All You Need to Know About Sump Pumps

If you are a homeowner, there is a good chance you’ve encountered the term sump pumps. For many homeowners, it is considered a wet basement lifesaver. You might not have understood the meaning of sump pumps but worry not, as you are lucky you are reading this. That said, you are about to learn everything about sump pumps.

What Is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is often located in the lower part of a basement or crawling space. Its primary role is to collect water accumulating in the basement sump basin and pump it outdoors, preventing the basement from flooding. It prevents the house from flooding during adverse weather conditions and ensures the floor is always dry.

When there are storms, water seeps through the soil and finally into the house basement, which might cause dampness in the basement, posing a health risk. Utilizing sump pumps handles such problems.

A sump basin is part of the sump pump system where water is temporarily held as it enters the basement through flooding. There is a specific water level in the sump basin, and when it gets too high, a floating switch trigger turns on the sump pump. With the sump pump switched on, water is pumped out of the house foundation through a discharge pipe. The good thing with this sump pump is that it automatically switches off once the water levels drop to a safe level.

Types of Sump Pumps

There are four types of sump pumps: water-powered backup, pedestal, submersible and battery-powered backup. Below is an explanation of how they differ regarding operation and mechanical abilities.

Water-powered back up

The water-powered backup utilizes increased water pressure to clear water in your sump basin. This type of sump pump is advantageous and easy to use as it does not require much maintenance, such as battery replacement. It doesn’t require constant monitoring while working. However, using additional water increases water bills, making it controversial. For the above-said reason, this sump pump is not allowed in some cities.

Battery-operated backup

A battery backup sump pump is considered one of the best ways to secure your home from flood damage. A battery backup will always have you covered, even during storm drains when there is a power outage, and you need the sump pump working. 

During a storm, the main power supply is likely to go out, and so will the sump pump, but with a battery backup, there is no need to worry. The float switch is triggered when the water levels within the basin rise, sending the battery back up in action instantaneously. 

Submersible Sump Pump

A submersible pump comprises a motor and a pump in one unit. They are permanently submerged and enclosed inside a basin within the basement. The good thing about submersible sump pumps is that they are quieter and usually save space in the basement as they are entirely submerged in the water basin. 

However, they might not last as long as other sump pumps due to the effects of water submersion. Despite the disadvantage it’s associated with, homeowners still prefer using it during significant flooding concerns. Remember, most homeowners don’t need to keep servicing their pumps as it’s an investment that should serve them for a long time.

Pedestal sump pump

Unlike the submersible sump pump, a pedestal sump pump has the motor and pump in separate units. The motor is positioned on the pedestal above the basin and connected to a hose running to the basin where the pump is located. The pump will send water through the hose to the area you’ve designated for draining.

With the motor not submerged, this sump pump has a longer lifespan compared to other sump pumps. It’s also easier to access and perform maintenance operations than submerged motors. However, it consumes ample space and is louder compared to other pumps.

Things to Consider While Buying a Sump Pump

Here are some of the tips to keep in mind while looking for a sump pump to buy.

  • Always ensure the pump has a mechanical switch, not one that works off the pressure. The switch must be solid to avoid getting waterlogged and defective.
  • Get a pump that has a no-screen intake design to minimize clogs.
  • Invest in a sump pump with a cast-iron core instead of plastic. With a cast-iron core, not only will it last longer, but it will also make it easy to service.

What Sump Pump Size Do I Need?

Choosing a sump pump with the correct horsepower and gallons per minute will save you a lot of money. Calculating the drainage area connected to the sump, the depth of the basement, and the depth of the underground water might assist you significantly in calculating the horsepower and gallons per minute requirements for a house. Additionally, it depends on how much water your crawl space or basement gets.

How to Choose a Horsepower

A 1/3 horsepower sump pump is standard for most homes with water problems, as it will get the job done properly. For a homeowner under a tight budget, you might consider getting a ¼ horsepower pump which will work well. For basements with heavier flooding, ½ horsepower is recommended, as it can remove approximately 3,000 gallons of water per hour. Often, most sump pumps will perform poorly since they lack the capacity to pump the amount of water retained in the house basement. This is the reason why it’s always important to look at the size of the basement and the water retained in the basin.

Consult Your Plumbing Expert Today

If you are considering investing in sump pumps, contact your expert today. At PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air, we offer technical advice on the best sump pump to fit your basement needs. We offer 24/7 plumbing and HVAC repair service, even during holidays, to better serve you. 

We’re family-owned, reliable, and affordable. Wherever you are in the valley, we have a plumbing and air conditioning technician nearby to provide you with a free estimate and expert same-day service. We service the entire Phoenix, AZ valley and surrounding areas. For immediate assistance, call (480) 654-8865 or fill out our contact form, and we’ll get in touch.