Can You Use a Generator With a Sump Pump?

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: December 10, 2021

A sump pump is a crucial machine in any home or building with a basement. It helps to clear out the excess water in the basement and dumps into a drain or a dry well. Running this pump will need electricity, but sometimes it could be challenging to power during blackouts.

As a result, the basement could be flooded, which makes it challenging to drain the water. In this situation, you may be considering whether I can use a generator to power the sump pump.

Typically, a generator can be used to power the sump pump during power blackouts. You will find several portable generators on the market that can be used to run the sump pump. Read continues this context to get more information in this regard.

Why Do You Need a Generator With a Sump Pump?

why do you Need a Generator With a Sump Pump

A sump pump is the most helpful machine in your basement. Without the sump pump, a flash flood or heavy seasonal rain can easily ruin everything on the floor. So, it is essential to power the sump pump during rain.

But the fact is, sometimes it is difficult to power the pump when a power outage occurs. As a result, without power to the sump pump, a simple 30 minutes of rain can flood your basement. So, if you want to avoid damage to floods in your basement, you have to power the sump pump.

In that situation, you will need a generator for the sump pump to get power even if there is a power outage. This way, you can make sure that your basement will not be ruined during disastrous flooding.

Can You Use a Generator With a Sump Pump?

Sump pumps are typically getting power from the home power supply. That means you will need to power the sump on occasions when floods and electricity blackouts at the same time. In that case, a generator portable or standby can be used to power sump pumps and runs other electronic appliances such as fridges, television, fan, etc.

Depending on your needs and budgets, you can set up a portable generator to power your sump pump. Otherwise, your home generator can be used to run the sump pump to remove standing water from your basement.

A portable generator generally has a maximum power outlay of 8,500 watts. They are also more affordable, and you will find a generator for $400 to $4000.

On the contrary, a standby generator is expensive and uses propane and natural gas. These generators can produce upwards of 8000 watts and require a professional technician to install them.

Now you may think about what size generator you will need to run the sump pump. Check out the section below to know how you can determine the required generator size for the sump pump.

What Size Generator Do Need for a Sump Pump

Size Generator Do Need for a Sump Pump

In general, most of the houses use a ⅓ HP or a ½ HP sump pump to drain the water from their basement. A ⅓ HP sump will need to be around 600-800 watts for running, with start-up watts of 1300-1600.

On the other hand, a ½ HP sump will require 800-1000 watts for running and around 1500-2150 watts to start up.

The start-up watts are essential, as a sump pump usually takes a lot of surge power during starting. After that, the sump pump automatically drops to running watts.

So you should choose a generator that can produce an output of at least 2000 watts. While the sump pump has run up, the power will go down to 500 wattages.

How to Size a Generator for a Sump Pump?

It is better to check whether a generator can run the sump pump. For that, you have to examine the current rating of your sump pump. You will find this on the nameplate at the top or side of the pump.

Besides, if you know the model name of your pump, you can search for the current rating on the internet.

Typically, the sump pump’s running and starting current are 8A and 20A, respectively. If each of them is multiplied by 110V, you will get 880W (running) and 2200W (peak).

This way, you can easily determine the required running and peak wattage of your sump pump so that you find the right generator.

What to Consider Before Buying Generators for Sump Pump

Before getting a generator to power your sump pump, you have to consider several factors that will help you to get the right generator. Below, we have illustrated some significant factors that should be kept in mind before having a generator.

Run Time

The first thing you should consider is the run time of a generator. You should get a generator that can last more than a sump pump’s working time. For that, choosing a power generator will be a good option. Basically, the run time of a generator is 14 hours in propane and 7.5 hours in gasoline.

Noise Level

No one wants to get an appliance that disturbs ears or anyone in the house. That’s why you should choose a generator for your sump pump that includes a low noise feature under 60 dB. As a result, you will not be disturbed while running the generator.

Dual Fuel Mode

It is convenient to have different sources of power to run your sump pump. So, you should go for a generator that has a dual fuel capability feature. This feature will help you to run your generator even if one source of fuel is not available.

Control Panel

Control Panel

When choosing a generator for your sump pump, make sure the generator has a display that shows all the functional parameters. It will assist you in understanding whether you’re running the sump pump’s generator properly.

Easy to Start

Using a recoil start option may sometimes be challenging to power your generator. For that, choosing a generator that has an electric start will be a good choice. It will assist you in firing the generator quickly.


Increases utility bills

You will find different-priced generators on the marketplace. Some generators may be affordable, or some can be on the higher end. You should choose a generator that can easily meet your requirements and abide by your budget.


A generator will be an excellent solution to supply power to the sump pump during stormy nights. Otherwise, it could be challenging to prevent flooding in your basement. Using the right generator, you can easily power the sum pump on a rainy night when an outage occurs.

However, most people are confused, about whether it is possible to use a generator with a sump pump. We hope after reading this article, the confusion may go away. So, choose the right generator following the factors mentioned above to supply power to your sump pump during blackouts.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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