The Rolling Stones once famously stated, "You can't always get what you want."
Clearly, The Stones didn't know about combination sump pumps when they penned the hit song.
Combination sump pumps provide you with a primary sump pump, as well as a battery backup sump pump in one convenient, easy-to-install package.
This dual combination of pumps gives you the best protection against a flooded basement.
There are three main reasons primary pumps fail, necessitating the backup to kick in: Power Failure – When power goes out, your primary pump won’t work (unless you have a emergency backup generator).
Mechanical Failure – Pumps burn out, switches get stuck and these things usually happen when you need your sump pump the most.
Weather Events – Flash flood type rains or excessive snow melt can put more water into your sump pit then your pump is able to handle.
There are two types of backup sump pump batteries - DC and AC/DC. Battery backup systems will switch to DC battery power when the AC power is out or when the pump fails. But while the power is on, some pumps can run directly off the AC wall current without depleting the battery. Units which run exclusively DC power will only pump off battery power.
Another thing to consider is which type of battery you choose. There are deep-cycle marine "maintenance free" batteries, as well as batteries with acid. Traditional batteries with acid require you to add water occasionally. Maintenance free batteries are fully sealed, which you can set and forget.
The other main reason battery backup pumps are called into service is during a rain storm or rapid snow melt. If the primary sump pump cannot handle the amount of water in the pit, your basement can start to flood.
A backup unit with a float switch installed above your primary pump can solve this problem. When the primary pump can't keep up and the water rises in the pit, the backup sump pump goes to work. You can essentially double your pumping power with a backup pump.
The best benefit of a battery backup sump pump is the peace of mind you get knowing you've got multiple layers of protection.
Some companies have pioneered sump pump technology to keep up with the smart phone era. You can program the most high-tech combination sump pumps to text or email you in the event of a sump pump emergency.
These pumps can be markedly more expensive than regular pumps, but if you've spent lots of money finishing your basement, it's a worthwhile investment.