If you have a home with a basement, you most likely know and understand what a sump pump does and how it works. However, you may not know which types of batteries are best suited for sump pump backups and why. Understanding how a sump pump works will help you understand the importance of using the right batteries for backup power. Choosing the wrong type of batteries can end up costing you a lot of money in water and property damage.
Understanding the job of a Sump Pump
Sump pumps are essential for protecting basements from flooding. In simple terms, a sump pump’s job is to remove water from your basement and out of your home. The term “sump” refers to a pit located below the surface of your basement floor. There is a pump with valves within the sump or pit that can detect escalating water pressure or levels. As water levels rise, the sump pump automatically activates and pumps the excess water out of the basement and away from your property through a discharge line. Keep in mind that storms and power outages go hand-in-hand, which is why it’s important to have a reliable battery backup.
The Difference Between Deep Cycle and Regular Batteries
Deep cycle batteries are designed differently than regular batteries. Regular batteries, such as a car battery, are designed to deliver a quick, powerful burst of power necessary to crank and start the engine. Deep cycle batteries have thicker battery plates and denser active material that is more suitable for providing power for longer periods of time and the stress of repeated charge and discharge cycles.
What Makes Deep Cycle Batteries a Better Choice
When the power goes out during a storm, your sump pump will have to rely on the backup batteries to operate and remove water from your basement. If the batteries don’t have enough power to handle the constant cycle of displacing water as it rises, your basement will flood. A properly working sump pump will cycle on and off as the water rises and is removed, which can require a lot of power depending on how much water has to be displaced during a power outage.
Deep cycle batteries are designed to deliver sustained power over longer periods of time, and repeated cycling will not damage deep cycle batteries as it would a regular battery under the same conditions, which makes them an excellent battery choice for sump pump backups.
The Importance of Battery Life for Sump Pump Backup Applications
Your sump pump’s backup batteries will be affected by several factors such as the frequency they are used, the runtime of the pump’s cycle, the size of your sump pump, and the volume of water the pump has to displace. If the batteries are dead or are reaching the end of their lifespan, it could lead to disaster.
Battery life is crucial to avoid a flooded basement. Deep cycle batteries have a much higher life expectancy than regular batteries. Flooded Lead-acid and AGM deep cycle batteries can last 4 to 8 years. However, you must check your batteries regularly to ensure they are still holding a sufficient charge and recharging as they should, especially if the batteries are over four years old. The last thing you want is for your sump pump’s battery backups to fail because they have reached the end of their lifespan.