Is Your Sump Pump Battery Beeping? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall
A sump pump is a critical piece of equipment in a home that is subject to regular flooding. But what do you do when it won’t stop beeping? Whether it be low water levels or that it lost power, let’s explore what it means when your sump pump battery is beeping.

A sump pump can be one of the most useful systems in your home. The sump pump can solve any flooding issues in your home before it’s too late. When the sump pump starts beeping, it can be annoying, but it’s signaling to you that it needs assistance.

If your sump pump battery is beeping, it is alerting you that it has lost power. However, if the power is on, it could mean that the water levels are low.

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What Is a Battery Backup Sump Pump

A battery backup sump pump works as an additional sump pump for the home. It is installed next to the primary sump pump, and they share a sump pit. The purpose of a battery backup sump pump is to step in when the primary sump pump fails.

The battery backup sump pump’s float switch is set slightly higher than the primary float switch. If the primary pump isn’t working, the backup will automatically turn on. It also turns on and off as needed to remove excess water from the sump pit.

Reasons Why the Battery Backup Sump Pump Is Beeping

Sump pumps have built-in alarms that will alert you with a beeping noise to indicate something is wrong. They will typically sound their alarm for three reasons.

The Primary Pump Has Failed

If the primary pump has failed, the battery backup sump pump will start beeping. To determine if the primary pump has failed, hold onto the discharge from the primary pump. You can tell if it’s operating by feeling the vibration.

If the primary pump is not running, you are operating on the battery backup pump. You should replace the primary pump.

There Is a Power Outage

If there is a power outage, your battery backup sump pump will start to beep. This noise is to acknowledge that the backup battery sump pump is in operation. The backup pump will be able to operate for six to eight hours continuously.

Pumps typically only run for a third of the time. In most cases, you’ll have 24 hours of protection until the power comes back on. You should replace the sump pump battery every three years to ensure it’s sufficiently charged in emergencies.

Note: Be sure only to use the type of battery recommended by the pump manufacturer.

Overwhelmed Primary Pump

Sump pumps and backup battery sump pumps both come in different capacities. When you have an overwhelmed sump pump, or it’s overcapacity, the backup will begin to beep. When purchasing a battery backup sump pump, keep in mind the capacity is rated in gallons per minute.

If your pump is not overcapacity, you may have a clog in the pipe.

How To Diagnose And Repair A Beeping Sump Pump

5 Other Reasons Your Sump Pump Battery Is Beeping

There are several other reasons that your backup battery sump pump may be beeping. Some other common issues are:

Low Battery Fluid: If that battery is low on fluid, it can cause the sump pump alarm to beep. Check your battery regularly to ensure it is in good condition before an emergency arises.

Loose Power Cables: Loose cables are often the reason the pump is beeping. This is to alert the homeowner to double-check the cables and tighten or replace any loose cables.

Bad Battery: The battery could be low on power or bad. As mentioned before, regularly inspect your battery to ensure it is in good condition.

Power Issue: In some cases, the issue may not be the sump pump. Instead, there could be a failing power outlet or fuse causing the pump to beep.

The Dos and Don’ts When the Sump Pump Is Beeping

When the sump pump battery is beeping, you may want to unplug it or reset it immediately. However, there are dos and don’ts when it comes to addressing a beeping sump pump.

What You Should Do When the Sump Pump Battery Is Beeping

The job of the sump pump is to eject water from your home. When the alarm starts beeping, the purpose is to warn you that something is not working correctly. When this happens, the first step is to find the root of the issue and why it is beeping.

The Don’ts When Your Sump Pump Battery Is Beeping

When the battery is beeping on the sump pump, don’t immediately unplug it. While this may be your first reaction, resist this because it won’t solve the issue. The beeping is a sign that something is wrong.

Note: If you do choose to unplug the sump pump, this could lead to flooding.

Reset the Battery Backup Sump Pump

If there comes a time when you do have to reset the battery backup sump pump, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Locate the Test Button

Locate the test button on the battery backup sump pump. This is most likely the reset button, too. Some resets are instantaneous; others may take 24 hours to reset.

Step 2: Inspect Inside of the Battery Backup Sump Pump

Check for any debris or clogs and make sure the pump is clean. If there is any debris inside, remove it to prevent future sump pump failure.

Step 3: Restart the Battery Backup Sump Pump

After the reset, the pump should turn back on. However, if it does not turn back on, check the batteries to assess if they could be bad. If they are, replace them.

Benefits of a Backup Battery Sump Pump

A backup battery sump pump can provide peace of mind for the protection of your home. In addition to protecting the integrity of the house itself, it also protects the homeowner’s possessions.

Some of the benefits of a backup battery sump pump include:

  • The backup battery sump pump can protect the home against expensive water damage. 
  • A backup battery sump pump works during power outages, which is especially helpful during bad weather.
  • If your primary system fails for any reason, the backup pump can step in for the time being.
  • If the primary sump pump becomes overwhelmed, the backup sump pump can help to aid it. 

Water Damage Protection

Water damage claims are the second most frequent type of homeowner’s insurance claims made. Water claims usually average around $11,000 in damage. Battery backup sump pumps are a way for homeowners to reduce the risk of water damage.

Some homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover water damage. For that reason, it’s essential to have a battery backup sump pump. In addition to preventing the home’s destruction, it can also prevent damage to the homeowner’s valuable items.

Works During Power Outages

If you trip a breaker or blow a fuse, your primary sump pump could stop working. Sometimes this can happen without the homeowner even being aware. Without power, the water levels in the sump pit can rise and flood the basement.

A battery backup sump pump doesn’t depend on the home’s power to operate, so a power outage isn’t an issue. The battery backup will still be able to move any water out of the house.

Sump Pump Failure Protection

Sometimes a primary sump pump is forgotten about because they’re out of sight. This could lead to skipped maintenance and service that the sump pump requires. If you don’t service the sump pump, it can be vulnerable to malfunctions and lead to flooding or water damage.

Some of these malfunctions are clogged pipes or jammed float switches. If this happens, a battery backup sump pump can step in to assist. The battery backup will be able to remove any water when the primary sump pump fails.

Extra Help For The Sump Pump

Sump pumps should handle a particular volume of water. When there is excessive heavy rain or a lot of snow melts, the sump pump can become overwhelmed. If you don’t have a backup, water damage is more likely.

A battery backup sump pump can detect when water levels in the primary pump are getting too high. The battery backup will automatically turn on and help the primary sump pump to relieve the stress.

Do You Need Sump Pump Repair or Replacement?

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Related Questions

What is the average cost of a battery backup sump pump?

A battery backup sump pump costs between $130 to $1,025. The battery backup decreases the risk of flooding and can also give you peace of mind. If you include labor costs, your cost can be $1,000 to $1,500.If you live in a climate that often has intense storms, the backup is worth the investment. 

How often should you service the battery backup sump pump?

The battery backup sump pump is relatively easy to maintain and requires service at least once a year. You will want to regularly check that the battery is operating correctly. Some battery backups will occasionally need fluids. You should replace the batteries of your battery backup sump pump every four to five years. These steps will ensure that the battery backup sump pump is ready in your time of need. You will also want to service your primary sump pump regularly. Check the power cords, remove the pump from the sump pit and clean both, as well as the grate. Clean the opening, place the pump back into the pit, and fill with water to prevent it from running dry.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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