Whenever a potential customer contacts us regarding sump pump service near Naperville, IL or another Chicago, IL suburb, nine times out of ten the customer asks if a backup sump pump is necessary. The ULB-Dry Waterproofing team believes it is, and this blog covers the reasons why. But first, let’s summarize the two main backup sump pump options:

Battery-powered backup sump pump: this is a separate, battery-powered reserve pump installed adjacent to the primary pump.


Combo sump pump system: a compact, pre-assembled unit that combines the primary pump and the reserve pump.


Most backup sump pumps are battery-powered, with the best ones able to pump for up to eight hours while the primary pump is brought back on-line. There are also water-powered backup sump pumps that will operate as long as the water entering the sump maintains a pressure of 50psi – 80psi. These too afford ample reinforcement while the primary pump is being fixed.

Other backup systems exist – for example, “inverter systems”, but these options have several downsides. Thus, we don’t recommend them.

Now, back to the question at hand. It’s important to understand that all primary sump pumps eventually fail – it’s just a matter of when and why. Operating with this fact in mind, here are the circumstances in which a backup sump pump is vital to protecting your basement from water damage:

The Primary Pump Can’t Keep Up With Water Inflow

If you’re hammered by a particularly brutal storm, there’s a very real possibility that your primary pump won’t be able to handle the amount of water entering the sump. In situations like these, a backup pump is invaluable.

Primary Pump Failure

Tied in with the first point, the primary pump will work as hard as it can, but could ultimately fail due to an overwhelming amount of water. If this happens, and you don’t have a backup pump ready to handle the load, you could be looking at serious basement water damage.

Power Outage

The more violent a storm, the greater the chance of a power outage. Since your primary sump pump runs on electricity, a power failure is a potentially catastrophic setback. However, if you have a backup pump, it will run off of reserve power, typically in the form of a battery, and take over until the power comes back on and the primary pump returns to life.

Stuck Float Switch

A float switch is attached to the primary pump. When water reaches the float, the pump turns on. If for some reason the float switch gets stuck or fails to trigger the primary pump, a sensor or second float switch will detect the rising water and signal the backup sump pump to begin pumping.

A blown fuse, damaged power lines, a clogged discharge pipe, a tripped circuit breaker, and a burned-out pump are all reasons why a primary sump pump could fail. For an affordable cost, our highly rated waterproofing company serving Burr Ridge, IL will find, install, and maintain the right backup sump pump for you. Contact us today and let’s talk further.