By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Anyone who has survived a flooded basement because of a power failure knows it's a good idea to have a backup sump pump that operates on batteries, and does not rely on the local electric utility company for power like an existing pedestal or submersible pump. A backup pump uses a 12-volt battery kept at full capacity by a charger that's plugged into a wall outlet, and alerts you when and if your primary pump stops working.
A plumber will charge $608 to install a backup battery-operated sump pump which includes labor and material. If you have experience with plumbing and electrical projects, you can buy the pump for $360 and install it yourself and save 41 percent. This is not trivial, and involves several steps, so if there's any hesitation, don't do it yourself and hire a pro. The job involves cutting into the plumbing line of the primary pump, and cutting and gluing new PVC pipe, and then making the electrical connections between the primary pump and the backup pump and its charger. It's definitely a job for a plumbing contractor if the primary pump has a steel pipe, which requires the tools and skills of working with steel piping.
Whoever does the job, you'll sleep better having a backup pump the first night of a torrential rainstorm.
Make a habit of checking a sump pump every three months to see that it’s working and remove any dirt or debris that may have collected in the bottom of it. This is particularly important to do in the spring and fall when the rainfall is at its heaviest.
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Watch a video from The Basement Watchdog Installing a Backup Sump Pump.
That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to install a backup sump pump lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020