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Install a Backup Sump Pump

BY Gene Hamilton and Katie Hamilton TIMEMarch 10, 2022 PRINT

A flooded basement or crawl space because of a power failure is something homeowners dread, but an ounce of prevention like a backup sump pump is the solution. The pump operates on batteries and does not rely on the local electric utility company for power like a 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 it alerts you when and if your primary pump stops working.

A plumber will charge $648, which includes labor and material, to install a backup battery-operated sump pump. A handy homeowner with experience doing plumbing and electrical projects can buy the pump and plumbing supplies for $400, install it and pocket a 38% saving. This is not an easy-does-it job because it involves several steps; if there’s any doubt about your skills, hire a pro for the project.

The job involves cutting into the plumbing line of the primary pump, cutting and gluing new PVC pipe, and then making the electrical connections between the primary pump and the backup pump and its charger. If the primary pump has a steel pipe, it requires the tools and skills of working with steel piping, so it’s definitely a job for a plumbing contractor.

The next time a torrential rainstorm or power outage happens, you’ll sleep better having a backup sump pump.

Pro Cost: $648

DIY Cost: $400

Pro time: 2.6

DIY Time: 4.0

DIY Savings: $248

Percent Saved: 38%

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.

©2022 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
©2022 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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