How to Reset Sump Pump Backup Battery

The sump pump plays an essential role in ensuring that your basement does not flood during heavy rainstorms. If you live in an area prone to heavy rain or flooding, investing in a high-quality sump pump is vital. In addition, a backup battery adds an extra safeguard if the power goes out during a storm.

The backup battery powers the sump pump when there is no electricity available. However, sometimes this battery can run out of charge or malfunction, so you need to reset it and get it working again.

Resetting the battery will wipe away any previous settings and allows you to start fresh with a new system. This process can vary depending on what type of sump pump you have, so we’ve created some basic steps that should help you get started.


Common Causes of Battery Problem

There are a few reasons why your sump pump backup battery might not be working properly. It could be a power outage, overcharging, or deep discharge. If you’re not sure what caused the problem, it’s best to check with a professional to diagnose the issue.

A few different things can cause your sump pump backup battery to fail. The most common issues include:

Loose Wire Connections

It’s essential to make sure that all wires are connected tightly. Next, check the terminals within the battery casing to ensure they’re all secure. If any of them look loose or wobbly, tighten with a screwdriver until they’re nice and snug.

The positive (red) wire goes to the positive terminal, and the black (negative) wire goes to the negative terminal. Ensure the pump and switch are correctly linked to the control unit in the battery box.

Dirty or Corroded Battery

If you live in an area with high humidity, your battery may be suffering from corrosion. First, check the terminals and posts inside the battery box for any build-up. If any corrosion is present, clean it off with a wire brush or white vinegar. Once it’s clean, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to help prevent future corrosion.

Once you’ve checked all your connections and cleaned any corrosion, try resetting the battery to see if it helps. If not, check your manual for more instructions specific to your pump model.

Incorrect Water Levels in Battery Cells

If you notice that the water level in your battery cells is low, refill them with distilled water. Do not use regular tap water, as it can contain minerals that damage the battery.

After adding distilled water to the cells, wait for the battery to charge for at least 24 hours before testing the sump pump again.

Bad Circuit Board

If your battery is still not working, you may need to replace the circuit board. Check with a professional or consult the manual for your specific backup sump pump model to determine if this is necessary.

You can find replacement circuit boards online or at a hardware store. Follow the instructions in your manual to properly install the new board.

Your Step by Step Guide to Reset Sump Pump Backup Battery

To reset the backup battery and start fresh, follow these steps:

Disconnect the power supply

It’s important to disconnect the power supply whenever working with an electric device. This will prevent any accidents and help keep you safe while working on the sump pump.

Find your battery box and open it up

Your backup sump pump likely has a vertical battery that sits in a casing underneath or next to the main unit. Open the battery box and locate the battery (and circuit board). If there is corrosion present, clean it off before proceeding with resetting.

Check all wires and connections for damage

It’s essential to carefully check all your wire connectors and terminals for corrosion or loose fittings. Loose wires can create dangerous conditions that could cause an electrical fire, so properly secure each connection. Check the circuit board for any physical damage. If it appears to be burned out or melted in any way, it will need to be replaced before you can reset the battery.

Remove and reinsert the battery

Once all your connections are tight and secure, please remove the battery from its casing. First, wipe down the contacts with a clean cloth to remove any corrosion that may have built up. Then, carefully reinsert the battery, ensuring it’s properly seated in the casing.

Reconnect the power supply

Now you can reconnect the power supply to your sump pump. Please turn on the switch once it’s plugged in to begin charging the battery. Allow it to charge for at least 24 hours before testing the pump.

Your backup battery should now be reset and ready to go! Check it regularly to ensure all connections are still tight and no corrosion is present. This will help prolong the life of your battery and keep your sump pump running smoothly.

Expert Tips for Sump Pump Backup Battery Care

To keep your sump pump backup battery in good condition, follow these tips:

  • Check the battery regularly for corrosion or loose connections.
  • If you notice any corrosion, clean it off immediately and apply a thin layer of Vaseline to help prevent future build-up.
  • Never use regular tap water to fill the battery cells – only distilled water should be used.
  • Be sure to charge the battery for at least 24 hours after adding water to the cells.
  • Replace the circuit board if it appears to be damaged in any way.
  • Keep an eye on the water level in the battery cells and refill as needed with distilled water.

By following these simple tips, you can help extend the life of your backup battery and keep your sump pump running smoothly.


If your sump pump isn’t working properly, one possible cause may be a problem with the backup battery. To reset the battery and start fresh, you’ll need to check for loose connections, clean any corrosion or dirt from the battery case and terminals, and refill any low water levels in the cells.

If these steps don’t help, you may need to replace your circuit board or consult a professional for further assistance. Good luck!



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.

      Sump Pump Advisor