Water powered backup sump pumps bought in a box store often are made with cheap parts that wear out or break easily, and usually come with sub-standard backflow protection.
For example, some of the water powered sump pumps are hooked up by using a garden hose. In this case the backflow device (necessary protection in case of a reverse backflow which would suck contaminated water into the fresh water drinking supply) can easily omitted by the homeowner putting the family at risk.
Also, there’s been numerous reports of garden hoses that have burst when hooked up to the water powered backup sump pump which actually FLOODS the basement! Wasn’t this device purchased to try and stop the basement from flooding. In addition, the switch which activates the pump often comes with a flimsy spring, this spring can easily wear out or become unattached causing the pump to operate continuously!! Many times the homeowner won’t even know it until the water bill comes and then it’s a huge shock.
Lastly, it’s recommended that water driven backup pumps be activated at least once a month manually, otherwise calcium will form on the switch, again causing it to break when needed most.
So when you ask “Is a water powered sump pump safe?” “Is a water powered backup sump pump reliable?” “Is a water powered backup sump pump easy to maintain?” the answer is NO! The best way to SAFELY and RELIABLY protect your basement from flooding is with a battery backup sump pumps. Many manufactures who make water powered sump pumps, also make battery backup sump pumps, choose a battery backup sump pump instead.