Sump Pumps

Sump pumps remove groundwater that accumulates around your house

Sump Pumps - Buying Guide

Sump pumps can save you thousands of dollars in flood damage and are ideal for parts of the country that experience heavy rain and for houses built on flat or low-lying areas.

Tip: Choose corrosion-free housing materials, consider water capacity, know the height water has to be lifted for removal.


A sump pump consists of six main components:

  • Ground Water Collection System. Routes excessive groundwater to a sump basin.
  • Sump Basin. Collects liquid for removal.
  • Primary Sump Pump. ¼ HP to 1 HP, submersible or pedestal.
  • Discharge Pipe/Hose. Open valve or pipe run that carries discharge water away from home.
  • Check Valve. Prevents backflow through discharge outlet.
  • Backup Sump Pump System (Optional). Provides added protection in case of a power failure or if primary pump fails.

Pump Types

Consult the chart below for information regarding the two types of primary sump pumps:

Pump Type Description Points to Consider


Motor is mounted on shaft and is outside of the sump basin. The vertical float design is adjustable for specified on/off points. Ideal for smaller sump pits (10" or less).

  • Economical
  • Should be positioned where motor cannot be submerged
  • Exposed motor can make repairs easier

Pool Cover

Motor is sealed within the sump basin and unit is installed below water level.

  • Quiet and less obtrusive
  • Safer if children are in the house as motor is not above basin
  • Ideal for finished basement
  • Provides a cleaner and less obtrusive look


Switches turn the pump on and off and there are many different types:

  • Capacitive Switches. Uses a microprocessor to measure water level and engage the pump when the water level reaches a preset point in the sump basin.
  • Vertical Switches. Mechanical device that automatically turns a pump on and off when water reaches a preset level.
  • Diaphragm Switches. Mechanical device that uses water pressure levels to turn a pump on and off.

Installation Considerations

  • Always read owner’s manual before installing
  • Consult an electrician for rewiring
  • Research local code requirements for water discharge
  • Always disconnect power prior to working on sump pump
  • Install on a dedicated GFCI protected outlet
  • Never use extension cords with pump


  • 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.