Basement Watchdog DFK-961 Sump Pump With Backup Review For 2024

If you want to buy your sump pump and backup in a combo system but don’t need the 1/2 hp of the BW4000 model, the DFK-961 1/3 hp model is a good buy and is about $60 cheaper. Keep in mind these units are a primary, backup, and alarm all in one so if you have the cash it’s a pretty good deal. You’ll be looking to spend a $200 just on a water powered backup pump alone.

Strengths of the Glentronics DFK-961

A few of the things that its customers love about this product are:

  • Easy Installation
  • Great Technical Support
  • Quiet Motor
  • Battery Backup
  • Easy to Troubleshoot and Operate
  • Very Compact
Check Reviews & Price On Amazon

Controls and Indicators

The Basement Watchdog DFK-961 has a LED monitoring system in place. Should there be any sort of issue you will be alerted with an audible alarm and a light on the control panel will indicate the cause and the course of action you will need to take to remedy the issue. This is pretty handy and will not leave you guessing what the heck is wrong with your pump and make fixing an issue easier to pinpoint and get your pump up and running again. This setup is very helpful for maintaining the product.

The Manual

You’ll rarely find anyone saying the Basement Watchdog manuals are lacking in information or they couldn’t figure out how to install it.  It seems opinions across the board are that it’s a pretty easy install.  I’d think the opposite with all the bells and whistles it has, but that’s not the case. There is one issue I’ve come across during my research on this model and that is the fact that people are not aware that you have to drill a 1/8” hole in the PVC pipe about 3” above the pump for the pressure to work correctly.  I don’t know if this information is not included in the manual or if people simply overlook it, but it’s on the Basement Watchdog FAQ.

Customer Support

In terms of customer and technical support, the company seems to provide above par service, usually. Here are two instances of dealing with customer service:

“When the cleanup crew came, they knocked a piece of their equipment into the sump pit, smashing the pit cover and destroying both float switches (both the primary and the battery back-up). I called up the manufacturer’s technical support and they overnight FedEx-ed me replacement floats at no charge! Wonderful customer service!”

“One of the parts was broken upon receipt. Took three weeks to get a replacement part.”

Battery Not Included

The one inconvenience with this pump is the fact that the battery is sold separate and the one that is recommended (the 30HDC140S Basement Watchdog Back-Up Sump Pump Battery) seems, by most accounts, unreliable. It does not seem to last as long as advertised and you are required to buy the acid at a battery retailer and fill it yourself.  Some report that the battery lasts 1 to 3 years and then it fails, not good when the warranty is only for a year. Others say it’s still going strong after 7 years but those are the minority. There is an alternative to this, however. (see below)

Yet another note: Battery acid is often sold in metric units, this battery requires 6 quarts which would require approximately 8 of the 750 ml packages of acid to fill the Basement Watchdog battery. (about $18 worth)

Battery Alternative

You can use any deep cycle marine battery, as long as it is not maintenance-free, to power the backup.  There are instructions included should you decide to install an alternative battery.  If you are not using the Basement Watchdog battery you cannot use the battery fluid sensor since there is no hole on the non-Basement Watchdog battery for the sensor to enter.  You will need to attach the sensor to the positive post of the battery to prevent the alarm from sounding continuously.  The sump pump system will not warn you if the fluid level is low with this configuration.  You will need to check your battery every couple of months to see if it requires water to prevent the battery from dying out.

Product Specs

  • 18.5 pounds
  • 8.8 x 10 X 17.8 inches
  • Fits in sump pits down to 12″
  • 2,600 GPH at 10 ft. lift and 3,600 GPH at 0 ft. lift
  • Backup system pumps 1,000 GPH at 10 ft. lift and 2,000 GPH at 0 ft. lift
  • Dual float switch for added protection
  • Pre-assembled


At the moment this sump pump combo is going for around $300. Expensive yes, but taking into account the price of even a water powered backup sump pump being around $200 plus, it’s not so bad.  For up-to-date pricing check out Amazon.


The Basement Watchdog DFK-961 has a two-year warranty from Glentronics Inc.

Online Customer Feedback

As of now, the product has a rating of 4 stars out of 5 in Amazon. Some of the comments to date:

  • I will freely admit the installation of this combination unit was straight forward and relatively easy. Upon installation, the main pump functioned quite well.
  • I paid the extra money to get this system and it really has done such a great job
  • I was very pleased with the basement watchdog. It was very easy to install, with easy-to-read directions.


The single complaint was from someone who wasn’t aware of the fact that you have to drill the 1/8″ hole into the PVC, I previously mentioned. I also noticed he left the same complaint on multiple websites so I’m unsure what to think about that.

Buying the DFK-961

This sump pump is going for around $300 on Amazon as previously mentioned.  Head on over and check it out.



Bill is a DIY plumber, handyman, and homeowner with more than a decade of experience. He has replaced and repaired sump pumps, backup pumps, float switches, check valves, and many other things around his family home. An engineer and tinkerer at heart, he is always looking to see how things work and taking on new home projects that help him grow his skillsets. He is a husband and father of two boys, has a bachelors degree in Computer Engineer and minor in Mathematics and likes to make homebrew beer in his free time.

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