Sump Pump Backup Systems

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 backup systems
    • The Pump Sentry 822PS
  • Generator backup
    • Westinghouse WGen3600v portable generator
  • Water-powered backup sump pumps
    • The Liberty Jet Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump

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 backup systems

The Pump Sentry 822PS

Pump Sentry 822PS

The Pump Sentry 822PS is not exactly cheap, but it’s made in the USA and is guaranteed to keep your sump pump working smoothly during power outages.

Pump Sentry 822PS is suited for most 1/3 HP sump pumps, and setting it up is easy.

Purchase includes the 1,200W battery backup system, a compact aluminum housing unit that can be wall or floor mounted, and battery cables – also, a 2-year factory warranty.

The battery is not included. A 12V deep cycle marine battery up to 200 amps has to be purchased separately.

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Generator backup

Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator

Westinghouse WGen3600v Portable Generator

The Westinghouse WGEN3600v portable generator is small but powerful enough to handle a 1/3 HP sump pump easily. A full tank (4-gallons) can run continuously for 18 hours, thereby ensuring that your basement doesn’t flood during those lengthy power outages.

Maintenance is a breeze, and it puts out an impressive 60dB – which makes it one the quietest portable generators on the market.

The product has dimensions of 23.2 x 22.8 x 21.3 inches and weighs 107 pounds.

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Water-powered backup sump pumps

The Liberty Jet Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump

Liberty Jet Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump

The Liberty Jet Water-powered backup sump pump automatically activates as soon as there is an interruption to your power supply.

Water-powered sump pumps are reliable, but they generally use a lot of municipal water to do their job. This particular model, on the other hand, is much more economical as it only uses 1 gallon of water per 2 gallons removed from your sump pit.

The Liberty water-powered sump pump has dimensions of 22.2 x 7.5 x 18.8 inches and weighs 0.50 pounds.

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More Information

How to choose the best sump pump for your basement

How to choose the best sump pump alarm for your needs

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