One of the most frequently asked questions about sump pumps is, “Can I add a battery backup to an existing sump pump?” People are looking for a better alternative to cumbersome battery-operated backup sump pump kits that require the installation and setup of an entire secondary pump. These kits usually come with at least six independent components and require the purchase of additional supplies, including PVC pipe, check valves, and cement, in order to complete the installation.

Luckily, you can in fact add a battery backup to an existing sump pump—and it is extremely easy to install. Here are 3 steps for how to install a battery backup to an existing sump pump using the Pump Sentry. (PLEASE NOTE: While the installation process is easy, to avoid injury, be sure to read all of the instructions in the manual before beginning. Please download the full instruction manual for important safety information. )

One of the benefits of the Pump Sentry is that it takes up no room in the sump pit or crock, but is instead conveniently mounted to the wall. Pump Sentry can be mounted at any convenient distance from a grounded AC outlet, provided the AC cord from the sump pump will reach it. It is also important that the battery be placed less than 4 feet from the Pump Sentry for proper connection with the battery cables sold with the unit. Using battery cables other than the ones provided may adversely affect performance. To ensure safe usage, the battery or battery system should be properly enclosed in a battery box made from durable plastic or nylon.

After mounting the Pump Sentry to the wall, follow these steps:

  • Make sure the On/Off switch is in the OFF position.
  • Connect the red battery cable to the red (positive +) terminal of the Pump Sentry.
  • Connect the black battery cable to the black (negative -) terminal of the Pump Sentry.
  • Plug your pump into Pump Sentry’s AC outlet.
  • Plug the Pump Sentry into a 120 volt AC outlet.
  • Turn the On/Off switch to ON.

After you’ve set up your system properly, it’s time to test the installation. Start by cycling your pump to ensure its operation under normal conditions. Once you’re sure the pump is working properly, remove the Pump Sentry power cord from the AC wall outlet to simulate a power failure. Notice that the “Power Output” LED remains lit indicating that the unit is putting out power even though the Pump Sentry power cord is without power. Cycle the pump again to ensure operation in “battery backup” mode.

After your test is complete, plug the Pump Sentry AC power cord back into the wall outlet. After 2 seconds, the Charging LED should be flashing. This means that the Pump Sentry has recognized the return of normal AC power and has returned to its normal state of charging the battery. Cycle the pump again.

The advantage of Pump Sentry over other sump pump battery backups on the market is that Pump Sentry involves a simple installation that is fast and doesn’t take up room in the sump pit or require complicated additional steps such as cutting and gluing pipe. This wall-mounted unit will enhance the operation of a sump pump with greater reliability bypassing the hassle and expense of installing an auxiliary pump. As you can see, it’s easy to add a battery backup to an existing sump pump.

You can purchase an 822PS or 1622PS from our website or
click here to view a list of Pump Sentry Distributors.

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