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Other types of Backup Systems

Inverter System
Another type of battery backup system allows an AC pump to be plugged into a controller that converts DC (battery) power to AC current. Theses systems have several downsides:
  • Because inverter systems need to convert DC (battery) power to AC (household) current to run the primary pump, there is a significant loss of energy. This lost power means much less pump run time during an emergency. While it may seem like a simple solution to plug in an inverter system, if the power is out for more that a few hours your basement will flood as the batteries quickly discharge
  • Generally they require two batteries instead of just one
  • There is no pump redundancy so when the main sump pump fails or the main float switch doesn't operate, the system will not run. It is extremely important to have a second pump like those found on Basement Watchdog systems
  • These systems generally do not have the monitoring features that will alert to battery problems or needed maintenance
Water Powered Sump Pumps
Another type of backup sump pump is one that uses water pressure to pump water out of the pit. Although this may sound like a good idea, Glentronics has not created a system like this because we feel that there are too many downsides:
  • Most have a very low pumping capacity. Many of the systems pump less than 300 gallons per hour which is less that a 1/6 HP sump pump
  • Water powered systems rely on city water pressure. During power outages it is possible for the water pressure to drop, rendering these pump systems inoperable. During the east coast blackout many municipalities lost water pressure
  • These systems have a backflow valve that is used to prevent dirty sump water from contaminating the fresh water supply. These valves may be installed improperly, break or be forgotten altogether, causing a potential health risk. As a result many municipalities have put a ban on using water powered sump pumps
  • Most of these systems do not sound an alarm when the pump was activated. This is an important feature that is overlooked. Some use up to 7 gallons of fresh water to pump 1 gallon of dirty sump water. This is then pumped into an already saturated backyard or storm sewer
  • There's no safegaurd against a stuck float switch which causes the pump to continue running. This can cost you THOUSANDS in wasted water, with no recourse to getting it back
  • Some water powered systems connect to the water supply with a simple garden hose attachment. Over time these hoses can burst, causing a flood instead of preventing one
  • In some systems a faulty AC power wire on the maim pump can short and connect live AC power to all of the plumbing fixtures in the home which can cause electrocution when touched. Installation instructions for these systems recommend a licensed electrician for installation
*Note - Since inverter and water powered sump pumps have many downsides Glentronics has chosen not to bring models like these to market. We believe that our customers deserve the best protection. During our 2 decades protecting basements we feel battery backup systems are the best option.