If you either own a home or are buying a home with a finished basement then you need to read this article.  When performing a home inspection in Downers Grove I found that not only did the sump pump not work but there was no battery back up sump pump to protect the basement from possible flooding.  Sump pump buying and installation is serious business when trying to protect your most expensive investment.  If you are in the market for a sump pump and a battery back up sump pump system then you want to buy the best you can.  Going cheap may cost you alot more money in the future on basement repairs.  Generally sump pumps cost about $200.00 to buy and only $100.00 to have a plumber to install it.  Most of my readers know that I’m a licensed plumber #J194988 and here are the things I look for when buying a sump pump and a battery back up pump system.

  • Cast Iron bodies on a sump pump is a must.  Plastic is for toys!  There are many large manufacturers that sell these plastic pumps that are merely disposable units.  Zoeller pumpsare the only pumps I use. Period!  Zoeller pumps are known in the plumbing industry to be the best and best value for the money.  Zoeller sump pumps are known to last up to 10years. This is a great example of a proper installed sump pump with a battery back up system.


  • Replaceable sump pump switches should be a item that your sump pump should have.  These switches are known to fail with years of service.  Being able to remove the existing switch and replacing it for a new switch allows you to repair the pump instead of replacing it.
  • Steel impellers are what allows the pump to pull water and solids through the pump body and out the discharge pipe.  Plastic impellers are known to snap off and break.
  • Alarms on battery back up pumps are a must to allow you to know you have a issues with your sump pumps.  Sump pumps that do not have alarms will be useless if you don’t know you have an issue.

My clients from the Downers Grove home inspection were going to be in the market for a sump pump and battery back up system.  I suggested that they purchase a Zoeller sump pump and battery back up pump package.  This whole system can be bought for under $800.00.  This may sound expensive to you but a basement that has been flooded can cost $10,000.00 to repair.  Items that will need to be cleaned or replaced are below.

  • Carpet may be dried but plan on replacing because it is now a breeding ground for mold and mildew.  Got allergies?
  • Drywall will need to be cut up to the area that was not affected and replaced.
  • Insulation in the walls will all have to be replaced.
  • Furniture and electronics will all have to be disposed of if they have been contaminated.
  • Labor to perform all of these replacements will be extremely costly.
  • $10,000.00 – $25,000.00

Sump pump battery back up system sounds cheap now?  My client from the Downers Grove home inspection was sold on my idea of a Zoeller sump pump battery back system.  Even if you are not good with numbers you can easily see that not having a battery back up for your sump pump is insane.

Hopefully this article helped you to make an educated decision like my client from the Downers Grove home inspection.  If you are still unsure about why this system should be installed in your home then please contact me at ~ The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thank you for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke