How Sump Pumps Work And Why You Need A Backup System

Written by SherHomeAdmin on . Posted in Uncategorized

Spring has officially sprung, and you know what that means: the snow is melting, the April showers are starting, and basements are flooding!

Here’s how a sump pump and a backup system can help prevent an unexpected wet mess in your basement this season:

What is a Sump Pump?

If your home falls below the water table, it’s likely that you already have a sump pump in the basement or in the crawl space of your home. Typically, they are installed below the floor and collect groundwater before it can accumulate. It then pushes the water out and away from your home, preventing an overflow of fluids in your basement.

Why do I Need a Backup System?

Just like any other appliance, sump pumps are susceptible to power outages or other electrical shortages. So, if a strong storm with lightning and heavy rain rolls through and causes your home to be without electricity, your basement has no defense against an accumulation of water.

Similarly, if the pump is the wrong size and cannot accommodate a large influx of water, it may run more frequently. In turn, this causes the parts or the motor in an inexpensive pump to wear out more quickly.

The last thing you want is to count on an unreliable sump pump, which if it fails, could cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

What are my Options?

When it comes to sump pump backup systems, you have three good options:

  • Battery Backup: Add a battery-run pump to your sump pit so that when the water level rises, the second pump will start removing water as needed. The best part is that it will use the same discharge line as your other sump pump, so you won’t have to install any extra pipes.
  • Generator: Even a small, portable generator can power a sump pump; however, it will run continuously just in case the sump pump needs power. You might be better off investing in a larger generator that can fuel your lights, refrigerator, and your pump as needed.
  • Water-Powered Pump: With a professional installation, this option will use municipal water pressure to pump out the pit. It doesn’t require electricity, but it is a bit more challenging to install.


If you haven’t already invested in a sump pump and a backup system, we strongly recommend it. We are always happy to offer you plenty of helpful information to keep your home in tip top shape. For more helpful information, take a look at our other blogs or give us a shout at 712-274-9617.

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Sherlock Home Inspectors Inc.

3911 5th Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51106

Office: 712 274-9617

Email: sherlockhome@cableone.net