You will have several sump pump backup options if your main pump fails. It will be extremely important that you have a proper backup, because if the main one malfunctions when you need it most, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in repairs.
Battery-Powered Sump Pump Backup Options
One of the most popular sump pump backup options is a battery-powered unit, which will continue to work if the power goes out. The larger the battery, the longer the pump will run. If, for example, you have a 40-amp/hour battery, it will last about 50 hours or so. However, if you have a severe water intrusion and the pump has to run once a minute, then you will only have about 12 hours of use. You would probably be better off buying a unit with a large battery and a large charger.
Water-Powered Sump Pump Backup Options
A water-powered system siphons water out of the sump pit using water pressure. There are some municipalities that prohibit the use of this type of system, however, because it can use a great deal of water. Check your local ordinances before you try to make this type of purchase.
There are two types of water-powered pumps. An in-sump unit remains submerged in drain water, which could increase the chances your drinking water will be contaminated. For this reason, most cities require that you have a reduced pressure zone, or RPZ, backflow prevention valve installed – which is expensive. An above-sump unit will lower the risk of drinking water contamination and will only need an atmospheric vacuum breaker.
While water-powered units will work as long as you have water pressure, they can be difficult to install. If you are in an area where the cost of water is high, then you may also find it expensive to run this type of system.