The best sump pump backup systems

Sump pump backup systems
The best sump pump backup systems.

If living in an area that has a high water table or experiences heavy snow/rain, then you may want to invest in a backup sump pump power supply, because a power outage, even if for only a couple of hours, could result in a flooded basement. Here we will reveal all the available options, as well as the pros and cons of each.

Topics Covered

  • Backup options
    • Battery
    • Generator
    • Water-powered sump pump
  • Battery-powered sump pump backup systems
    • The PumpSpy 2000W
    • The Basement Watchdog BWSP
    • SEC AMERICA 1622PS
  • Water-powered backup sump pumps
    • The Liberty SumpJet SJ10
    • The Zoeller 540

Product Brand Type Warranty Price
The PumpSpy 2000W Primary Sump Pump Backup Power System The PumpSpy 2000W Primary Sump Pump Backup Power System Battery-powered 3 year warranty
The Basement Watchdog BWSP The Basement Watchdog BWSP Battery-powered 2 year warranty
SEC AMERICA 1622PS Sump Pump Backup System SEC AMERICA 1622PS Sump Pump Backup System Battery-powered 2 year warranty
The Liberty SumpJet SJ10 The Liberty SumpJet SJ10 Water-powered 2 year warranty
The Zoeller 540-0005 FLEX Series Water-Powered Back-Up Sump Pump The Zoeller 540-0005 FLEX Series Water-Powered Back-Up Sump Pump Water-powered 3 year warranty

Backup options

There are three options to choose from – batteries, generators, and water-powered. Each option has its own set of pros/cons, and we will discuss them here.


A battery backup system acts as a middle device that connects between the sump pump and the AC wall outlet.

This device uses the electricity from the AC wall outlet to keep the battery charged while simultaneously monitoring the line for a power outage. As soon as an outage occurs, the system instantaneously draws and converts power from the battery to the sump pump, thereby ensuring that it operates uninterrupted.

As soon as power returns, the device automatically switches back to supplying the sump pump with regular AC electricity from the wall outlet, while using that same electricity to recharge the battery.

The only real drawback to this backup option, apart from the price, is that the battery will eventually run out of power.

So, for how long can a battery power a sump pump? It can be anything from 40 minutes to 12 hours as it all depends on the voltage of the battery, how much power the sump pump uses, and how frequently the pump runs during the power outage.

If the power goes out for a couple of hours, then no problem. However, if the outage is caused by a severe storm and you are left without power for days, then you will have a problem.

However, this obstacle can be overcome by storing a number of fully charged deep cycle marine batteries or by building a battery bank. Neither option is cheap, by the way.

Read more about battery energy usage and sump pumps.


Generators are another viable option. There are two types of generators you can choose from – manual start fuel generators and automatic standby generators.

Manual start fuel generators: These are the cheapest and easiest to set up. They can also power your sump pump for as long as you like if you have a sufficient fuel supply at hand. The only problem is that they tend to be noisy and require you to manually start it.

In other words, if you are at work and your sump pump alarm notifies you that power to your house has been cut and that the water in your sump pit is steadily rising, then you would have to go home, plug the sump pump into the generator and manually start it.

To ensure that you choose a manual start generator that has sufficient power, use the information below.

1/3 HP Sump Pump = 800W (Running), 1300W-2900W (Starting)

1/2 HP Sump Pump = 1050W (Running), 2150W-4100W (Starting)

On the plus side, though, this option is cheaper than the battery backup method.

Automatic standby generators: Automatic standby generators are considerably more expensive and, just like the battery backup method, serves as a middleman that sits between the sump pump and AC wall outlet. As soon as power is interrupted, the standby generator activates and continues to power the sump pump.

There are a number of drawbacks regarding the use of these automatic standby generators. Firstly, they are expensive. Secondly, installation is not easy, and doing it incorrectly can pose a danger to not only your sump pump but also to your entire house. That is why you need a licensed professional to do the installation. Also, regular maintenance on such a system cannot be neglected and costs a small fortune each time. Oh, and did I mention that you also need a permit to have one?


A water-powered sump pump acts as a secondary sump pump that works without the need for electricity. Instead, it works with water pressure from the municipal water line.

To use this option, you will have to live in an area that has a municipal city water line. Also, the actual sump pump doesn’t cost a lot, but the water it uses does because most use approximately 2 gallons of municipal water to pump out one gallon of water from your sump pit. Also, to install such a system requires you to run a copper pipe from the sump pump to the municipal water line so you will have to get a licensed plumber to do it for you.

However, a water-powered sump pump backup is a perfectly viable option as long as you don’t experience power outages lasting more than a couple of hours. Anything longer than a couple of hours will result in an expensive water bill.

Battery-powered sump pump backup systems

Here we have reviewed three of the best battery-powered sump pump backup systems – the PumpSpy, the Basement Watchdog BWSP and the SEC AMERICA 1622PS.

The PumpSpy 2000W Primary Sump Pump Backup Power System

The PumpSpy 2000W Primary Sump Pump Backup Power System is a cutting-edge solution for ensuring that your basement remains protected from flooding during power outages – thanks to its advanced technology, high performance, and sturdy construction.

It makes use of cutting-edge technology, such as overcharge prevention which maintains the battery’s optimal charge level. Then there’s also a ‘trickle charge’ that makes sure the battery remains fully powered, allowing it to provide reliable backup power when needed. Additionally, the system includes a smart cooling feature that enhances safety and extends the unit’s life expectancy.

Performance wise, the PumpSpy delivers excellent results. It generates a pure sine wave 120 VAC voltage, which is cleaner, quieter, and more stable compared to other power sources. With a 2000-watt output, this sump pump backup system is capable of powering two primary sump pumps simultaneously, as long as the combined current draw does not exceed 16.6 amps. This high-performance capability ensures continuous operation of your sump pumps during power outages, and thus effectively preventing basement flooding.

Reliability is also a key aspect. It seamlessly switches to battery power when AC power fails, allowing for uninterrupted operation of your sump pump. Once AC power is restored, the system automatically recharges the battery, ensuring it is ready for the next power outage. The backup power system is also equipped with two grounded outlets and a USB charge port, which provides convenience and versatility for powering various devices.

In addition to its primary function as a sump pump backup power system, it also serves as a power inverter for various applications that require backup power. It can power lights, cell phones, monitors, and many other devices.

The PumpSpy is assembled, tested, and packaged in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with a combination of domestic and imported parts. It has compact dimensions of 17.5 x 6.75 x 4 inches and is lightweight at 10.5 pounds.

The Basement Watchdog BWSP

The Basement Watchdog BWSP is a reliable and user-friendly solution for protecting your basement from flooding during power outages as it has impressive pumping capacity, intelligent monitoring features, and a long-standing reputation.

It is capable of pumping an impressive 2,500 gallons per hour from your sump pit – which is enough to prevent basement flooding even in the most challenging situations.

TA user-friendly control panel adds to its appeal. The control panel has intuitive lights that illuminate to provide warnings and also provides maintenance instructions. This feature makes it easy for homeowners to understand the system’s status and perform necessary maintenance tasks as needed.

The sump pump backup system also includes a handy sensor that monitors battery levels. This monitoring capability ensures that you are aware of the battery’s condition.

The unit is also small enough for installation in small or narrow sump pits. This flexibility makes it suitable for various basement configurations, regardless of space limitations.

Then there’s also the automatic charging functionality. Equipped with a 1.6-amp charger, the system automatically charges the battery in a multi-stage process, keeping it fully charged and ready for action. This ensures that the backup system is always prepared and ready to take over in the event of a power outage.

For added convenience and peace of mind, the system can be connected to The Basement Watchdog Wi-Fi Module or even a modern home security system. This feature enables remote notification of the system’s status, allowing you to receive real-time alerts via text, email, the Basement Watchdog app, or through your home security provider. This remote monitoring capability ensures that you stay informed about your sump pump’s performance, whether you are at home or away.

Your purchase includes a controller, charger, dual float switch, pump, and battery box. However, it’s important to note that the battery itself is sold separately.

SEC AMERICA 1622PS Sump Pump Backup System

The 1622PS sump pump backup system from SEC AMERICA is ideal for ensuring your sump pump operates flawlessly even during power outages.

The system operates seamlessly by automatically switching to battery power when the electricity goes out, keeping your sump pump running smoothly without any interruptions. It also automatically recharges itself as soon as the power is restored.

It also has a compact and durable design because of its aluminum housing. Its compact size allows for easy installation without the need for additional plumbing or wiring, making it a straightforward solution for any sump pump setup. Additionally, the system operates silently.

This particular backup system is designed to work with most 3/4 Hp sump pumps. The system features indicators for power output, battery charge, and battery replacement, providing you with 24/7 clear and convenient monitoring.

To ensure optimal functionality, it is recommended to connect a 12Volt deep cycle marine battery with a capacity rating between 90 and 200 ampere hours (battery purchased separately). The system includes all the needed battery cables for an easy setup and installation.

It’s important to note that this sump pump backup system is specifically designed for use with submersible sump pumps under 14 running amps.

Water-powered backup sump pumps

Here we have reviewed two of the best water-powered sump pump backup systems – the Liberty SumpJet SJ10 and the Zoeller 540.

The Liberty SumpJet SJ10

The Liberty SumpJet SJ10 water powered back-up sump pump is powered by your municipal water supply, so it doesn’t need electricity to operate.

It is capable of removing 2 gallons of sump water for every 1 gallon used, which makes it highly efficient in maintaining a dry basement. Performance may vary depending on the inlet water source pressure, but it consistently delivers high-output flow rates.

The product is fully automatic and arrives completely assembled, allowing for easy installation. It is constructed from durable PVC, which ensures its longevity and reliability.

It’s important to note that the SumpJet requires an uninterrupted water source to operate effectively. It accepts inlet supply pressure ranging from 20 PSI up to 100 PSI. However, additional backflow protection is required to ensure optimal performance and prevent any potential issues.

The Liberty SumpJet SJ10 is UPC approved – so it meets industry standards and provides peace of mind regarding its quality and safety. Its discharge size is 1 1/2″, and the water inlet connection is 0.75″ NPT. The maximum fluid temperature it can handle is 130°F.

The product is manufactured by Liberty – a reputable brand in the sump pump industry, and it comes backed with a standard 2-year warranty.

Zoeller 540-0005 FLEX Series Water-Powered Back-Up Sump Pump

The Zoeller 540 backup pump is designed for easy operation when you need it the most. It can be easily installed horizontally or vertically, allowing for flexible installation options to fit most sump applications. With its small footprint, it can work in an 18″ x 22″ pit, making it suitable for various types of spaces.

It utilizes the pressure from the municipal water supply to create enough force to move water outside the home. This eliminates the need for batteries and ensures continuous operation as long as there is an uninterrupted water supply.

The backup sump pump removes up to 2 gallons of water for every gallon used and is compatible with any existing brand of sump pump.

It is constructed from non-corrosive materials and performs optimally at operating pressures ranging from 40 to 80 psi, making it suitable for most water supply systems.

The Zoeller pump comes with a 3-year limited warranty – which demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s quality and reliability.

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