Sump pumps can save you thousands of dollars in flood damage. They are ideal for parts of the country that experience heavy rain and for houses built on flat or low-lying areas. Keep your home protected by learning about the various types of pumps and how to choose the best sump pumps for your home or office. This guide will break down what a sump pump is, explain how do sump pumps work and help you answer the questions, such as, what size sump pump do I need?
Tip: Choose corrosion-free housing materials, consider water capacity and know the height water has to be lifted for removal.
Sump Pump Components
What is a sump pump? A sump pump consists of six main components:
- Ground Water Collection System: This routes excessive groundwater to a sump basin.
- Sump Basin: This collects liquid for removal.
- Primary Sump Pump: 1/4-horsepower to 1-horsepower, submersible or pedestal variety.
- Discharge Pipe/Hose: The open valve or pipe run carries discharge water away from home.
- Check Valve: This prevents backflow through the discharge outlet.
- Backup Sump Pump System (Optional): This provides added protection in case of a power failure or if primary pump fails.
Sump Pump Types
Consult the chart below for information regarding the different types of sump pumps.
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Primary Sump Pumps
Pump switches turn the unit on and off, and there are many different types.
- Capacitive switches use a microprocessor to measure water level and engage the pump when the water level reaches a preset point in the sump basin.
- Vertical switches are a mechanical device that automatically turns a pump on and off when water reaches a preset level.
- Diaphragm switches are a mechanical device that uses water pressure levels to turn a pump on and off.
- Always read the owner's manual before installing.
- Consult an electrician for rewiring.
- Research local code requirements for water discharge.
- Always disconnect power prior to working on a sump pump.
- Install on a dedicated GFCI protected outlet.
- Never use extension cords with pumps.
Features to Consider
- SSPMA Standards: Look for a pump that conforms to the standards of The Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association.
- Water-Powered Pumps: Uses city water pressure to pump water. Not designed to handle large quantities of water.
- Corrosion-Resistant Construction: Enables pumps to withstand the rigors of long-term use.