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Using a Water Powered Backup Sump Pump

Updated: Jan. 18, 2023

Drain your sump even when the power is out

Sump Pumptrabachar/Getty Images
Keep pumping water out of your sump even during a power failure with a water-powered sump pump. Here's how they work.

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A full day

Install the New Pump Above the Sump, 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 ) installs on the ceiling above the sump. You’ll have to run a 3/4-inch 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. Here learn how to test your sump pump and also find out how long sump pumps last.

Required Tools for this Project

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

  • Drill/driver - cordless
  • Level
  • Miter saw
  • 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
  • PVC pipe and fittings