Planning on Buying a Sump Pump? Here’s All You Need to Know

Chances are you already know a sump pump has something to do with getting rid of water in a basement, but you might not know exactly how it works, whether it’s time to purchase one, or what type to purchase. Simply put, a sump pump sits above the basement floor (a pedestal pump) or below it (a submersible pump). When incoming water hits a float set at a specific point — much like with a toilet — the pump activates and sucks up the water, depositing it through drainage pipes outside your home.

Difference Between Submersible and Pedestal Pumps

If you have the room, get a submersible pump, which is installed with the motor under the water in the sump pump basin. If the basin is on the small side, install a pedestal pump. One of these pumps will be your primary pump.

Difference Between a Backup Pump and Battery Backup Pump

A backup sump pump is exactly that — another sump pump. However, that pump and your primary one likely are electrical, which means if there are heavy rains and the power goes out, you are out of luck. What you need is a battery backup that switches to DC if the power fails. AC/DC units can be plugged into a wall outlet and run off that electricity when the power is on, then switch to the battery when the power goes out. A DC unit is strictly battery operated with no wall-plug option. Combination sump pump systems consist of the primary pump and the battery backup.

There are two battery types: lead acid and deep cycle. Deep-cycle batteries are the ones you’ll find in boats and don’t require any maintenance once installed. Lead-acid batteries need the periodic addition of water to remain functional.

Reduce Chances of Clogs

If silt, gravel, or anything else smaller than the pump’s opening accidentally gets sucked in, you could face a clog — which brings effectiveness to a screeching halt. To minimize the risk of clogging, look for a pump that has an impeller. An impeller uses pressure to force water through, hopefully carrying the bits that got stuck. The impeller works in tandem with an intake system to reduce clogs.

Red Alert

In the past, the only way you knew the sump pump wasn’t working was if you went into the basement, stepped off the last stair and heard a resounding splash. Today, some sump pumps come with an alarm system that goes off when the water hits a certain point, allowing you to make sure the pump is working and the water is draining. You also can purchase standalone alarms that measure rising water.

More Than One

Depending on the size of your basement and its propensity for flooding, you might consider investing in more than one sump pump. It’s fine to have a high-quality pump as the primary, but if it does fail, or the basement is inundated with water, a second or even third pump is essential.

Solving the Problem

A sump pump will help get excess water out of your basement, but it won’t do anything to solve the leakage problem. To have a truly dry basement, you need to have it assessed by a professional and repairs made, such as sealing cracks or installing a better drainage system. Proper landscape grading and gutters also help.

Acculevel Has Sump Pumps

Not only does Acculevel carry sump pumps, we also have skilled staff to install it for you. Family owned and operated since 1978, we began specializing in basements and foundations in 1996. We believe in being honest with clients and will never push you to purchase something you don’t need. If you’re looking to purchase a sump pump or need help figuring out if you even need one, we want to help. If you decide to address waterproofing issues and would like an estimate on repairs, we can do that, too. To make an appointment, contact our qualified staff at 866-669-3349 or email us at [email protected]

Related Articles:
Make Sure You Don’t Make These Common Mistakes With Your Sump Pump
How to Waterproof a Basement on the Outside
Assessing Drainage Problems
5 Waterproofing Tips for Ohio River Homeowners

Kelly Kater

Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.

    Stay In Touch

    Get Email Updates

    Sign up for email notifications about new articles.