Choosing the Correct Basement Sump Pump for Your Home

Parisa OstovariPlumbing, Uncategorized

Having the right sump pump can help you deter water damage or worse, allowing you to enjoy all parts of your home, including your basement. A sump pump is designed to pump water out of your home before it can get to destructive levels, guarding against not only flood waters, but also alleviates an insurance claim and the cost of water damage mitigation. With a task this vital, your sump pump needs to be up for the job! Here are a few factors to think about before choosing one.

Submersible or Pedestal

Pedestal sump pumps, which are elevated so they are out of the water, used to be the norm, but this was before the technology was up to the challenge of making them waterproof. Submersible sump pumps are waterproof and have become much more common, but there is still some debate on which is the better investment. Submersible pumps cost more but offer the convenience of being able to be installed in the pit, and they tend to be quieter since they’re submerged. Pedestal pumps are less expensive and last longer than a submersible pump, but they prevent the pit from being sealed, so it won’t work with a radon mitigation system.


Not all sump pumps are created equal, and regardless of whether your pump is submersible or Pedestal, it’ll need to be powerful enough to remove water from your home if it floods. How powerful you need depends on a different factors, such as your house size and the severity of flooding your home might experience. A common size for many homes is 1/3 horsepower, which is powerful enough to remove water from an average home with low to moderate flood risk. If your house is larger or your flood risk is higher, however, you may need a 1/2 horsepower pump or, in the most extreme instances, a 3/4 horsepower pump.

Type of Switch

Once you have chosen the correct type and size of pump, you’ll need to determine how it’ll turn on and off. For peace of mind, you’ll want a switch to turn your pump on automatically if your home starts to flood, and off once your home is out of danger. A switch that will turn your pump on automatically as water levels rise will protect your home even when you’re not there to operate the pump. In the same instance, it will turn itself off automatically which will prevent the pump from running dry and burning itself out. There are a couple different types of switches: a mechanical switch, that uses a float to measure the water level and turns the pump on and off as it rises and falls, and an electronic switch, also known as a pressure switch or a capacitive switch, that electronically detects the water level and turns it on when it gets too high.

Planning for Power Outages

Your power source is something to keep in mind also. Many of the same conditions that would create a flood situation in your home could also mean a loss of power, so it’s important to be sure you’re ready for such an event. The safest way to protect your home is not to rely on electricity, which can go out, or a battery backup system, which needs to be maintained and can fail if there is too much demand. Instead, consider installing a water-powered backup sump pump. These systems tie into the municipal water supply and use its water pressure to power the pump, ensuring that you’ll never be left without a working sump pump in case of an emergency.

Navigating the Waters

There are a lot of decisions to make when shopping for a sump pump, so call your neighborhood plumber today. Greenwell Plumbing technicians are there for you from the moment you decide to shop for a sump pump until the day the installation is complete.