Quick Guide – What You Need to Know About Sump Pumps

No one seems to know about their sump pump until they’re standing in three inches of water in their basement. Most people talk about sump pumps after a heavy storm or flood and that’s because sump pumps redirect water away from your home. Read on to learn how exactly a sump pump works and find out if installing one is right for you!

What is a Sump Pump and How Does it Work?

Submersible sump pump

A sump pump is a small pump installed into the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace and is designed to keep your home dry and prevent flooding. When it storms, water saturates the soil around your home. If there is a particularly heavy downpour, the water can accumulate under the foundation of your home and possibly seep into the basement. Excess water and moisture in your home can wreak havoc on your health. That’s when a sump pump comes in and saves the day!

The sump pit, or sump basin, a hole dug specifically for the pump, holds the sump pump and collects water. When the water level in your sump basin gets too high, a float switch triggers to turn the sump pump on so it can begin pumping water out and away from your home’s foundation through a discharge pipe. When the water level drops to a safe level, the switch disengages and turns off the pump.

The Types of Sump Pumps

Pedestal Pump- A sump pump that is kept out of the sump basin and away from water making them louder, but less expensive. A pedestal pump also has a longer lifespan compared to the submersible. The float switch maintenance is on the outside of the pit making it easier to repair.

Submersible Pump-  A water proof pump that rests in water inside of the sump pit. The submersible pump can handle greater volumes of water and is built to handle solids or particles.

What Size Sump Pump Do I Need?

Choosing a sump pump with the correct amount of horsepower and gallons per minute can actually end up saving you a lot of money. The horsepower and gallons per minute requirement for a house can be calculated by the area of drainage connected to the sump, the depth to groundwater, and the depth of your basement. Ultimately, it depends on the amount of water your basement or crawl space gets.

Sump pumps are sold in increments and the most commonly found are .1/2 hp, 1/3 hp, and 1/4 hp. A 1/3 horsepower sump pump is the standard and gets the job done, but for basements with heavier flooding a 1/2 horsepower removes around 3,000 gallons of water per hour. If you’re on a budget, a .25hp pump will work if you don’t find a large sump pump necessary for your home. It’s always best to consult with a professional before buying if you have any questions.

Do I Need a Sump Pump?

Although installing a sump pump can be extremely beneficial, not all homes need one. If you’ve never experienced flooding in your home, a sump pump may not be necessary.

Though, if you live in a flat or low-lying area that frequently collects rain water, a sump pump may be crucial to preventing basement flooding. Has your basement flooded before? If so, it’s likely to happen again if you haven’t made any major renovations such as replacing your old foundation. Installing a sump pump may also offer you some extra “flood insurance” to protect a newly finished basement or storage.

Sump pumps give you peace of mind that no matter what weather you encounter, your basement will be kept safe and dry.

For more information on sump pump installation, call 1-Tom-Plumber at 1-866-758-6237!

Tim with 1-Tom-Plumber compares two popular sump pumps and shares his thoughts.

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4 comments on “Quick Guide – What You Need to Know About Sump Pumps

vurtil opmer

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You can definitely see your expertise within the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart. “The point of quotations is that one can use another’s words to be insulting.” by Amanda Cross.


Great tips! Not replacing the battery backup on a sump pump is by far the greatest issues with failure I’ve seen.

Andrew Nelson

As I am a homeowner I need to repair my sump pump sometimes. This article helps me a lot with knowing the sump pump. Thanks for sharing. Do you have any specific blog about cleaning the sump pump?

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