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How to Choose the Right Sump Pump

A sump pump is a very handy appliance that can save you from water damage, frustration and costly cleanup. It keeps track of the ground water underneath your basement floor and pumps it out as it starts rising to dangerous levels during a storm. Waterproofing membranes and foundation wall repair certainly help keep your basement dry, from our Baltimore basement waterproofing experience, but if the water is coming through the floor, a sump pump is the only device that can help you.

Whether you’ve never had a sump pump or are looking to replace your old model, it pays to do your research. There are different types and models of sump pumps on the market these days, and it’s important that you select the right one for your waterproofing needs.

Pedestal Sump Pumps

These pumps are mounted on a pole above your basement floor. If you live in an older home, this is probably what you have. Pedestal sump pumps are the industry pioneers and are not as widely used anymore due to being noisy, cumbersome and limited in their horsepower capacity.

Submersible Sump Pumps

As the name suggests, submersible pumps get submerged inside a sump pit, which is convenient, because the noise is reduced and the device is hidden from view. Submersible pumps are also generally more powerful and, therefore, can pump out more water faster.

Which One Should You Choose?

This will depend on what you are working with. If you already have a sump pit and just need a new sump pump, then you should look for a pump that would, first of all, fit in the pit. If your sump pit is narrow or shallow, then a pedestal pump might be a better option. If it’s wide and deep enough to accommodate a submersible pump (or can be widened), go with a submersible model. It might be more expensive, but you’ll get a greater output and a longer life cycle. A few other things to consider:

  • Power & capacity: make sure you buy a sump pump that is adequate to handle the amount of rain you get.
  • Type of switch that signals for the motor to turn on. There are floating, diaphragm and electronic switches to choose from—each works differently and differs in reliability.
  • Head height is the length of the discharge pipe that disposes of the water from the sump pit. Take it into account when choosing capacity and horsepower, because it greatly affects your pump’s productivity.

And don’t forget about the backups! There are two situations that can cause your sump pump to fail and your basement to flood: the power goes out or your pump breaks. Luckily, you can protect yourself from both. A battery backup can solve the problem with power outages and a secondary pump can be installed to kick in if the primary one fails.

Need more help selecting or installing a sump pump? Contact Basement Waterproofing Technologies and we’ll be happy to provide assistance.