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Sump Pumps Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy sump pumps.

Getting Started

Sump pumps are pumps used for drainage that removes accumulated water from a sump pit or other location inside your home. A sump pit, commonly found in the home basement, is simply a hole dug in the ground to collect water. The water may enter through drains that have been funneling into the pit over time, especially during inclement weather.


Sump pumps are installed particularly where basement flooding is seen as a problem, but are also used to improve dampness by lowering the water table under the foundation. Sump pumps pipe water away from the house to any place where it no longer presents a hazard, such as a municipal storm drain or dry well. 

Types of Sump Pumps
There are two available categories of sump pumps, Automatic and Manual. An automatic sump pump has a switch attached that activates the pump when the water reaches a certain height and turns the pump off when the sump pump has drained the water. 

A manual sump pump must be turned on and off manually. Sump pumps may also have battery backups, control panels, and automatic switches amongst other accessories installed to ensure continuous and proper operation. 

Parts of A Sump Pump

  • Groundwater Collection System - Routes excessive groundwater to a sump basin.
  • Sump Basin - Basin that collects liquid for removal.
  • Primary Sump Pump - ¼ HP to 1 HP, submersible or pedestal.
  • Discharge Pipe/Hose - An open valve or pipe run that carries discharge water away from the home.
  • Check Valve - Prevents backflow through discharge outlet so that water pumped out of the basin does not flow back into it when the sump pump turns off.
  • Backup Sump Pump System (Optional) - Can provide added protection in the event of a power failure or if your primary pump fails.


Selecting a Sump Pump

When it comes to choosing the right sump pump for your home, you will need to know the full uses for it. To select the appropriate sump pump consider the following:

  1. Automatic vs. Manual Operation: Selection of a manual sump pump means that you will turn the pump on and off when appropriate. Selecting an automatic sump pump means that a switch is wired to the sump pump to turn it on or off at appropriate water levels. Automatic switches include pressure switches, low level pressure switches and float switches.
  2. Horsepower: Sump pump horsepower will vary from 1/4 horsepower to multiple horsepower.
  3. Cord Length: The cord length of a sump pump describes the length of the power cord. It is also important to consider the length of the cord of any special switches that may be connected to your pump.
  4. Phase & Voltage: The voltages offered include 115, 230, and 460 volt.
  5. Backup System & Alarm: If redundancy and an alert system are vital for operation of your sump pump, consider a backup system and/or alarm to alert you when things go awry.

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