Everything You Need to Know About Sump Pumps

Are you buying a home with a sump pump? Read on to learn more about sump pumps and mistakes you should avoid while owning one.

Your basement is in danger of flooding . . . unless, of course, you install a sump pump. Sump pumps help reduce groundwater levels around a home, thus preventing flooding and other groundwater-related issues. 

Interested in learning more about them? Then read on. We’re going to cover everything you need to know about sump pumps, from sump pump installation to sump pump cost to sump pump repair, and more.

What Is a Sump Pump?

First and foremost, we need to explain what a sump pump is. A sump pump is a small pump that pumps out groundwater. It sits within a hole known as a sump basin (which is typically dug in the corner of a basement) and kicks into action anytime that groundwater levels grow too high. 

The primary function of the sump pump is to prevent flooding. However, it also helps to reduce hydrostatic pressure around a home’s foundation. In doing so, it reduces the risk of foundation cracks and therefore lessens the risk of mold growth and musty smells. 

Sump pumps are vital to finished basements, as they prevent groundwater from seeping in and ruining carpet and couches, and other expensive entities. 

Types of Sumps Pumps

In general, there are two types of sump pumps: submersible sump pumps and pedestal sump pumps. We’ll discuss the details of both below. 

Pedestal Sump Pumps

Pedestal sump pumps sit above their corresponding sump pits. They’re supported by legs and contain a component that drops down into the water below. These pumps tend to last longer but aren’t able to handle any solid entities. 

The upside to pedestal sump pumps is that they’re cheap. Plus, in situations in which the sump pit is extremely narrow, they’re the only viable options. 

Submersible Sump Pump

Aptly named, submersible sump pumps are submerged inside of sump pits. As such, they don’t take up any space in the area above the pit. In addition, they’re more effective than pedestal sump pumps, as they’re able to remove solid entities like stones and the like. 

Note, though, that submersible sump pumps are more expensive than pedestal sump pumps. And, despite this, they don’t tend to last as long. 

Primary Pump vs Backup Pump

Though it’s not true in all cases, in many cases, there are two sump pumps present. One of these is the primary sump pump. The other is known as the backup sump pump. 

The primary sump pump is, as you might expect, the most commonly used sump pump. It runs on electricity and kicks into action on a daily basis. 

The backup sump pump typically isn’t used at all. However, when the electricity goes out, it starts up, powered by a battery. This allows water to be pumped away from the base of the home, even during severe storms. 

You can try to make do with just a primary pump. However, we would recommend adding a backup pump as well. After all, it’s during severe storms (which commonly cause power outages) that your basement is at the highest risk of flooding. 

Understanding Sump Pump Installation

Sump pump installation is generally best handled by a professional. This is because it usually involves the digging of a sump basin, a large hole that exists in the corner of the basement. To dig this hole, you would need a high-powered tool like a jackhammer. 

You must also know how to set up a drainage pipe, and make it so that it empties on the outside of your home. This is not an easy thing to do for those who are uninitiated. 

In truth, it’s best to call either a seasoned plumber or an experienced basement waterproofer. These two professionals know the ins and outs of sump pump installation and will be able to facilitate your installation to the tee. 

How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

The lifespan of a sump pump depends on a number of different factors, including the amount of use it sees as well as its construction quality and type. As was noted above, pedestal sump pumps tend to last longer than submersible sump pumps. 

Generally speaking, you can plan on getting around 10 years of use out of a submersible pump. Pedestal pumps, on the other hand, will generally last between 12 and 15 years. 

Make note that sump pumps do break down on occasion. Fortunately, they can be fixed. If ever your sump pump stops working, just Google “sump pump repair near me“. 

How Much Does a Sump Pump Cost?

Just as their lifespans vary, so too do sump pumps’ costs.

You can find a cheap sump pump for as little as $30. However, it’s probably not going to be all that reliable. On the other hand, you can find a top-of-the-line sump pump for over $500. 

Pedestal sump pumps typically range between $70 and $150. Submersible sump pumps generally range between $100 and $400. 

Note, though, that these figures don’t include installation costs. With installation figured in, you can add another $45 to $200 per hour. Most installations take between 5 and 8 hours, so we’re talking somewhere between $650 and $2,000 in total. 

Sump Pumps Are Integral to Finished Basements

If you have a finished basement, there’s no doubt: you need to utilize the power of sump pumps. A sump pump will actively prevent your basement from flooding, ensuring the protection of many of your possessions. 

On the search for other waterproofing information? Our website might be of use to you. Take a look at some of our other articles now! 

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