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Why You Need a Backup for Your Sump Pump

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Sump pumps can often be found in basements where flooding is prone to happen. In short, the purpose of sump pumps is to help control wetness from accumulating when a water table is above the foundation of a home. Sump pumps remove water that has accumulated in water collecting sump basin and send it away from the home to places like municipal storm drains.

Backup Options

Traditional battery powered vs whole home backup

There’s no arguing that sump pumps are useful tools; but unfortunately, since they are connected to your home’s power grid they are not 100% reliable without a backup solution. If the power should happen to go out and your primary sump pump fails, having a backup sump pump installed will ensure that your home doesn’t get flooded. Choose between a Traditional Battery Powered sump pump and Whole Home Backup system.

Let’s take a closer look at the two backup options:

Traditional Battery Powered

The most typical type of backup for a sump pump is battery powered. If your home loses power during a strong storm, a battery-powered backup sump pump will keep working to protect your basement.


  • Designed to switch on automatically when the main power is off, continuing to pump out water when the main sump pump is off

  • Eliminates the headaches and cost associated with a flooded basement

  • Inexpensive

  • Easy to install


  • Short-term solution, lasting for approximately 7-24 hours before battery needs to recharge

  • Batteries need to be replaced periodically for the pump to work effectively

  • Requires regular maintenance, which creates additional costs for the home owner

Whole Home Backup

Another option is to backup your entire home in case of a power outage. A home backup generator senses a power outage, and automatically delivers backup power to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box until utility power returns. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off until the next outage. It sits outside (just like your air conditioning unit) and operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas.


  • Long-term solution for extended power outage; generator power can last for up to two weeks

  • Protects your whole home in a power outage, not just the basement


  • More expensive than a battery powered sump pump backup*

  • Generators require periodic oil and filter changes to ensure maximum performance

  • May be noisy

*What many people don’t know is that insurance can cover part of the cost of a sump-pump back up system. Be sure to check with your insurance provided on what is covered.

Remember to Test and Maintain Regularly

If your basement is prone to flooding, it is essential to invest in a sump pump with a back-up solution and also contact a specialist with experience in basement waterproofing in Toronto.

Regardless if you choose to go with a battery powered backup system or a whole home system, it’s important to test and maintain your sump pump regularly to make sure it will operate when the next big rain storm occurs. You can test your system by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit. You’re looking for the pump to turn on, remove the water from the pit and shut itself off.

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