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Water Powered Vs Battery Powered Sump Pump – Which is the Best?

Do you experience basement flooding problems? If so, buy a sump pump! This is a sure way to keep your basement dry during stormy weather. So, you reduce moisture and mold in the house, maintain your house’s structural strength, and save money on water damage expenses.

But which type of sump pump should you buy? Let us check the water-powered vs battery-powered sump pump in detail so you can find it easy to pick the right one.

Battery-Powered Sump Pump

Battery powered sump pumps fully rely on the power supply to run. Without electricity or a charged battery, they are bound to fail. A full electric powered sump pump consists of a pump with electrical connections, electric motor, battery, and battery charger.

You can choose between a DC battery and an AC/DC battery-powered pump. When the pump fails, or power goes off, the DC battery switches to AC. Some pumps run directly off the alternate current without depleting the battery charge. Systems, which run off direct current, will only pump if the battery is off.

Determining the type of battery to use in your sump pump is also important. You can choose between solar/marine batteries and wet cell batteries. Although wet cell or lead-acid batteries will necessitate the occasional addition of distilled water to prevent lead cells from drying.

The bright side of marine batteries is that they do not need maintenance, just install and forget. A battery charged sump pump, therefore, requires that your home have a constant supply of electricity.

Pros of Battery-Powered Sump Pump

  • Ease of installation – the installation process is non-invasive, only one person needs to do the job, and it takes a short time. You do not need to worry about a crowd of plumbers invading your home. Attach it to your primary water supply system, and you are good to go.
  • Fully automatic – with proper installation, the pump automatically sucks water out of the basement. The pump continuously charges on its own. The inverter turns on and off automatically when the power goes off. So, install and leave the rest to the equipment.
  • Assured backup – in the event of power loss, you can rest assured the pump will still run for up to several hours, keeping the basement clean and dry.

Cons of Battery-Powered Sump Pump

  • Limited run time – if connected to a backup battery, the pump can run to approximately more than 160 hours subject to how frequent it cycles.
  • May fail in the long run – extended periods of electrical power shortage deplete the battery’s stored electrical charge making the pump stop. The flood waters will continue to accumulate in the basement, posing a greater risk.
  • The high cost of maintenance – a lot of money will replace worn out and faulty parts of the sump pump, buy new batteries, and pay professionals during routine checks.
  • High electricity bills- Unlike water-powered sump pumps, battery-powered sump pumps will add zeros to your monthly water bills.

Water-Powered Sump Pumps

Unlike battery-powered sump pumps, water-powered sump pumps do not need electricity. Instead, water pressure sucks out excess water from the ground. It is as simple as running high-speed water through a pipe to generate suction from the sump pit.

Pros of Water Powered Sump Pumps

  • No batteries needed – no worries about checking, monitoring, maintaining, and replacing batteries. This works well if you own a rental property or spend a lot of time away from home.
  • Unlimited runtime – as long as there is water, water-powered sump pumps will always run. They are unlimited by power outages or depleted battery life.
  • No noise – there is no noise at all unless the ON/OFF switch breaks.
  • No need for additional accessories – you do not need any additional parts to the pump from the manufacturer. No need for chargers and batteries.
  • Works perfectly with water supply – no regular checks are required to test the pump; an external water source does this very well.

Cons of Water Powered Sump Pumps

  • Complex installation – water-powered sump pumps are a little difficult to install. They need a connection to your home’s water supply piping. You may need to engage the services of a professional plumber.
  • Relatively expensive – a gallon of city water pumps a gallon or two of water out of the sump pit. This means you need a lot of water to pump out more. In the end, you will be up to the neck with water bills.
  • Low pumping capacity – unfortunately, high water volumes or heavy rains quickly overwhelm such systems. They run at very low capacity.
  • Require high water pressure – low water pressure, in the end, makes the sump pump fail.

Water Powered Vs Battery Powered Sump Pump – How to Decide

The decision on which sump pump to use in your home will depend on several factors.

  1. The volume of water in your basement,
  2. The plumbing system in your home,
  3. Type of pump, and
  4. Powering mechanism.

While a water-powered sump pump is cheap, runs indefinitely, the battery-powered one runs automatically, and you rest assured of backup. It all comes down to which one can meet your needs. Can you fully afford initial and maintenance costs?

Final Words

A sump pump works by draining excess water from the basement, into a sump pit dug in your home and out to a city drainage system via long pipes.  With an instruction manual from the manufacturer, you should be able to install a sump pump at the lowest point of your home.

Improper installation, along with other reasons, may lead to sump pump failure, thereby not achieving the dryness you desire. Carefully assess a water-powered vs battery-powered sump pump and make an informed decision to help keep your home free from mold and mildew.


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