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Water-powered vs Battery-powered backup sump pumps

Water-powered vs Battery-powered backup sump pumps

Having a backup sump pump is a sure way to help keep your basement clean and dry, especially during flooding, power shortages or other weather conditions.

A dry basement also helps improve the indoor air quality by reducing moisture, mold, and mildew buildup.

Some backup sump pumps operate by water or battery power and it’s essential to know the difference.

Water-powered backup sump pumps

Water-powered backup sump pumps are gaining increasing popularity in recent times.

How a water-powered backup sump pump works

It operates by drawing in underground water utilizing lots of pressure to get it through the system if the power shuts off.

The pump works in tandem with your main power supply pump to provide power in case of emergencies.  

It attaches to your indoor or outdoor drainage system and helps pump water out of the basement when needed.

The backup sump pump consists of an additional switch that kicks in when pressure forces external water through the pipelines.

You set the pump slightly elevated over the main pump.  When the water-powered sump pump activates, the outside water supply surges through a cavity located at a higher level to the sump pit.

As the water flows through the channel, it creates a vacuum-style action which draws the water out of the sump pit and deposits it outside.

The water will cease to flow through the pain pump as soon as the electricity kicks back in.

The water-powered backup sump pump does not rely on battery or electrical power or any moveable components to operate. Supply continues until the current restores.

However, the water-powered pump relies heavily on a certain amount of water pressure to keep operating.

At least 40 pounds of pressure per square inch will pump from about 600 to well over 1,000 gallons of water each hour. 

It will also depend on the height of the vertical lift; at least 10 feet is needed to keep it working.

Benefits of a water-powered backup sump pump

With a water-powered backup sump pump, you save time and energy on monitoring battery power during power outages.

You also save on repairs, replacement and general maintenance over time.

Installing a water-powered backup sump pump





3-inch screws

2-T-shaped metal hooks

1. Set the metal hooks in place over the sump pump.  Attached the 3-inch screws and tighten the joint.

2. Attach the backup sump pump with the mounting hooks and other accessories. Set the float to the backup sump pump at a higher level than the main pump.

3. Install a new valve to the water-powered backup sump pump. Weld the pipe and fittings together with plumbers cement and primer to hold them together.

4. Detach the parts in the backflow preventer. Let any excess water or sludge flow into the bucket by opening the valve.

5. Test the pump by filling the sump pit with water. Connect the main pump to the power supply and switch it on.

6. Disconnect the power plug, and use your hand to lift the backup pump a few times. 

As the pressure builds up, the float will rise to the level and trigger the backup pump into action. The water will then begin to drain out of the sump pit. 

Battery-powered backup sump pumps

Battery-Powered works along with your regular pump to help remove excess water from the sump pit into your external discharge pipeline.


It is useful to provide power when there is flooding and the main pump malfunctions for any reason while the current is still on.

The battery-powered backup sump pump will kick in and run until you get the problem fixed.

If there is severe flooding and the main pump cannot handle the volume of water, the battery bowered back-up sump pump will work fast to help get the excess water out. 

How a battery-powered backup sump pump works

The pump needs long-range rechargeable battery power to keep running. The power connects to the electrical supply in your house. 

In the event, the main pump goes out without a power cut, the battery-powered backup sump pump can operate on the air-condition power source.

When there is a power failure, the battery-powered pump will feed off the battery power.  As it kicks in, the external water source goes into the sump pit and the batter pumps the water out of the basement.

A battery backup sump pump can pump off more than 2,000 gallons of water per hour, provided there’s at least a 10-foot rise in the vertical lift.

It runs on a minimum of 40 pounds of pressure per square inch to get the water out. The lower the pressure, the less water it will pump.


There are a few convenient features of the battery-operation sump pump that can save you time, and money on maintenance costs. 

The pump comes with a control monitor device which switches on each month so you can check to see how the backup pump is working.

If there’s a breakdown in the pump, the box will trigger an alarm too let you know something is wrong.

In addition, the box will also send a signal there’s no battery power or a power outage.

Advantages and disadvantages

While each pump has its unique assets, there are obvious differences.

The water-powered backup sump pump does not require any additional accessories, replacement parts or repairs.

It works well with your external water source or well water supply. You don’t need to rely on any regular checks to test the pump. It also pumps less water than a battery-powered backup sump pump.

Battery-operated sump pumps can provide two functions all in one. It can substitute for your regular pump when there’s a breakdown especially when the electricity is still on. 

It will also work if there’s a power failure during severe flooding or thunderstorms.

The battery backup sump pump works faster and removes more water per square inch than water-powered battery backup sump pumps.

Any backup sump pump is useful in emergencies. When there’s no power supply it will pump water quickly out of your basement. 

Installing a backup sump pump will help maintain a healthy environment, and protect your valuable assets.

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