The Power Inverter/Charger is the heart of a sump pump battery backup system, and is responsible for three important jobs:
- Charging the batteries and keeping them fully charged at all times
- Sensing when the power has gone out and automatically switching to battery power
- Converting the power stored in your batteries from DC power into AC power, which runs your sump pump
These Inverter/Charger tasks sounds an awful lot like the description of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), which might lead you to wonder, “Why can’t I just install a UPS and be done with it?” Well, it basically boils down to the fact that a UPS is just not designed to do the job.
Although Inverter/Chargers and UPS Systems work in very similar ways and perform similar functions, the battery in a UPS is not large enough to run a sump pump for any significant length of time. In addition, most UPS Systems are not designed to provide enough power to start a sump pump and have very small battery chargers. An Inverter/Charger also allows you much more flexibility to decide how much power you need.
You can think of it like buying stereo equipment: you can buy the “all in one” model, which is inexpensive and easy to assemble but offers less powerful sound (the UPS), or you can buy individual modular components, which gives you increased flexibility and more powerful sound (the Inverter/Charger). And if your needs change in the future, you can expand the system without having to start over again.