A good sump pump can be all that’s standing between you and a flooded basement. A sump pump with a battery backup gives you the peace of mind even when the power goes out.
There are a lot of models out there, and it can be hard to tell when you’re getting a good deal, or when the manufacturer is promising too much and delivering too little. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of reviews of the best battery backup sump pumps.
We’re breaking everything down so that you can feel like you’re making a well-informed decision, whether you’ve owned a pump sump for twenty years or if this will be your first purchase.
|WAYNE WSS30V Pre-Assembled|
|Zoeller 508-0006 Aquanot Preassembled||17 lbs||4.7/5|
(Best for the Money)
|Superior Pump 92900||14 lbs||4.4/5|
|Basement Watchdog BWE 1000||9 lbs||4.1/5|
The WAYNE WSS30V Pre-Assembled was the very best sump pump in our reviews. It’s pre-assembled, which means you’re going to save yourself a ton of time when you install the unit, relative to units you have to build yourself. It’s an extremely power sump pump, boasting a ½ hp primary pump. Amazingly, it also runs very quietly, which is a huge bonus for a pump this powerful.
The battery back-up pump included in this model is nearly as robust as the main pump. This means that your basement will remain dry through power outages, even in bad storms. And its models have lasted for 1 million pumping cycles in testing, making it one of the most durable sump pumps on the market.
The one downside is that this model’s check valves are higher up the discharge pipe than many people will like, though this is something you can fix on your own if you have a little knowledge of sump pumps.
The Zoeller 508-0006 features a 1/3 hp pump that’s powerful enough to handle high volumes of water. It’s also a sump pump designed for the 21st century, with an LCD screen that displays the backup battery voltage, as well as other information about the pump. This means that you can be confident your battery will have a charge and the pump will work when the power goes out.
It can be connected to a home security alarm or auto-dialers, so that you can be alerted to its activation or the fact that it has gone onto battery power, from other places in your home or out of it altogether.
Like the WAYNE WSS30V, it comes pre-assembled, which makes installing it a breeze. What keeps it out of first place is its cost, but it does come with a lot of features that you won’t find on other units.
The Wayne ESP15 is our choice for best value. It is much less expensive than the previous two sump pumps, but still get a ¼ hp pump capable of pumping 1750 gallons per hour. This is an excellent pump for you if you have a smaller sump or less seepage, and don’t need an industrial-grade sump pump.
It features an alarm that alerts you when the backup system has turned on. It is a cheaper unit, so it comes with a thermoplastic case. This means it won’t ever corrode like a metal sump pump, but plastic tends to be less durable than the cast iron that is used for more durable units.
The included battery charger is a bit slow, though this is easily fixed by using a third-party charger. Overall, this will be a great value sump pump for many people, giving a lot of pumping power at a fraction of the price of higher-end models.
The Superior Pump 92900 is a true backup model. It does not feature a primary pump that works when the power is on, so it should be used in conjunction with an AC-powered primary sump pump. While it does have good power, it has somewhat confusing directions that suffer from a lack of detail. It needs a specific configuration in order to work, so it’s not going to be compatible with all setups without additional work on your part.
The good news is that it is powerful for its size, meaning that when the power goes out, you won’t have to worry about your sump overflowing. It does have a powerful alarm for when the power goes out, though it does sound repeatedly until a button is manually pressed, even if the power has already come back on. This could be a pain if it will not be easily accessible in the future.
The problem with the Basement Watchdog BWE 1000 is that it doesn’t live up to its name. It doesn’t have nearly enough power to pump 1000 gph up a 10’ pipe as the manufacturer claims. This is a huge problem, and it means that a power outage could result in a flooded basement, which is the exact problem you’re trying to avoid by purchasing this unit.
Like the previous model, it has an alarm that continues to sound, even if the power has come back on. While it is cheaper than other models, you’re losing a lot of value here, as you could never quite be sure that it would be up to the task in a heavy rain when the power’s out.
We hope that the above reviews have helped you understand some of the features that are important to consider when purchasing a sump pump. We understand that not all backup pump sumps will be right for every scenario, so we’ve included this buyer’s guide to help you understand more generally what you should be looking for, whether you’re a new buyer or looking to replace an aging unit.
One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a backup sump pump is the size of your sump and the pump that you already own. If the sump is on the smaller size, then you’re going to need to look for a smaller backup pump. Additionally, some backup sump pumps require a certain configuration to work, so you’ll to make sure you have enough space to correctly install the unit. Improper or angled installation could result in mechanical failure, and mechanical failures can lead to your basement flooding.
Another option for smaller sumps is to go with a model that has a main pump and a battery backup pump together in the same unit. These can be a bit more space-efficient than trying to squeeze two separate units together. They also have the added bonus of being designed to work in concert, which ultimately means that you’ll have to put in less time in testing and assembly.
Since it runs on a battery and not on A/C power, the odds are good that your backup sump pump will not be as powerful as your main one. However, one of the main causes of power outages are heavy rainstorms. This means that more water will be entering the sump than usual while your backup sump pump is running. If you buy a cheap backup that doesn’t have enough power, you’re putting yourself at real risk of having to deal with a flooded basement.
You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by ensuring that your backup is powerful enough. Something to pay attention to is the listed power of the sump pump. While many models boast impressive numbers, most of the time manufacturers are telling you how much water the pump could move if the pipes it was pushing water through were on a level surface.
Odds are that your sump is in your basement, meaning it must push water up vertically several feet before running through pipes out to the street. If this is the case, then the sump pump in question will have to work harder, and as a result, will pump far fewer gph than then the manufacturer indicated. Keep this in mind when you’re buying. You should typically aim for a model that exceeds your anticipated needs by a good amount so that it can get the job done.
Like with everything you buy, you should be concerned about the quality of your backup sump pump. While you should perform regular testing and maintenance on your sump pump, it’s always nice when you get a model that you know will be last for a long time, even with some neglect. And, generally speaking, better quality models will give you better peace of mind that they’re not going to break at a critical time.
You should pay attention to the material that the outer shell of the pump is made out of. More durable models are made of cast iron. This makes them heavier, but it also provides a lot of strength. There’s a chance that it eventually corrodes, but generally speaking, this rarely affects the structural integrity of the unit. However, cast-iron sump pumps do a better job of keeping undue stress and pressure off of the internal mechanisms themselves.
The alternative is to buy a sump pump with a plastic shell. Typically, this means that it will be lighter than a cast-iron model, but it is also weaker. Cast iron is going to last longer than plastic in most cases, though you can typically get the plastic models for much cheaper. It’s something of a trade-off in which you need to decide if you want to buy a more expensive model that should last longer or a cheaper model that you’ll need to replace sooner.
Most units come with a battery charger, though you typically have to provide your own battery. Pay attention to the voltage of the charger that comes with the pump, as some take longer to charge the batteries than others. This may not sound like a big deal, but if you have a lot of back-to-back power outages, or invest in a particularly large battery, those longer charge times might mean that you don’t have the backup power you need to power the pump.
The WAYNE WSS30V Pre-Assembled was the best model we reviewed. With enough power to drain even the biggest sumps and a robust backup system, it’s one of the best sump pumps on the market. Factor in the time you will save by not having to do more assembly, and you have a nearly unmatchable deal. The Zoeller 508-0006 was our runner-up, due to its power, ease of installation, and potential for integration with home security systems. The Wayne ESP15 brings the power you need in a backup at a price that won’t break the bank, which is why we labeled it the “best value” sump pump. The Superior Pump 92900 was harder to install than most sump pumps on our list but will work for some people. The Basement Watchdog BWE 1000 doesn’t quite live up to its claims, making it a poor choice in most scenarios.
Hopefully, between our reviews and our buyer’s guide, we’ve helped you understand exactly what you need in a sump pump so that you can make the purchase that is right for you.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!