Choosing the best sump pump is usually a must if you have a basement or a crawl space under your house. You can check our unit reviews, ratings and complete buying guide in order to make an informed decision.
You need a sump pump if you want to avoid water damage to your property. If your basement or crawl space is prone to flooding and you do not have a sump pump installed, you will be looking at some very costly damage eventually. If you have ever had to ‘treat’ even the mildest of floods, you will know that the stench is foul and even the smallest amount of damage will cost you an arm and a leg. In many cases, you may not even be covered for the damage under your home insurance as you did not have a sump pump installed.
- Superior Pump 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump
- Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump, 1/3 Hp
- WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch
- Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09 1/3 HP Pedestal Sump Pump
- Liberty Pumps 257 1/3-Horse Power 1-1/2-Inch Discharge 250-Series Cast Iron Automatic Submersible Sump/Effluent Pump with VMF Switch
- Types of Sump Pump
- How to use a Sump Pump
- Installing a Sump Pump
Superior Pump 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump
The plastic construction of the Superior Pump helps to keep costs down. However, don’t worry about this being a sump pump which is just going to break on you. The construction is corrosion resistant which means that it should be able to work for you for many years to come. This is a sump pump which has been designed for domestic use. It is able to pump up to 30 gallons of water a minute at a vertical height of 25 feet. This is an astonishing amount considering it comes in a rather small package.
It is even able to run continually for periods of time although, of course, it is never really recommended that you run your sump pump continually as it can cause issues in the long term.
You can fit this sump pump into a six-inch opening which makes it one of the most compact sump pumps on the market.
Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump, 1/3 Hp
The Zoeller sump pump is a submersible sump pump that is a favorite among many contractors and plumbers. This is due to the amount of efficiency it boasts when it is looking to clear water out of a sump pit. One of the main advantages of this pump is that it is made from cast iron. This means that there should be absolutely no issues in terms of breaking down in the pit. Even the automatic float switch is constructed to a high standard. Basically, this is a sump pump which has really been built to last. Trust us on this one.
The fact that this sump pump has a 9ft power cord means that your sump pit can be a good distance away from your electrical system and you will still be able to use the sump pump. The one-third horsepower construction means that it is going to be pumping out water from your sump pit incredibly efficiently.
The well-constructed nature of this sump pump means that you are able to just install it and leave it in place. If the switch fails, you can get the spare parts to replace it with ease.
WAYNE CDU980E 3/4 HP Submersible Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Sump Pump With Integrated Vertical Float Switch
If you are looking for one of the highest-powered sump pumps on the market, then this is what you need. It is able to cope with 4,600 gallons of water per hour. The Wayne CDU 980E is more than enough for most situations. It will be able to cope with 3,500 gallons per hour at 10 feet lift. Basically, unless there is serious flooding in your area, that is going to work. Plus, if you have 3,500 gallons of water flowing in, you probably have serious issues anyway.
Perhaps the real highlight of this sump pump is that it has a quality float switch inside. This float switch has been extensively tested.
In fact, it has been tested up to one million cycles. This means that once you have the sump pump in place, you probably will not need to constantly check the water flow in the pit. You can just expect it to work without any issues.
Flotec FPPM3600D-01/09 1/3 HP Pedestal Sump Pump
This is a very rugged pedestal sump pump. It has a 1/3 HP motor which should be able to cope with most domestic situations. It is able to pump 3480 gallons of water per hour, which should be more than enough. The real highlight of this pump is that it has a non-clogging impeller. You do not really see this at this price range. Most cheap pedestal sump pumps require a lot of effort on the part of the owner to keep working. Not the Flotec. It is very much a case of leaving it in place and it will continue to work for you.
One of the things that we love about the Flotec FPPM3600D is that it has been constructed in the United States. This means that it has been constructed to a very high standard. It is unlikely you will run into any issues with it, but it is nice to know that somebody has your back should you do so.
Liberty Pumps 257 1/3-Horse Power 1-1/2-Inch Discharge 250-Series Cast Iron Automatic Submersible Sump/Effluent Pump with VMF Switch
This cast iron sump pump is powerful. It is able to deal with up to 50 gallons of water per minute. This is incredibly efficient. The cast iron construction does push it into the more expensive side of things, but that is OK in our opinion. Despite being a touch more expensive than other sump pumps on the market, it is able to continue to perform to a high standard for years to come. These things are going to be nigh on indestructible.
The magnetically operated vertical float switch is incredibly robust. If you do ever have an issue with it, it will not be for years down the line. Couple this with the 10 foot power cord and you can ensure that your sump pump can be a good distance from your sump pit.
The job of the sump pump is to prevent flooding. Basically, it helps to keep the building dry. Sump pumps are installed in what are known as sump pits. Water will be directed to the sump pit. There will either be a drain in place or it will be a natural water flow through the soil around the sump pit. As the water in the sump pit starts to fill up, the sump pump will be kicked into action and it will start to push it out.
Types of Sump Pump
There are a few different types of sump pump that you will be able to purchase. Each of them has their own distinct pros and cons.
One of the most popular designs is the submersible sump pump. As the name suggests, these are designed to go right into the sump pit. They can be completely submerged in water without any issues. These are probably some of the most efficient types of sump pump around. They do cost a little bit more, but they are worth it. This is because they last longer, they run quieter, and since they stay hidden, it does not really ruin the look of your basement. Many people find that they are a bit easier to install.
Then we have the pedestal sump pump. It has a small impeller at the bottom and a motor at the top. These sump pumps will have a float switch installed. As the water fills up, the float switch will get higher and higher. Eventually, it will get to the point where the pit is so full that the switch will be triggered and the sump pump will be kicked into action. The thing with this type of sump pump is that there is a lot that can go wrong with them. They are cheaper, we give you that. However, you may need to carry out maintenance on them from time to time. This means making sure that the switch is working. These can also be a bit on the louder side of things.
Portable sump pumps, as the name suggests, are designed to be portable. They are great for removing water from an area very quickly, but they are unlikely going to be your main sump pump. In fact, it really is suggested that they are not your main sump pump as they are nowhere near as efficient as the fixed units.
The final option is the backup sump pump. These, once again, are not there to be your main sump pump. They are really there if one of the following situations occurs:
You don’t really get a lot of water fill up. Just a small amount from time to time. This means that there really is not a lot that needs to be pumped out. Basically, if you are not getting a lot of water at all.
During the months where there is a lot of rain and your home is going to be more prone to flooding. You will want to have something in place which will suck out the excess water quicker than your other sump pump can do. Basically, it will be performing two jobs.
How to use a Sump Pump
Sump pumps are, for the most part, ridiculously easy to use. Once you have them installed (more on that in the next section), they will pump out the water automatically. There is little that you are really need to do. The only real exception to this is if you have a portable sump pump. If that is the case, you may need to do something to get it to work.
Here are a few things that you should be looking for in a quality sump pump:
Horsepower: this is your main consideration. The higher the horsepower of the unit, the quicker it will be able to pump water out of your sump pit. This makes it ideal for those areas where you are likely to experience a lot of flooding. However, it is probably worth noting that the more horsepower, the more expensive the sump pump is going to be to run.
Discharge Pipe: this is something that only really needs to be considered if you are installing a sump pump for the first time. Generally speaking, the further the water needs to travel when being pumped from the sump pit, the larger the pipe needs to be. This is because narrow pipes can cause a lot of friction. This friction will slow down the speed at which your sump pump works.
If you already have a sump pit in place and you are looking for a new sump pump to fit into it, then you will want to ensure that you select a sump pump that fits. This will ensure that the switch does not catch onto the side of the pit which will stop water flowing out and will end up damaging your pump. (Learn what to do if your sump pump keeps running and won’t turn off)
Switch: you will need to pay attention to the switch. Tethered switches float upwards and activate when the switch is at an angle. This provides a longer run time and a longer cool time. The downside to this type of switch is that you will need a larger sump pit. Vertical switches go vertical. Once the switch reaches the top, the pump is turned on. Since it only moves up and down, it is ideal for a narrow sump pit. The downside is that it runs more often which can reduce the lifespan of the pump.
The final option is electric probes which use electrical currents to work out the current amount of water in the pit. There are no moving parts here which is great. However, if there are a lot of minerals in the water, it means that the pump probes can get coated and become less efficient.
Installing a Sump Pump
We are not really going to go too much into depth on installing a sump pump here. This is because it is quite a complicated procedure. If you do buy one, then we suggest getting a contractor to install it. It will ensure that things go a lot smoother.
When you are installing a sump pump, a hole will need to be dug in the ground. The hole location will be carefully selected based upon water flow. A network of pipes then needs to be connected to the sump pump. This network of pipes is designed to take water away from your home and pump it outside. This is where the real issues are. The pipework is often going to be quite extensive. You also want to ensure that the area where the pipe leaves your home is going to be well-sealed, just to help to lock in the heat into your home. You will be surprised how even the smallest of holes can let a lot of heat to escape.
image credit: valuehomecenters