What To Do With Your Sump Pump During A Power Outage

Whether it is the thawing of snow or heavy rain, there are many ways your house can fall victim to frequent flooding. Having a sump pump can help save it. But what happens when the power goes out? Here are some to-dos that can help you.

  • If the water is less, mop it
  • Install hand pump
  • Can use dry/wet vacuum
  • Add a battery backup sump pump
  • Invest in a home generator

Now that you know what we are going to discuss, we can begin by looking into it in a more detailed manner.

What to Do With Your Sump Pump During a Power Outage

What to Do if Your Sump Pump Quits During a Storm

In the case of pump failure, here are a few things that you can do. If the quantity of water is less, then you can-

  • Mop the water up and dispose of it away from your house.
  • You can use a dry/wet vacuum. A vacuum with a capacity of 5-10 gallons is good enough to remove the water.
  • In the event that your power is cut off, you can install a hand pump inside the sump pit and pump the water out by using a garden hose.

However, if there is excess flooding, you may have to use a trash-water pump. It is portable and is capable of removing large volumes of water mixed with debris. The pump is fueled by gas.

Sump Pump Options When the Power Outage

In the case of a power outage, there are some options that you can go for so that the water continues to pump out.

  • Install the pump with a backup battery. This will keep it running for a longer time.
  • If your household receives water from the municipal water supply, you can invest in a water pump. This way, the water keeps getting pumped out until the power is back on.
  • Install a generator to power the pump.

What Happens If Your Sump Pump Fails or The Power Goes Out?

Power outages are widespread in areas that are prone to heavy rainfall and storms. In many cases, the power supply can be cut off for days in a row. Moreover, dealing with a power outage is only one of your problems. There are many other factors that can cause your primary pump to fail. For instance,

  • Your sump pump can be the wrong size for the amount of workload and may eventually give out.
  • If the air holes and vents are not regularly cleaned, it can cause the debris to block the pipes.
  • If the pump wasn’t installed properly.

Under such conditions, it is not just your house that is at a high risk of damage; even your valuable appliances will be ruined for good. These can add up to a massive stack of bills to cover the flood damage. In addition to all this, if the damages aren’t adequately taken care of, then it can cause mold growth. It can pose a health risk for you and your family.

Sump Pumps

submersible sump pumps are installed in the basement of houses to prevent water from causing any structural damages. This can happen when the foundation of your house is below water level or rainwater seeping into the house through the drainage system.

The pump drains the water that gets collected into the sump basin and drains it into the sewage. The primary pump is hardwired to the main electrical system of the house. It is usually connected to a battery backup system. This comes in handy during a power outage. Based on the type of backup sump pump they provide, there are two kinds of pump, each having its own pros and cons:

· Battery-Powered Sump Pumps

The backup battery system sump pump generally operates by using a marine deep-cycle battery. However, you can use other types of batteries, such as DH1800 and Hydropump DH900. Also, if you prefer more powerful ones, then you can choose pumps like Hydropump3000, which can lift water from a height of 10 feet and drain 3000 gallons per hour. These batteries are versatile and can be used in the majority of households.

The installation is fairly easy and straightforward. And, the battery does not need any additional discharge pipe; it can be connected to the primary pump’s one.

However, there are two drawbacks to them:

  1. Limited runtime– In the case of a power outage, they can run for only a limited amount of time. The battery pump has a dual battery case that has the option of adding an additional battery. However, they, too, have a limited runtime unless you are able to recharge them.
  2. The average lifespan of a battery varies from 3 to 5 years, after which they need to be replaced. It has to be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that the battery is healthy.

· Water-Powered Sump Pumps

A water-powered backup pump relies upon the main water supply for power. The water creates a vacuum by flowing through a pipe at a very high speed. The vacuum then removes the water from the sump basin. One of the advantages of these types of pumps is that it does not require electricity for operation and can run for an unlimited amount of time. By using one gallon of municipal water, it can evacuate about two gallons of sump water. Also, you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries or constantly monitoring the pump.

Although there are a few drawbacks to it:

  1. It cannot be used in houses with well pumps as these pumps run on electricity. Therefore, the sump pump would be useless during an outage of power.
  2. There are certain plumbing criteria that have to be met before installation, such as a specific amount of water pressure is needed, the quality of pipes, and the water flow rate.
  3. The pumping rate is much lower than that of a battery-powered one. At best, they can withdraw 2000 gallons per hour from 10 feet with a water pressure of 90psi.

For More Information, you can read our detailed guide on Water Powered vs. Battery Backup.

Do I Need to Reset the Sump Pump After a Power Outage?

Yes. Sump pumps are generally sensitive to power surges and failures. So, if the electricity goes out in the middle of the storm, it is better to test the pump and ensure that the electrical system is intact and working. Also, make sure that you check the sump pit and remove any accumulated debris before you test the pump. If you are using a backup pump, first check the electrical wiring and then reset the circuits. Make sure that the battery is working properly.

Can a power outage damage a sump pump?

Sump pumps are very responsive to electrical surges. They stop working during a power outage. Although it doesn’t cause any severe damage to the pump, it can, however, trip the circuit breaker. In this case, you will have to reset the pump and then test it before using it again.


Facing power outages in the middle of stormy weather can itself be nerve-racking, but being stuck with flooding issues can be even more troublesome. We hope our tips and suggestions can help you rise and stay above all the flooding issues, cheers!

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