Best Power Inverters for Sump Pumps in 2021

From budget to fully automatic inverter chargers, here are the best power inverters for sump pumps to get right now

Are you one of the millions of homeowners worried that their basement will get flooded the moment the lights go out? Have you tried to consider a backup pump but realized you don’t have extra space in the pit? Or maybe you do have space but found those pumps too weak for your needs? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll discuss a device that might just be what you need to solve your problem — power inverters. We’ll talk about how it works, what to look for when choosing, and how to install one. I’ll also share the best models available right now. The ones with the best balance in terms of performance, features, and price to keep you from paying thousands of dollars in water damage repairs.

PumpSentry 822PS RayBend Backup TrippLite APS1250

Best up to 1/2 HP

Best up to 3/4 HP

Best alternative

1200W (25A surge)

1500W

1250W (2500W surge)

Auto switch & 20A charger

Auto switch & 10A charger

Auto switch & 30A charger

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Editor Rating: 4.5

How does a power inverter work?

A power inverter is a device that converts and amplifies the 12V DC power stored in batteries to 120V AC power (the power from your outlet) which is what the typical sump pump needs. The ones made for sump pump applications usually have a transfer switch and charger for automatic operation of the pump. When the power goes out, the switch transfers the power source from your outlet to the battery allowing the pump to run. When power goes back, it automatically switches back to normal and the charger does its magic.

Is this like a UPS for sump pumps?

Yes, it works in the same principle as a UPS. Unlike a UPS, however, you can use a separate, larger capacity battery to supply power for your sump pump.

Why use a power inverter instead of a battery backup pump?

This is probably the most common question that gets asked about this. It makes sense, a backup pump is cheaper and can act as a replacement in case the main pump fails. The problem, however, is that these pumps can’t move as much water as the main pump. Now that’s okay if you have a small amount of water coming in, but when you have a lot, the pump will drown and your basement along with it. 
 
Another reason is if you have a narrow pit installed. An extra pump probably won’t fit without risking the switches getting tangled. Lastly, there’s the matter of convenience. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of hiring someone and want something you can just plug and play then this is great. You won’t need to take 10 trips to the hardware and you won’t have to mess with the pipes.

The best power inverters for sump pumps

The best overall inverter charger for sump pumps

Capacity: 1200W with 3000W surge|Power: Modified sine wave optimized for motors | Auto transfer: Yes | Charger: 20A |Best for: Up to 1/2 HP pumps (3/4 HP for 1622PS)

If you want a no non-sense solution to basement flooding, a PumpSentry is what you need. It’s a fully automatic inverter tailor-made for sump pump applications. And everything — from the sleek aluminum design, silent operation, and user-friendly interface — oozes quality. It does almost everything right. 

There are some weaknesses such as the lack of a pure sine wave output which would’ve been nice at this price point. But to their credit, they have tried to optimize it to make it better. That makes price the only real problem, this easily costs as much as three pumps which means not everyone will be able to afford it. But just think of it as having insurance where you’ll have to pay a premium for that peace of mind. The difference though, is that you won’t have to take a loss first.

The best for up to 3/4 HP sump pumps

Capacity: 1500W with 2500W surge | Power: Pure sine wave | Auto transfer: Yes | Charger: 10A |Can run: Up to 3/4 HP pumps

If you want to use an inverter but just can’t stomach the price of the PumpSentry, you should check out this new release from RayBend. It’s much cheaper but is able to power up larger pumps with pure sine wave power. That means power supply as clean as the one directly from the outlet, ensuring your pump runs smooth and quiet. The drawback is the slower 10A charger but if you’re not expecting back-to-back power interruptions, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. It doesn’t have as deep a track record but more and more people are giving it a chance given the possible savings.

Rugged alternative

Capacity: 1250W with 2500W surge | Power: Modified sine wave | Auto transfer: Yes | Charger: 30A | Best for: Up to 1/2 HP pumps

If you’re looking for a great alternative to the PumpSentry, the PowerVerter APS1250 should be at the top of your list. It provides 1250W of continuous power for pumps up to 1/2 HP. It also sports a faster charger that’s perfect if you live somewhere with frequent power interruptions.

The PowerVerter APS1250 is a heavy-duty power inverter designed for a variety of applications. But this isn’t as great as it sounds. That’s because it means it misses a few touches that makes the PumpSentry, which is a specialist, stand out. One example is the lower surge capacity that would’ve been really useful for starting inductive loads like sump pumps. 

There is a reason, however, that this was chosen as the next best — it has exceptional quality. And the fact that it’s from a trusted brand in power solutions might be why. So if you’re on a budget and happen to have a softer starting pump, this is for you.

Great alternative to the RayBend

Capacity: 1250W with 3750W surge | Power: Pure sine wave | Auto transfer: Yes | Charger: 35A | Best for: 1/2 HP pumps, some 3/4 HP

The AIMS power inverter is the one to get if you want the best set of features in running your sump pumps. It produces clean, pure sine wave power at 1250W with 300% surge. Frankly, that’s very impressive — even compared to the PumpSentry. On top of that, it has a power-saving mode. This helps save battery juice by turning off all unnecessary operations like the fan. Meaning the pump will have all the power it can get.
 
The only weakness is the size. It is quite bulky. I guess they had to find space to produce all that power. This means it’ll be a bit harder to install. But if you’re okay with that, you’ll have one powerful inverter at your disposal.

A pure sine wave non-automatic inverter

Capacity: 2000W with 4000W surge | Power: Pure sine wave | Auto transfer: No | Charger: No 

If you can live without the auto switch and charger, the WZRELB power inverter is a wise choice. With pure sine wave power output at 2000W, you’ll have plenty of power to run a sump pump plus a couple of other appliances on top of it. A total lifesaver specially in times of disaster. Although it lacks the complete convenience you get from the others, it makes up for it in terms of extra capacity, a pure sine wave power, and a much better price. 

An affordable inverter from a trusted brand

Capacity: 2000W with 4000W surge | Power: Modified sine wave | Auto transfer: No | Charger: No

From a trusted battery brand comes this affordable power inverter. The Energizer power inverter is capable of producing 2000W and 4000W of continuous and surge power respectively. It’s packed with the same quality as all their products and even backed by a two year warranty. It doesn’t produce pure sine wave and it’s not automatic but for the people that can live with that — you’ll be happy with this.

The best 24V inverter charger

Capacity: 3000W with 9000W surge | Power: Pure sine wave | Auto transfer: Yes | Charger: 40A

A higher voltage is a great help in a lot of circumstances. Particularly when you have higher loads. AIMS once again delivers with a pure sine wave power inverter capable of producing up to 3000W of power. Perfect for larger pumps plus a few other appliances in your home. 

What to look for

Most people aren’t familiar with power inverters so we’ve put up five points to keep in mind when choosing one.

1. Capacity: How many watts(W) do you need?

First to consider is if it can successfully run your pump. There’s no point in buying an inverter that overloads the minute the pump starts causing your basement to flood. To avoid that, we’ll discuss sizing in more detail in the next section.

2. Power type: What's pure and modified sine waves?

Inverters produce different qualities of power. Pure sine wave power is ‘clean’ and has the same, or even better, quality than the one from your home’s outlet. It makes the pump run better which translates to a longer life. Although it’s preferable, it’s not exactly a requirement. Pumps are simple enough and don’t usually have sensitive electronics that could get damaged easily.  

3. Build: Why does it matter?

You need a high-quality inverter with a sealed enclosure and high quality electronics since we’re expecting moisture in the basement. Using cheap inverters may not only cause flooding, it could pose a risk to you and your family as well. 

4. Features: What makes an inverter truly great?

The best inverters to use for sump pumps have auto transfer switches and chargers that make everything automatic. When there’s a power outage, the switch automatically changes power source from grid to battery. Allowing the pump to run like normal. When the power returns, it changes the source back to the grid and the charger does its magic.

5. Price: How much is too much?

You can find many inverters with all the points above but they won’t be worth buying if they cost too much. That’s why we tried to find those with the best value for the price and offered alternatives depending on what you’re looking for. 

How to size an inverter for your pump

The only way to know if an inverter can run your pump is to check the its current rating. It’s usually found on the nameplate at the top. If you know what model your pump is, you can also search for it on the internet.
 
Let’s say your pump’s running and starting current is 5A and 15A respectively. Multiply each of them with 120V and you have 600W and 1800W as the result. You have to find an inverter above that’s rated to handle that amout of load. The PumpSentry 822 PS or the RayBend Backup System, for example, would be great picks.
 

How to size the battery

If you have an 5A/120V pump, that would be around 600 watts. To pull that amount of power with a tenth of the voltage at 12V, you’ll need ten times the amount of current at 50A. Including losses due to efficiency, you’d need a 75AH of battery to run the pump straight for an hour.

The best type would be a deep cycle battery. It works best with the load characteristics of sump pumps. Don’t use car batteries as they’re not fit for the application. Also, make sure your cables are rated to handle the amount of current passing through them. The manufacturer usually states the recommended size in the manual. 

How to install a power inverter for sump pump

Installing a power inverter for your pump is really simple but always ask a professional when in doubt. Depending on the manufacturer, you can do it in a few steps.
  1. Find a dry and well-ventilated space a few feet near the sump pit to install the unit.
  2. Secure the battery in a battery box to keep it protected.
  3. Turn the inverter’s switch off.
  4. Connect red (positive) battery cable to red terminal of the unit and black (negative) battery cable to the black terminal.
  5. Plug the pump into one of the outlets in the inverter.
  6. Plug the inverter to one of the AC outlets of your home.
  7. Turn the inverter switch on.
  8. Test the system by unplugging the inverter from the outlet (simulating a power outage).
diagram for sump pump inverter

Conclusion

Using power inverters for sump pumps is a wise choice specially when it comes to convenience. Without hiring a plumber or even getting your hands wet, you get to enjoy the benefits of a flood protected home during power outages. 

It’s still not as well-known as battery backup pumps but more and more people are starting to convert — specially those with large amounts of flooding. They might cost more but the benefits are usually worth it. But you really don’t have to choose between the two. If you really want a well-rounded protection, you can combine their strengths to combat their weaknesses.

If you want the best power inverter you can get, take a look at the PumpSentry. It’s hard to go wrong with it and plenty of people trust their basements with it. But if that initial investment is too much for you, the RayBend is also a great alternative.

How about you? Do you have any experience with using any of the inverters above? Are there other inverters you’d like to add to the list? Is there anything you’d like to ask about? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Best Power Inverters for Sump Pumps in 2021”

  1. Is there such a thing that you can hook a sump to a car battery to run it for a very short time during heavy rain and not a lot of water to move?

  2. This seems like an excellent quality inverter/charger at an incredible price point. Aims Power Model #PWRIC1500W.

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