How can I keep my sump pump operating when the power goes out in a storm?

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Answered by Tim Snyder, Guest Editor

If you're concerned about basement flooding during a power outage, but aren't ready to get a generator, you have other options to keep your sump pump operational.You can upgrade from a standard sump pump to a sump pump that can be powered by a battery. Make sure to choose your battery backup system carefully. Specially designed “deep cycle” batteries will outperform standard car batteries in this application. The best storm-ready sump pump system I’ve found is the TripleSafe® unit manufactured by Basement Systems. It’s actually got 3 pumps in a single oversize plastic sump liner. The first pump handles light to moderate water volume. The second pump is more powerful (1/2HP) and will come on automatically if pump #1 isn’t pumping water fast enough. The third pump is powered by direct current (DC) supplied by a deep cycle battery. When you consider that the same severe storms that knock out power also tend to dump huge amounts of water in and around houses, the TripleSafe approach is pretty smart —not just battery power, but extra pumping power as well.

About the author: A journalist specializing in sustainability, energy efficiency and home improvement topics, Tim Snyder is a former executive editor of Fine Homebuilding and American Woodworker magazines. Tim's recent work includes a green remodeling manual for the Environmental Protection Agency, and a chapter on “Smart Shelter” for The Whole Green Catalog. Tim’s blogs and web content can be found at,,,,,, and other sites.