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Sump Pump Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy sump pumps.
Sump Pump Buying Guide Video
Sump Pump Buying Guide
Sump Pump Buying Guide Video Sump Pump Buying Guide Video
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Getting Started

Sump pumps are pumps used for clear water drainage; removing accumulated water from a sump pit or other location inside your home. A sump pit, commonly found in the homes basement, is simply a hole dug in the ground to collect water. The water may enter through drain tiles 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.

Automatic Sump Pumps

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.

Manual Sump Pumps

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

The groundwater collection system helps ensure that any excessive groundwater goes towards the sump basin.

Sump Basin

The sump basin is the part of the sump pump where liquid is collected for removal.

Primary Sump Pump

There are two types of primary sump pumps: Submersible or Pedestal.

Discharge Pipe/Hose

An open valve or pipe run that carries discharge water away from the home.

Check Valve

The check valve ensures that any water pumped out of the basin does not flow backwards when the sump pump turns off.

Backup Sump Pump System

The backup sump pump system, which is an optional feature, provides added protection in case the primary pump fails or the power happens to go out.

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:

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.
The most common of the two types is a manual sump pump, which typically have a float switch.


Sump pump horsepower will vary from 1/4 horsepower to multiple horsepower.

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.

Phase & Voltage:

The voltages offered include 115, 230, and 460 volts.
The most common of the three voltages offered are 230 volts and 460 volts.

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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