Using a Water Powered Backup Sump Pump

Drain your sump even when the power is out

Keep pumping water out of your sump even during a power failure with a water powered sump pump. Here's how they work.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

TIME

One day

COMPLEXITY

Moderate

COST

$100 - $500

Install the new pump above the sump and run water and drain lines

A battery-powered pump is a great backup for your main sump pump, especially if your house is supplied by a well. But if you’re on a municipal water system, a water-powered backup pump may be a better option (a well pump won’t work if the power’s out). The price you’ll pay for water consumption during a power outage is a pittance compared with the cost of a flooded basement. And, a water-powered pump never needs new batteries.

The pump shown here (Basepump RB750, from basepump.com ) installs on the ceiling above the sump. You’ll have to run a 3/4-in. water line to it and connect the remote float and tubing to the switch near the pump. Then run a separate self-draining pipe that drains outside.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Miter saw
  • Drill/driver, cordless
  • Level
  • Plumbers tape
  • Soldering torch
  • Tube cutter

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Copper tubing and fittings
  • PCV pipe and fittings