Battery Backup VS Water Backup, Which One Is Right For Me?

If you have a basement, chances are that you have a sump pump installed. If you have a sump pump in your home you have probably wondered. “Should I get a backup sump pump?” “What kind of backups are on the market?” To answer one of the questions easily there are only two types of backup pumps, battery-powered and water-powered. To figure out which one is right for you we will have to look at a few different things: installation location, pumping capabilities, run time, longevity, and cost.

Installation location can be a big factor for your decision on purchasing a backup system; a couple of things to keep in mind on deciding whether a battery backup or water backup is right for you. The area around the sump pump pit. Is there enough room for a battery backup? All battery backup systems come with, well a battery. Most batteries for battery backup systems are almost always the size of a truck battery. Battery backups also have to have a charger and control box so it’ll have to have a little bit of room to place the equipment to power it. Another thing to keep in mind is the location of your water supply. Is it in the same room as the sump pump pit? Next is what supplies the water, are you on municipal/city water, or is your water fed by a well? If you are well water a water backup just isn’t right for your application. Well water is pumped from the ground powered by electricity from your house.

Now we’ll focus on pumping capabilities. Some of the leaders in the battery backup industry say their battery backup pumps are capable of 2,400 Gallons Per Hour (GPH). With that being said that number comes from a fully charged battery and a short pumping height. Some of the leaders of water backups say that their pumps are capable of handling 1185 GPH. Again that number is based on the best possible conditions I.E. low pump height and high water pressure. By now I’m sure you are wondering. “What’s the run time?” Just like the battery on your cell phone, your battery backup runs down as well. The average run time for your battery backup varies by the conditions in which it is operating; on average you can get around 8 hours of run time. Water backups run on your water supply well so the run time is as long as you have water pressure your pump will run. “How long will they perform for me?” You may be asking yourself this question. To answer this question quite frankly it varies. Things that go into this are frequency of use, use conditions, groundwater quality, etc. It’s difficult to say how long anyone pump may last in your exact situation, however on average we see in the field that most pumps, whether it be battery or water, are between 5-10 years.

By now I am sure that you are sitting there reading this asking the question. “Well, how much do they cost?” While looking at the cost we have to figure things in. Things such as the cost of the pump, materials, and labor. While battery backups have higher upfront materials costs the labor cost to install are lower than a water backup system. Water backup systems if never having one installed require plumbing a dedicated water line to the pump, while battery backup systems are a plug-and-play set up. However, when your water backup does go bad there is a lower material cost to replace it. On average a battery backup system will cost somewhere in the range of $1,700-$2,500 after installation. While water backups can vary widely on a lot of different factors a typical range is between $1,200-$2,200. Still not sure which one is right for you? Keep calm, call Plumb On. One of our licensed plumbers will work with you to figure out which option works best for you, your application, and your budget.