20 Feb 2018


Have you been advised to have a battery backup system installed? This is a wise move if you want to ensure that your home remains dry even when your primary sump pump fails. You may be wondering what the system includes. This depends largely on what type of sump pump you want installed and the manufacturer’s specifications. However, the basic setup is often as described below.

Components of the basic setup

The basic setup of a battery backup system usually has two main components in addition to the pump. These are:

  1. Inverter or charger

The inverter is the component that converts mains power to a form that can be stored in the batteries. This power can be used later when the pump needs to run and the mains power is off. The inverter also ensures that the batteries are fully charged whenever there is power. The inverter is plugged into the wall outlet of your home. Power therefore flows through the inverter before it reaches the pump.

  1. Batteries

The batteries are a vital component in a battery backup system. The batteries store energy that can be used by the pump when the mains electricity is off. Different batteries provide power for varying lengths of time ranging from a few hours to several days. It is therefore important to inquire about the battery and the length of time it can power the pump when the mains are off.  

The Layout

The layout of the basic set up usually has the inverter or charger plugged into the power outlet of the home. The inverter will in many cases be directly connected to the batteries and the sump pump. During normal operations, the power flows from the outlet into the inverter and then into the sump pump. When the mains power is off, the power flows from the battery through the inverter and into the sump pump.

This type of set up ensures that the batteries are automatically charging while the mains power is on. It also ensures that the sump pump is turned on as soon as mains power is turned off.

The inverter or charger is therefore the heart and soul of the entire system. Its main jobs are to:

  1. Charge the batteries and ensure they remain charged at all times.
  2. Sense when the mains power has gone off and switch to battery power automatically.
  3. Convert direct current (DC) stored in batteries to Alternating current (AC) that can be used to run the sump pump.