Water or Battery-Powered Sump Pumps


There are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds of backup sump pumps. What matters in your decision though is how your home and plumbing system are set up. Taking into account things like your plumbing setup and volume of water usage will help you choose the best option.

Water-Powered Backup Sump Pumps

Water-powered backup sump pumps are the more complex of the two options, but any plumber should be able to handle the installation with ease.


  • Runs Indefinitely – Since they are water-powered, as long as you get water from the city, your backup sump pump will keep running. No need to worry about batteries. Not only that, but their use of water is efficient.
  • No Batteries Involved – One of the main pains of battery-powered backup sump pumps is having to maintain your batteries and hope they don’t fail. A water-powered backup sump pump uses water from the city to create suction, so they are always effective.


  • Harder to Install – Water-powered backup sump pump installation is a more delicate process. This is due to the fact that it’s hooked up to the city’s water supply. If it’s installed incorrectly, you could taint your city’s water supply with a backflow issue.
  • Needs Certain Plumbing Setups – Water-powered sump pumps don’t work for every home. They need certain pipe types, water pressure, and water flow rates. If you look up a certain model for your backup sump pump, it should list the specifications.
  • Cannot Use with a Well – If your home has a well, you should not use a water-powered backup sump pump. If you have a power outage, your well pump will stop working and so will your backup sump pump.
  • Less Pumping Power – Water-powered backup sump pumps have a lower ceiling for maximum power than battery-powered ones. This may not be a concern for you, though, depending on how much pumping power your home will need.

Battery-Powered Backup Sump Pumps

These have been around longer and are more accessible for most homes, making them more common.


  • Simple to Install – These are much simpler to install than water-powered, as they usually hook up to the same discharge line as your primary sump pump does.
  • Usable in Most Homes – Battery-powered backup sump pumps don’t have as strict of requirements as water-powered ones do, so most homes can use them.
  • Higher Pumping Power – The maximum pumping power in battery-powered is higher than water-powered, so they have more capacity to keep water out of your home.


  • Recharging Batteries – Since they run on batteries, you have to keep their level of charge in mind. If you don’t, they could run out of power during a power outage. You can prevent this by keeping multiple batteries ready so you can switch out a dead battery.
  • Lifetime of Batteries – Over time, your batteries will lose their ability to hold a charge, making them useless. This usually takes anywhere from 3-5 years. You’ll have to keep an eye on battery health to make sure you’re charging dead batteries for nothing and having them fail on you.

Aaron Swift Plumbing | Backflow Prevention & Sump Pump Installation

If you’re having a backup sump pump installed, it’s to make sure that you don’t have to deal with flooding in your home. And we can make sure of that. But another thing to be careful of is the chance of a backflow. A backflow will leak contaminated sump pump water into your city’s water supply, and you don’t want to be responsible for that. We can make sure that doesn’t happen, either.

Contact us now for a quote on backflow prevention or backup sump pump installation by calling (586) 701-7851 or sending an online contact form!


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