I have just about completed all the work to finish my basement. I know, not a great time to think about this, but when I bought the home there was zero water in it and didn't think the winter would be the time it was needed. I was wrong. I have noticed the sump pump in my basement runs quite often (didnt run at all in the summer/fall, but now in the winter it runs about every 3 hours). So being nervous now that a crazy winter storm will come through and knock out the power and leave me with a flooded basement, I'm wondering what people would recommend for a backup Sump Pump. I've only found two solutions so far online:

  1. UPS or other battery backup for the sump pump
  2. A water powered sump pump
  3. Dont worry about it because home insurance will cover damage

I'm leaning toward using the water 'powered' sump pump because its cheaper (maybe not after installation) and would work during power outages, but I wanted to see if there was a better solution.

2 Answers 2


Your best answer would be to try to eliminate the water before it gets in. Your best options will depend on the reliability of your electric source. A battery pump will only last so long. A watered powered pump will require a steady flow of municiple water. If you have a well it obviously won't work without power. The other consideration is how easily can you run a water supply line to the pump in your now finished basement. Water powered pumps are expensive to run interms of the cost of the water used and the amount pumped. The best models are close to a 1 to 1 ratio. The less expensive ones use 2 gals to pump 1 gal. In my area water and sewerage are combined in one bill. I would be paying a sewerage surcharge on the water the pump uses even though it would discharge in my yard. The water bill would still be less than your insurance deductable, and your rates won't increase due to a claim. I would use the electric as a primary pump and get a water powered unit as a back-up.

  • Thanks for the answer, the water source would be municipal. I think it wouldn't be too hard to install a water backup pump since the washer is right next to the sump. I do like the idea of using an electric pump as the 'main' pump then having the water as a backup, although that would cost me a few more $. Thx for the advice
    – SwDevMan81
    Jan 1, 2013 at 21:36

I've got a battery backed secondary sump pump. It's a completely separate system (separate float, pump, etc, etc) which includes a battery (a deep-cycle marine-type lead acid battery) which can run it for many hours. It's good in power outages, AND it's goo in the event of primary sump pump failure.

I then have a small generator that I can run my freezer/fridge and sump pump off of.

One does need to be careful with the installation though - the one time I've had water was when the primary's float got fouled on the secondary, and the secondary's float got fouled by a spider!

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