Sump Pumps: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

This sump pump article provides answers to FAQs that you need to know before buying a sump pump for your home.

Superior Pump 91570 1/2 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump with 10-Foot Cord

Within this article we will cover the following areas in relation to sump pumps:

  1. What is a sump pump?
  2. Why would I need a sump pump?
  3. What types of sump pumps are there?
  4. Automatic vs. manual sump pumps
  5. Submersible vs. pedestal sump pumps
  6. Sump pump horsepower
  7. Sump pump head pressure
  8. Floor sucker sump pumps
  9. Water-powered sump pumps
  10. How long do sump pumps last?
  11. Some signs that your sump pump might need replacing or repairing.
  12. Are sump pumps loud?
  13. What is a sump pump alarm?
  14. Should I have two sump pumps?
  15. Top care tips for sump pumps
  16. Final thoughts on sump pumps

You may be wondering whether or not you need to invest in a sump pump. Not everybody needs one, but if you do, it is an investment that is well worth making to prevent serious water damage to your house. Before you buy a sump pump, there are some important things that you need to know. 

What Is a Sump Pump?

The purpose of sump pumps is to keep the area under your home dry and to prevent flooding. The sump pump is installed in a pit at the lowest part of your crawlspace or basement. When the area becomes flooded, the water flows into the pit and the sump pump pumps the water out and away from the home. This prevents water damage to your house.

Why Would I Need a Sump Pump?

If you find that your basement occasionally floods, is damp, or has a musty smell, this may mean that there is too much water collecting in your basement, and you may need a sump pump. One way to find out if you need a sump pump is to tape a 2-foot square piece of plastic onto various points of your basement wall and leave it for a few days. If you find water underneath the plastic, this shows that your basement is collecting too much water, and it would be worth your while to look into installing a sump pump.

Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump, 1/3 Hp:

* 3/10 HP pump for residential sump pits or septic tanks
* 1½” discharge, passes 1/2″ spherical solids
* An automatic model with an integral float-activated switch
* Cast iron switch case, motor, and pump housing, plastic base
* Performance: 43 GPM at 5′ TDH, shut-off: 19.25′ TDH. 100% factory tested.

View further details here on Amazon:
Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump, 1/3 Hp:

What Types of Sump Pumps Are There?

When choosing a sump pump, there are a large variety of different options to consider. It is worth taking the time to research your options and find the sump pump that works best for you and your needs/budget.

Automatic Vs. Manual Sump Pumps

With automatic sump pumps, a sensor is placed in the pit that turns the pump on when it senses water. Of course, this is more convenient, but these sump pumps can be a more expensive option. If your water problem is only small, you could get away with using a manual one now and again.

Submersible Vs. Pedestal Sump Pumps

A submersible sump pump rests in the water encased in a waterproof housing. The motor is encased in a sealed compartment, so these pumps tend to be quieter. On the other hand, a pedestal sump pump has a long stick with a flat head. The pedestal keeps the motor out of the water as it is not designed to get wet. Because the engine is outside of the pit, pedestal sump pumps tend to be a lot louder. They are also, however, not as expensive as the submersible pumps, and they also have a longer life (they last 2 to 5 times longer than submersible pumps).

Sump Pump Horsepower

Some pumps have a higher horsepower than others, and which one you choose depends on the extent of your water problem.

Superior Pump 92250 Thermoplastic Submersible Sump Pump with Tethered Float Switch, 1/4 HP:

* 1/4 HP Sump pump moves up to 1,800 gallons per hour.
* The pump will lift water up to 25′ of vertical height
* Tough thermoplastic construction; 10-foot cord length
* Tethered float switch to automatically turn the pump on/off
* 1-1/4 inch or 1-1/2 inch NPT discharge for high capacity pumping
* Superior Pumps are Built to Last.
* Engineered with quality components and are 100% factory tested.

View further details here on Amazon:
Superior Pump 92250 Thermoplastic Submersible Sump Pump with Tethered Float Switch, 1/4 HP:

Sump Pump Head Pressure

This is how high the pump can raise the water. The amount of head pressure you need depends, of course, on how high you need the water to go.

Floor Sucker Sump Pumps

These sumps pumps can remove water directly off a flat surface and so don’t need a pit. If you need to remove water from a surface that can’t have a pit in it, such as a flat roof, then this type of sump pump is exactly what you need.

Water-Powered Sump Pumps

These types of pumps don’t need electricity. Instead, they use water pressure directly from your home plumbing system.

How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

As with any other appliance, your sump pump won’t last forever. As an average, sump pumps last approximately ten years, but this varies by the type of sump pump, how often your sump pump needs to work, and the distance needed to pump the water.

WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Sump Pump:

* Assembled in the US with foreign and domestic parts.
* Top suction pump design minimizes air locks and clogging from debris in the bottom of the sump pit.
* Assembled in us, with foreign and domestic components.
* Stainless steel motor housing and rugged, cast iron pump base.
* Vertical float switch, tested to 1 million cycles!4600 GPH at 10 ft. of discharge lift.
* 1-1/2 In. NPT Discharge for compliance with building codes.

View more details here on Amazon:
WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Sump Pump:

Some Signs That Your Sump Pump Might Need Replacing or Repairing

•           the sump pump is running, but there is no water in the pit

•           clogged pump and switches

•           irregular sounds (e.g., gurgling, thuds, rattling, or grinding)

•           the sump pump is continuously running

•           continual flooding (your sump pump might need to be raised)

•           loss of power

Are Sump Pumps Loud?

A common worry that people have when they are considering buying a sump pump is that it will be very noisy. Sump pumps will never be silent because of the type of mechanical work they perform, but there are ways to reduce the noise your sump pump might make.

1) Make sure the pit is covered

If your sump pump pit is not covered, the noise that comes from the water being sucked into the pump will be much louder.

2) The age of your sump pump

Older sump pump models tend to be much louder than the newer types. This is because the newer sump pump models have self-lubricating motors that run much more quietly.

3) Make sure the pump is placed fully in the pit

Being inside the pit muffles the sounds that the sump pump makes, so making sure that your sump pump is placed entirely inside the pit will reduce how loud it is. As mentioned earlier, some sump pumps, such as a pedestal pump, are designed so that the motor is placed outside of the pit, and these will be louder.

4) Make sure the discharge pipe isn’t rattling against the sump pump lid

This will cause noise but can be an easy fix. For example, wrapping the pipe in insulation can prevent rattling.

What Is a Sump Pump Alarm?

Sump pump alarms can be an essential part of your sump pump setup. Installing a sump pump alarm means that you will be alerted when the pit is filling with water, and the levels are getting too high. It is often a good idea to ensure that your sump pump alarm is connected to a power backup to work still if there is a power outage.

WAYNE WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump with Multi-Flo Technology, Yellow:

* The pump should be unplugged once the water is no longer being moved, or the pump will run dry.
* Assembled in the US with foreign and domestic parts.
* Multi-flo technology allows easy selection of the appropriate discharge for the application.
* Top discharge is perfect for tight spaces where water removal is needed.
* Side discharge is ideal for easy water removal from flat open surfaces.
* 30 ft. Max head.; removes water down to 1/16 in. On the surface, virtually dry.
* For removing water from flooded basements, boats, stock tanks, and even a 5-gallon bucket.
* Max. Flow rate is 1257 gallons per hour: 900 gph at 10 ft; 3/4 in.
* Corrosion Resistant Brass discharge outlets, with tethered cap seals, fits any standard garden hose.
* Eliminate standing water in your yard and the risk of attracting mosquitos.

View further details here on Amazon:
WAYNE WWB WaterBUG Submersible Pump with Multi-Flo Technology, Yellow:

Should I Have Two Sump Pumps?

It might seem like overkill, but when you’re thinking about saving your house from severe damage, installing two sump pumps instead of one can be a sound investment. The second sump pump would act as a backup for the first. Considering that you may not realize your first sump pump has stopped working until it’s too late, having the peace of mind of a backup sump pump can be invaluable.

It is best not to place both sump pumps into the pit together as this would add wear and tear to both unnecessarily. A popular approach can be to use the “piggyback” method. This is where the second sump pump is placed above the first. This way, if the first sump pump stops working, the water level rises above it and triggers the second sump pump to drain the water.

A water-powered sump pump can be a good choice for your backup sump pump. Because they don’t need electricity to work, they can step in if there is an electrical problem,

Top Care Tips for Sump Pumps

You should check your sump pump reasonably regularly to make sure that it is still working as it should. Installing your sump pump is only the first step in ensuring your home is protected from water damage. You also have to make sure that it is adequately maintained; otherwise, it won’t work when you need it.

Monthly – if your sump pump disposes of water from a washing machine, you should check it monthly.

Quarterly – if your sump pump does not dispose of water from a washing machine, you only need to check it quarterly. Checking your sump is especially important in early spring, when groundwater tends to be at its highest.

Yearly – you should remove your sump pump every year to clean it and the pit.

Some important things to check for include:

•           The constant vibration your sump pump makes can cause it to tip to the side. Making sure that it is upright and vertical will make sure it can work as it should.

•           If you want to check that your sump pump will pump the water out if it comes into contact, you can test it by pouring water into the pit yourself.

•           If you have an automatic sump pump, checking that the electrical connection works as it should is imperative. If the sensor’s connection to the motor is never made, your sump pump won’t be triggered to start pumping the water out.

A professional inspection is also a good idea to have a professional come in and check your sump pump every year. They should check the pit, valve, backup power source, alarm, cover, and discharge location.

Final Thoughts on Sump PumpsIf your home is at risk of flooding, installing a sump pump can be vital to your home maintenance and prevent severe water damage. The type of sump pump you choose will depend on your needs and how much you plan to spend. Taking the time to make sure that it is installed correctly and properly maintained is vital if you want your sump pump to protect your home the way it should.

Superior Pump 92541 1/2 HP Cast Iron Sump Pump with Vertical Switch:

* 1/2 HP Sump pump moves up to 3300-gallons per hour.
* Pumps water up to 25-vertical feet.
* Continuous duty, thermally protected – split capacitor motor.
* Rugged cast iron construction.
* Stainless steel impeller.
* Vertical float switch, 10-foot power cord with piggyback plug.
* 1-1/2 inch NPT discharge, Handles up to 3/8 inch solids.
* cULus Listed, CSA Certified.
* Superior Pumps are Built to Last, engineered with quality components.

View further details here on Amazon:
Superior Pump 92541 1/2 HP Cast Iron Sump Pump with Vertical Switch:


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