A sump pump is a pump used to remove water from what is called a sump pit. A sump pit in its most simple form is just a hole used to collect water. This water may be gathered by various drains and water exitways around a residence.
There are two basic kinds of sump pumps in residential use: the pedestal pump and the submersible pump.
Pedestal pumps tend to be the cheaper and longer lasting of the two. Pedestal pumps do not site in water and thus do not receive this environmental wear and tear. Even though most of these pumps are only guaranteed for one year by the manufacturer, a pedestal pump that doesn’t receive excessive use and is kept in a well-maintained area may last as long as 25 or more years. Because pedestal pumps are often easier to get to for a plumber, repairs will be cheaper as well.
So why even bother with a submersible pump? Submersible pumps aren’t usually seen or heard as they are concealed within a holding tank out of eyeshot. This is almost a must if you use your basement as living space.
Before deciding on a pump, consider the gallons per hour a pump can handle to make sure it will work for your application. Read the fine print to see the “lift” that GPH (gallons per hour) rating is intended for. A pump may be listed at 3000 GPH, but only at a one foot lift. Another pump may be rated for only 1000 GPH, but at a ten foot lift, thereby being the high capacity model although having a lower rating. The “lift” describes the distance from the pump’s bottom to the discharge point that water will traverse.
The material composition of a sump pump will also affect the price. Selecting a more expensive model made up of better quality parts (stainless steel, treated cast iron, etc) will often result in only having to pay for one pump for a loooong time vs cheaper sheet metal models. Also, make certain that the cord for a sump pump is long enough. Since sump pumps are placed in the dampest area of a home’s lower regions, using an extension cord is not an option since last we checked, water and electricity don’t mix very well 🙂