement, get in touch with a professional plumber who can inspect the system and identify the source of the problem.

Some sump pumps are equipped with an alarm. A float or probe can be placed at the highest point of the sump basket to detect water. When water is detected, the alarm will sound immediately. Modern sump pumps may offer text messaging alerts when water is detected. If you have a landline phone, your sump pump might dial your number to warn you that the pump isn’t working. If your power goes out, however, a landline alert might not be the best way to reach you.

Choosing the Right Battery Backup

When the power in your home goes out because of inclement weather, your sump pump will only work if you have a backup battery in place. When you’re searching for the ideal battery backup, there are numerous types you can choose for your sump pump, which include everything from lead-acid batteries to maintenance-free batteries.

To properly use some of these batteries, you’ll need to occasionally add distilled water to ensure the lead cells don’t dry out. However, maintenance-free batteries are sealed, which means that they only need to be set.

Maintenance-Free Batteries

There are several types of maintenance-free batteries on the market. If you choose a wet-cell battery, the “maintenance-free” wording means that these batteries are valve-regulated to reduce the potential for leaks. While these batteries are referred to as maintenance-free, they should still be inspected by a professional regularly to ensure the cells don’t dry out.

Deep-Cycle Batteries

The phrase “deep cycle” refers to the battery’s charging cycle. If you buy this type of battery for your sump pump, it will constantly charge and discharge without causing any damage. While these batteries can’t provide the same current level as wet-cell ones, they come with thicker plates and can be discharged at a higher degree. Marine/RV batteries have characteristics of deep-cycle and wet-cell versions.

Gel Batteries

Gel batteries are made with an electrolyte that uses silica gel. This substance is also available in vitamin bottles. The main advantage of choosing a gel battery is that the substance is thick enough to avoid evaporation. These batteries are maintenance-free, which is why they are commonly used in areas with high vibrations and temperatures. The gel prevents rapid movements, which ensures fast charging times.

Wet-Cell Batteries

Wet-cell batteries are the most affordable ones around, which is why they are often used with sump pumps. However, they don’t last for a lengthy period. You’ll need to obtain a deep-cycle version of the wet-cell battery if you want to avoid replacing it regularly.

These batteries are made from acid-covered lead plates that are submerged in a potent electrolyte liquid. They’re available in unsealed and sealed versions, the latter of which is “maintenance-free.” No matter the version you choose, it’s important to prevent the cells from drying out to maintain the battery’s longevity. Battery maintenance must be handled by a professional to avoid exposure to acid and lead.

AGM Batteries

You can also pair your sump pump with an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery backup. This type of battery is technically superior to most others in this guide. It also lasts longer than a wet-cell battery. These batteries come with a distinct design that consists of lead-acid cells that are contained in a glass fiber material. This material can absorb electrolytes without needing to be submerged in a solution. If the material is punctured, it won’t leak.

The battery’s unique design means that the cells can be stacked together for quicker charging times and better energy capacity. These are also the only fully “maintenance-free” batteries around. The cells won’t dry out. You can expect them to cost more than other sump pump batteries.

How to Narrow Your Options

There are many sump pump batteries on the market, which is why you must know what to look for. The main factors to consider for a backup battery include capacity, recharge rate, user-friendliness, and service life. To determine which battery capacity is right for you, consider your sump pump’s power requirements and size. To ensure the backup works as intended, select a battery with a high capacity that can keep the system running constantly.

The battery backup you select should also have a simple design that makes it easy to recharge and install even if you don’t have professional experience. When looking at the recharge rate, choose a battery that can get back to full power quickly. The battery should always be available for use when you need it. Read online reviews to determine if the battery you’re thinking of buying lasts for a long time before needing to be replaced.

If you need to replace your sump pump battery or determine if repairs are required, our team at Hope Plumbing offers timely and effective solutions. We have ample experience maintaining and repairing sump pumps in Indianapolis homes, which allows us to quickly identify the source of any problem. Obtaining regular sump pump maintenance should help you keep the system from failing and extend the battery’s longevity. Some of the other plumbing services you can request from our team include water heater installation, septic tank maintenance, and leak detection. Call Hope Plumbing today to learn more about our sump pump services.

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