Back-up sump pump options for Hoosiers, Buckeyes and Wildcats!
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Back-up sump pump options for Hoosiers, Buckeyes and Wildcats!

In waterproofing 101 I recently covered exterior drainage solutions and standard sump pumps. The next item of importance in basement waterproofing is the back-up sump pump. I'll briefly describe what options are available. First however, I want to emphasize that if you have valuables in your basement, just want to maintain a dry unfinished basement or crawlspace it is vital to have one or more back-up systems in place. This should be obvious but I want to leave nothing for chance. The greater the value of what you have the more it will be necessary to invest into a back up system of some type. After all what good is a waterproofing system if it fails when you need it the most?

So in back up systems we essentially have four options;
1. A standard battery back-up sump pump
2. A water back-up sump pump
3. A generator
4. Or a combination of the above three

Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each will help in providing a reliable source as to what would be the best option in your home.

Beginning with what I consider to be the best option, is unquestionably the automatic switch over generator that runs off propane or natural gas. If you loose power the unit will kick on and you will maintain the discharging capacity of the primary pump system. These generators will usually cost from $4500-$10000 installed, depending on the size and what all you want it run. If you have a lot to protect in way of valuables and want a dependable power supply source when the power is lost the investment is definitely worth it! 

If this is out of your price range then consider a combination set up. A water powered pump backed-up by either one or two battery back up pumps. The water back up will only work if you are on city water. If you lose power, the float rises, causing a valve to open  allowing water from your supply line to begin to flow and create a vacuum. For every one gallon of water it uses most systems will discharge two gallons for as long as needed. The capacity limits are rather low, usually between 500 and 800 GPH on a ten foot lift. It will depend on the water pressure going in. However, when this option is then backed up by a battery back -up or better still two battery back-ups this option will supply an moderate pumping capacity and would prove to be quite reliable for several days and perhaps weeks. This set up will set you back about $1800 with one battery back up and a water back up or about $ 2600-3000 with the additional Battery back up. Most battery back-ups will discharge around 1400GPH on a 10' lift. If it has to run continuously most will last about 5-8 hours , depending on the battery  and if it's been maintained properly.

So at the end of the food change is either or.... a battery back-up sump pump or a water pressure back-up sump pump. To have a clear idea of what to do here comes down to a few things that has to be answered.
Would you feel more comfortable given,what it is your trying to protect. Wanting to avoid a basement flood by either being able to move less volume of water for as long you desire ( water powered  back-up.... $1100 installed ) or would you feel more comfortable moving more water quickly for a shorter amount of time?
( a standard battery powered back-up pump...... $1400 Installed )

Advanced Restoration & Waterproofing would be happy to help you decide which is the best option for you. We serve Indianapolis and all of central Indiana. Your consults are free. We look forward to serving you and your family!

Power back up sump pump systems will add a significant amount of cost to any waterproofing system. However, it seems very  reasonable that  at the end of the day the additional cost are well worth it, What a shame it would be to make such a large investment, just to have a one - two or three hour power outage cause your basement to flood. When it could have been prevented from the start.