Why a Sump Pump Battery Back-Up Is Vital to Prevent Basement Flooding
The importance of a battery back-up for a sump pump cannot be underestimated. It’s simply not the case that a basement pump will only need to rely on a battery back-up in the rare event of a power cut.
There can be many reasons why a sump pump can fail:
- A blown fuse
- Pump accidentally unplugged or disconnected
- Mechanical failure – clogged or jammed float switch or other parts
- Inadequate or blocked discharge pipe
- Excessive use – caused by extreme rainfall
- Under-sized pump – inability to handle water volume
- Incorrectly installed pump
- A single pump is inadequate
Double the average rainfall
Clearly, regular maintenance and servicing can help prevent many of the above causes of pump failure. Especially, as the incidence of sudden, extreme rainfall events from autumn through to spring appear to be more frequent in recent years. It’s no coincidence that the number of emergency calls received over failed pumps occurs during winter and spring.
September 23rd was the start of meteorological autumn in 2019. Just three days later the Environment Agency issued two flood warnings for south-west England and 27 flood alerts across the rest of the country for between 30mm – 70mm of continuous heavy rainfall over a 6 hour period. In June, at mid-summer, around 60mm of rain once again fell across many areas of the UK – double the monthly average.
Vital hours of additional protection
An estimated one in six properties (5.2 million properties) in England are at risk of flooding, according to a National Assessment Report by the Environment Agency. It cannot be emphasised enough that vital hours of additional protection from water damage can be provided by installing a battery back-up to a basement pump. However, it’s also important that a battery back-up is installed by an experienced, sump pump professional engineer.
Beyond the possible reach of rising water
The battery needs to be safely and securely enclosed within its own protective casing and positioned beyond the possible reach of rising water. A separate circuit may also need to be installed, which can safely handle both a normal continuous power requirement and a sudden additional load when the pump activates.
From residential to commercial, every basement space will be different. However, if a sump pump failure does occur, a battery back up should last an average of 5 – 6 hours of continuous use. The total lifetime of a battery back up can be 3 – 5 years, depending on a regular and thorough, service contract schedule.