Do I Need a Backup Sump Pump?
The short answer:
Do you “need” a backup sump pump? No.
Is a backup sump pump recommended? Yes.
Why? A backup pump could prevent water from overflowing your sump pump pit, and/or a full on basement flood if your power goes out and your primary sump pump can’t function. A battery or water powered backup pump could save the day.
The long answer:
Wichita has seen a fair share of flooding in its 147 year history. With most of the city on a floodplain and the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers flowing through downtown, the first half of the 20th century almost saw Wichita get washed away. The “Big Ditch” and other efforts have greatly improved flood control, but Wichita is still susceptible to occasional flooding. If your home is not prepared, a soggy basement could lead to damaged property and costly repairs.
Primary Sump Pump
A sump pump is a system typically found in a home’s basement and is designed to help protect against flooding. The pump sits in a basin that collects water (rain or natural ground water) funneled into the basement, and pumps the water away from the home.
A properly functioning sump pump is a great way to keep your basement and foundation dry. However, all pumps eventually fail or malfunction due to issues that are often overlooked.
- Power outage
- Float switch is stuck or broken
- Tripped circuit breaker
- Blown fuse
- Clogged exit pipe
- Burnt out pump
- Broken or clogged pump components
Not all homes have or even require a sump pump. If yours currently doesn’t and you have experienced water in your basement, installing a primary and backup sump pump is highly encouraged.
Backup Sump Pumps
Most primary sump pumps are hardwired into a home, which can create an issue if a heavy storm knocks out the electricity. Although many include a battery backup, having a completely separate sump pump as a backup will give your home additional protection from other problems that could cause a failure. An extra pump can also help with heavy rains that your primary pump might not be able to handle.
A backup pump gets installed right next to the primary pump and is battery-powered to ensure operation during a power outage. A separate float switch determines where the water line needs to be in order to activate, and should be set slightly higher than the main pump. If the primary ever fails, the backup will take over.
NOTE: A backup sump pump should never be used as a primary sump pump. They are only designed to help in emergencies until the primary pump is operating.
Keep Your Head Above Water
Do you need a backup sump pump? No.
Is a backup sump pump highly recommended? Absolutely.
Wichita will continue to be at risk of flooding. Investing in a backup sump pump can provide peace of mind by reducing the risk of your basement flooding, and preventing costly damages to your home and valuable losses of personal belongings.