My Battery Backup Sump Pump Alarm Won’t Stop Beeping (Fixes)

Here are suggestions to turn off the annoying beeping alarm of your battery backup sump pump.

There’s nothing more annoying than waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of your battery backup sump pump alarm. It’s even more frustrating when you can’t figure out how to turn the loud beeping off without completely dismantling the backup system.

Battery Backup Sump Pump With Alarm Going Off

Below are solutions to fix this problem and we hope they work for you! The most common reasons for your alarm to be going off are:

  1. Loose Wire Connections
  2. Incorrect Water Levels in Battery Cells
  3. Dying or Dead Battery
  4. Bad Circuit Board

Unfortunately, these alarms can still go off even when all conceivable problems are resolved. If you end up needing to replace your battery backup, you should first check out Water Commander, a backup sump pump that runs on your home’s municipal water instead of batteries. In fact, it uses absolutely no batteries or electricity and is the most reliable backup system available (and won’t bother you with a loud annoying alarm!). Visit the rest of our website to learn more, or scroll to the bottom of this article for a short video showing how it works.

Loose Wire Connections

Backup sump pump battery terminals and connections
Wet-cell battery wire connections

First, make sure all the wire connections are secure. Within the battery casing, the red (positive) wire should go to the positive terminal, with the black (negative) wire to the negative terminal.

Make sure both the pump and the switch are both properly connected to the control unit on the battery box.

Incorrect Water Levels in the Battery Cells

Some brands of battery backup sump pumps, such as Basement Watchdog, have a sensor specifically for the battery fluid levels.

Filling battery cells with distilled water
Filling battery cells with distilled water

If you have a wet-cell battery, the most common type of battery for backup sump pumps, you need to regularly maintain the levels of distilled water in the individual battery cells. If you don’t, the alarm will sound once too much water has evaporated.

Also, make sure the sensor is inserted into the proper cell. For Basement Watchdog systems, this would be the second cell over from the positive terminal. (This Youtube video explains in more detail.) If it’s placed in the wrong cell, this would trip the alarm even if the fluid levels are correct.

However, if you are using a more expensive maintenance free battery that does not require you to replenish the water (such as this one), you need to fasten the fluid sensor rod between the wingnut and the positive terminal to deactivate the water level alarm (per Basement Watchdog’s FAQ).

Dead or Dying Battery

If the battery has low power levels, this will trigger the alarm. There are a couple steps you can take to confirm your battery no longer holds a charge before you replace it with a new battery (or with the more reliable Water Commander system).

1. Make sure the battery terminals aren’t corroded and the wire connections are secure. Either of these problems can trigger a false alarm, so check this first.

2. In some cases, the battery is fine, but isn’t receiving enough power to properly recharge. Inspect the battery’s trickle charger, the electrical outlet, fuse, and circuit breaker to ensure nothing is wrong with the power source. Try resetting the circuit breaker or use a different outlet.

Checking battery voltage
Checking battery voltage. Click to watch the video. (Source: Youtube)

3. Check the floating voltage between the positive and negative terminals of the battery. You can do this using a multimeter or voltmeter. When the battery’s trickle charger is plugged in, the voltage should be around 13.5 volts on a standard 12 volt battery. If it’s below that, you may have a trickle charger problem. Next, unplug the battery charger and wait a few minutes. Read the voltage again. It should now be between 12.3 and 13.2 volts. If it’s any less than that, your battery is no longer holding a full charge and should be replaced right away. Finally, you could also test the battery while the pump is running. In this case, the voltage should be above 12.1 volts, but definitely not below 11.6 volts. (Source: NDSU)

If you just had a power outage and your backup sump pump was running, the alarm may go off temporarily until power is restored and it can recharge. If this is the case, some battery backup systems have a button to reset the alarm for 24 hours.

Bad Circuit Board

Unfortunately, there are times when the unit simply has faulty electronics and the circuit board has failed. Just like many modern kitchen appliances that now rely on cheap circuit boards, such electronic components can and will fail eventually. If this is the case for your backup, nothing you do can will fix the problem and the system needs to be replaced.

Better Backup Sump Pump Solution

Water Commander™ Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump
Water Commander Backup Sump Pump

If all this sounds complicated, it’s because it is. After seeing the hassle and frustration that comes with battery backup sump pumps, we developed Water Commander, an innovative and much more reliable solution to help protect your basement from flooding. Instead of using batteries or electricity, Water Commander runs on your home’s municipal water pressure to quickly empty your sump pump. It can pump up to 45+ GPM at a 10’ lift (Model MG36), which is more than battery backups.

Because Water Commander uses your home’s water pressure, it will always run at full power whenever needed and never die like battery backups. Our video below shows how it works, or check out the rest of our website for more information.

More Battery Resources

Below are some additional resources to help fix your battery backup problems:

Introduction of Water Commander™ water-powered backup sump pump.

Looking for a quality backup sump pump?

Water Commander™ is the best backup sump pump system available on the market today. It’s non-electric, can out-pump your electric sump pump, and will run at full power for years to come.

It is more reliable than battery backups and is the perfect solution for homes with municipal water.

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