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Water damage in your home is a serious business. Therefore, the decision to buy a reliable, quality sump pump to prevent a flooding catastrophe in your basement or crawlspace must be taken with due consideration. Luckily for you, you have come to the right place with the best information available for a sound decision.
Our Top 3 Picks
We have already done the “leg work” to track down the finest, best-performing pumps available on the market today. Our research includes all types of the best basement sump pumps, portable pumps and backup sump pumps. Our top picks have been carefully selected for their ability to remove unwanted water from your home while also taking into consideration the variance in homeowners’ budgets.
Once you have completed this brief guide, you will understand why a sump pump is such an important investment, what features to look for in the best sump pumps, how to use them and how to install them properly.
Lightweight, easy to stow
Runs up to 5 hours on three D cells
A pedestal sump pump has a motor mounted above the pump on a shaft. This keeps the motor out of the sump basin. This design is less expensive to manufacture and maintain. A shaft extends from the motor to the impeller of the pump, which sits within the sump basin. They are ideal for both shallow and deep sumps. They fit smaller budgets and typically last 25 years or longer. Because of their height, they should be braced or tied to a nearby support.
A submersible sump pump is designed to be completely under the water it is pumping. They need a sump deep enough to completely cover the unit. Due to its compact size compared to a pedestal style sump pump, most people find it easier to handle and like that it is out of sight below the floor. A typical lifespan for a submersible pump is 10 to 15 years.
A portable sump pump is used in areas that flood infrequently. They typically are powered by an electrical cord or an attached gasoline motor. Some require priming with water because they are not designed to suck up water but rather to push it. Intake and outlet hoses usually must be provided to transport the water a safe distance away. Running a portable sump pump dry can quickly damage the impeller or burn out the motor so they should be monitored.
If the power goes out while a primary sump pump is operating, a backup sump pump that runs on either a battery or water pressure turns on automatically and continues removing excess water. Water-powered sump pumps get their power from the pressure of your city water supply, so can run indefinitely, whereas battery-powered backup pumps run from a lead-acid battery. Backup sump pumps include alarms to indicate when they are operating.
A battery-powered backup pump will work as long as its battery has a charge. Typically, a marine-grade, deep-cycle 12VDC battery is used, which is continually charged while the mains power is on. Although these pumps do not come with a battery, they usually have a sealed battery box, a charger, check valve and plumbing connections to insert it in parallel with your existing sump pump plumbing.
There are numerous different options out there to choose from in regards to sump pump parts for the system that you own, and today we’ll be taking a look at some of the best and most important parts that you can get for the system you own right now. All of the items on this list are extremely practical, and will help your sump pump perform better than you might have ever thought possible – especially if it’s time to replace one that’s showing a lot of signs of old age.
Without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best and most important sump pump parts out there!
With sump pump systems, the main overall goal for them is to collect excess water and other fluids that have made their way into your basement. These fluids can prove to be true annoyance as a proud homeowner, but thankfully, sump pumps are the ideal solution for resolving this issue. However, that begs one big question. Once the water and unwanted fluids have been collected, where on Earth do they go? It’s a very legitimate and reasonable question, and the answer to it is actually quite simple.
In order to get rid of the water and fluids that your sump pump has collected, you’ll need a sump pump hose. A sump pump hose is connected directly to the actual system that is located in your basement, and it snakes out to the outdoors. You’ll want the other end of the hose, the one that isn’t connected to your sump pump, to be placed in a safe area outside of your home where it won’t be easily disturbed by your kids, pets, or other outdoor critters.
As your sump pump collects any water that is able to make its way into your basement, the sump pump hose of yours will then take all of that water and discharge it into the great outdoors. Sump pump hoses are rather common sump pump parts, and they can be bought from around $20 and less if you do some savvy shopping.
An example of a really good option for a sump pump hose is that of the Little Giant SPDK Kit. The particular one in question measures in at 24-feet long, so you should have more than enough footage to reach the outside of your home from where the other end is connected on your sump pump. There are other options out there if you think you’ll need even more length, but this should prove to be plenty long for most home setups.
This particular sump pump hose by Little Giant only weighs a total of 2-pounds, and it is able to be used for both 1 ½-inch and 1 ¼-inch discharge systems. Additionally, it has the ability to be used with pretty much any sump pump system out right now, making it extremely compatible no matter what system you currently own.
Sump pumps are generally rather costly investments, as the machines themselves are quite complicated and powerful. While spending so much money on an additional machine for your home might seem like a bit of a hassle at first, you’ll be more than glad that you did when you get a huge rain storm, and your sump pump is hard at work in regards to sucking up and collecting heaps of unwanted water that was able to make its way into your basement. However, since you spent so much money on this system, you would expect it to work at all times. While this would be the case in an ideal world, that simply is not the case in reality. Problems are bound to pop up no matter what aspect of your home we’re talking about, and sump pumps don’t get excluded from that fact at all.
In the even that your sump pump ceases to work, there really isn’t a great way to know that this happened on its own. Well, you’ll notice that something is up when you have puddles of water in your basement, but that really isn’t the ideal way to realize that something is amuck. After spending so much money on your sump pump system, you’d like to think that there is a better way to know and be alerted when your sump pump system decides to stop working. Thankfully, there is a cost effective solution out there that does just this.
This fix comes by way of a sump pump alarm, and this basically lets you know if/when your sump pump stops working for whatever reason. Just how does this work though? With a sump pump alarm, there is a water sensing probe that can level out in the crock of your sump pump system. This is done by attaching the supplied weight with the alarm to your tank, and these alarms are also equipped with wall-mounted anchors that all the alarm to stay dry at all times.
Just how does it actually work though? You see, once that sensing probe come into contact with water, the alarm will begin ringing, letting you know that it has come into contact with water that it shouldn’t have. If your sump pump works like it should, you’ll hopefully never have to hear this thing go off at all. However, it is a great safety feature to have in stock if you find yourself in a situation where your sump pump quits working during a power outage, or for whatever other reason there may be.
An example of a really solid sump pump alarm is that of the Reliance Controls Corporation THP205 Sump Pump Alarm and Flood Alert. This particular sump pump alarm is able to reach a total sound volume of 105dB, and it can even sound off with a musical tone to make the alarm even more noticeable. It comes equipped with a 6-foot sensor wire, and it even sounds off when it has a low battery. All-in-all, this is one of the best and most cost effective solutions that you can find.
With sump pumps, one of the most important sump pump parts is that of a sump pump float switch. Float switches are little gadgets that are equipped to your sump pump tank that tell it to start sucking it water when it gets to a certain level. You want your sump pump to take in water when it gets too high in your basement, but you also don’t want it go off every single second. On the other hand, you also don’t want it to wait until you’ve got a foot of water in your basement before it actually activates.
Sump pump float switches are used to turn on your sump pump at certain water levels when they are detected, ensuring that your sump pump turns on and offer when you want it to.
One of the most reliable options is that of the Basement Watchdog BWC1. This particular sump pump float switch is able to detect water when it reaches a level of ¼-inches, and will the automatically have your sump pump start taking in water. However, if that first activation doesn’t take place, there’s another float that goes off and turns your sump pump on as a nice backup to have it case things don’t work the way they should in the first place. It’s an extremely excellent tool that helps a tremendous amount in regards to making sure your sump pump works when it should, and it makes the whole process of owning such a machine that much less of a headache.
Last but not least, the final sump pump part that we will be talking about is that of a sump pump check valve. Check valves are easily some of the smallest parts for your sump pump system, but that doesn’t make them any less important by any means of the word. Sump pump check valves are absolutely necessary to the overall well-being of your sump pump system as a whole, and they’re actually quite powerful little tools.
Here’s the deal. With a sump pump check valve, it is found directly in the discharge line of your sump pump, and you more than likely have one in your sump pump right now. Its purpose is to help prevent any sort of unwanted water that’s already been discharged from making its way back into the basin or tank of your sump pump system when the motor is shut off about being used.
Even if your sump pump system came included with one of these, opting to get a third party one can often be a smart move, as it isn’t uncommon for the included ones to not perform the way that they should. If you’re on the hunt for a new one to replace the one in your current setup, the Zoeller 30-0181 PVC Plastic Check Valve is one of the best bets that you have. It’s affordable, durable, and most importantly, incredible reliable.
The purpose of a sump pump is to remove excess water that occurs due to flooding or a high water table. If you have evidence of past flooding or any concern about future flooding, installing a sump pump is a wise idea. It avoids a host of problems:
Your primary sump pump will stop working during a power outage or due to mechanical failure. A backup sump pump has a power source separate from mains power, its own pump, check valve and plumbing to bypass the primary pump. Unattended, it will kick in and keep moving water when the primary sump pump is out of commission.
Having owned houses with basements, I have firsthand experience with all the pump types covered in this guide. As a home builder and renovator for two decades, I also installed or replaced sump pumps of all types in dozens of homes. Additionally, for this guide I have consulted over 20 experts including plumbers and sump pump manufacturers to acquire detailed specs and advice about designs, installation techniques and how to avoid maintenance and repair problems. Where any gaps in my knowledge still existed, I filled those by researching product descriptions, review sites and online forums populated by experts in pump technology.
You should always test a new sump pump installation to familiarize yourself with its operation and determine that everything is working properly. The same steps should be applied every year:
The most important adjustment you can make is the length of time the pump runs after it turns on. This is controlled by the float switch. The duration of the on cycle is determined by the length of travel of the float. A longer travel distance allows the pump to operate with fewer on/off cycles, which increases the life of the pump.
A pedestal pump is more tolerant of different sump sizes. Most submersible pumps need a wider sump basin. Other than the sump pit size, both kinds of pumps, and other types as well, can be evaluated according to the following characteristics.
Be sure to buy a sump pump that has adequate pumping capacity. This is measured either as gallons per minute or gallons per hour. Both of these figures are measured at a specific head height, which is how high the water is pumped. As head height increases, GPH decreases. If a particular sump pump does not list a chart of GPH versus head height, pass it over. If the maximum head height it can pump is less than the distance from your sump to the top of the outlet plumbing, it will not work for your situation.
Sump pump power is measured in horsepower. If you are replacing a sump pump that was working adequately, buy another one with the same horsepower or higher. A 1/3-HP sump pump is adequate for most situations. If you have to pump the water higher than 10 feet or further from the house than 50 feet, then purchase one with a power of at least ½-HP up to 1 HP.
Sump pump floats come in different configurations. Pedestal sump pumps have a float on a long rod that rises with the level of the water. They usually have the longest travel of any pump type up to 10 inches. Submersible pumps use floats with shorter travel on a rod of four inches give or take. Some submersibles use a tethered float, which permits up to eight inches of travel. The longer the travel, the fewer times the pump will have to cycle power. Solid floats are superior to hollow floats as they never become waterlogged.
You should only purchase a sump pump with an automatic switch so it can run unattended. Furthermore, the switch should be mechanical and not a pressure switch. Otherwise, the type of mechanical sump pump switch is unimportant.
A sump pump impeller that can handle debris up to ½-inch diameter is recommended. Metal impellers will withstand hard debris such as pebbles better than plastic impellers.
Sump pump motors, especially pedestal style pump motors, can generate a lot of heat if they must run continuously. Thus, the best pump motors have a cast iron core rather than plastic in order to more effectively dissipate heat.
All other things equal, a sump pump of higher horsepower costs more than a smaller pump. Other than power, the price will reflect the cost of the materials used to make the pump such as the type of metal used in bearings, bushings and the housings.
Check the length of warranties and what they cover when comparing sump pump brands. Do not expect much, however. Since sump pumps work under unpredictable and adverse conditions, most manufacturers do not grant more than one or two years of warranty.
Sump pumps have a vital job to perform. They must remove accumulated water in your basement or crawlspace automatically and with high reliability in order to avoid costly damage. Often, they are called upon to perform this function during times of extreme weather. Furthermore, they may pump unclean water containing debris.
Homeowners prefer sump pumps that they set and forget, which sometimes means the pumps must continue to operate even without regular maintenance. Thus, we look for sump pumps that are rugged, made of quality materials and do not play games with their specs. For instance, if a pump hedges the GPH/Head figures in any way, we consider that a sign of a weak pump. The best manufacturers tell you straight up how the pump will perform so that you can judge for yourself whether it is the right pump for your situation.
The Zoeller Pump Co. is known throughout the world for high quality and reliable American-made sump pumps. Their sump pumps use cast iron housings and run quieter than other pumps on the market. Despite using the best quality materials, they are not overly expensive. Most Zoeller sump pump reviews are from happy buyers who installed the pumps themselves. Most of their pumps come with extra inlets and discharge outlets to accommodate varying installation requirements.
Liberty Pumps is a well-known name when it comes to sump pumps, drain pumps, utility pumps and sewage pumps. Their larger pumps are made with heavy-duty cast iron housings, while smaller pumps use durable thermoplastic. Besides primary sump pumps, they also make battery-powered and water-powered backup sump pumps. Buyers in sump pump reviews are always impressed with their quiet operation, reliability, affordable prices and generous 2-year warranties.
Wayne Pumps manufactures nearly any kind of pump you could need around your home. Besides primary sump pumps, backup sump pumps and sewage pumps, they make sprinkler pumps, drain pumps, utility pumps and more. Despite their economical pricing, they make durable products that bring trouble-free satisfaction for many years. Most sump pump products from Wayne use cast iron housings, epoxy-coated steel motor units and large discharge outlets. They back most products with an industry-leading 3-year warranty.
Once you get your sump pump installed and good to go though, it can be easy to go ahead and leave it be without every paying a bit of attention to it ever again. However, this is not really the way you want to go about things at all.
While the sump pump on its own is perfectly fine, there are actually some incredibly useful accessories out there that can really help make your sump pump even more useful than it already was the second you took it out of the box. You might be hesitant about pouring more money into this already costly venture, but investing a bit more cash could help keep your basement drier and in better shape than ever before.
In the world of sump pumps, there are actually a great plethora of different accessories to look at and choose from, and today we’ll be taking a look at some of the best ones out there that will really help to take your sump pump to the next level. If you thought your sump pump was already performing great, just wait until you see what some of these available accessories are capable of!
One of the most important accessories to keep an eye out for is that of a sump pump basin. The basin of your sump pump system is what the water collects in when it goes about sucking up and taking in the water that it acquires, but you may or may not have gotten a basin when you purchased your sump pump.
Whether you’re in need of a bigger sump pump basin, or you’re simply hunting for your first one, one great option out there is the Sump Basin AKP3500 by AK Industries. This sump pump basin is one of the best sump pump accessories you’ll find, and it comes equipped with dimensions that measure in at 18 x 22-inches. The basin itself comes in at a total weight of just 7.5-pounds, and the overall quality here is simply fantastic.
One of the best parts about this sump pump accessory is the fact that it doesn’t come with any holes that are already pre-drilled out of the box. While this might sound like a bit of a bummer, it means that you are able to modify the basin exactly the way that you want to. Additionally, the lid system that AK Industries has included here is incredibly tight and secure, ensuring that no unwanted smells or moisture is able to make its way out of the basin.
Although sump pump accessories are quite vast, the other one that is easily the most important is that of a sump pump cover. Sump pump covers are incredibly practical, as they allow you to prevent any unwanted items or people from getting in your sump pump system and messing with things that they shouldn’t be. These are especially useful if you live in a house with kids, as it will stop them from getting into a place where they really shouldn’t have access to.
Similar to sump pump basins and all other sump pump accessories on the market, sump pump covers are a dime a dozen nowadays. This is great in regards to how many different options are out there, but it also means that locating a sump pump cover that’s ideal for you and your family can be a bit of a challenge.
There is no shortage of sump pump covers out there, but one of the best ones that we were able to find comes by way of Drainage Industries, and it’s aptly named the 17 Inch Sump Pump Pit Cover.
This particular cover is built out of an incredibly durable plastic material, and it is well proven to be able to hold up to a great amount of normal wear and tear as it protects the opening of your sump pump system for a number of years to come.
This particular cover is able to fit openings of sump pumps that measure in around 16-inches or less, and the cover itself is about 1.5-inches thick. Additionally, the slot found on the front is able to store a pipe that has max dimensions of 8 x 3-inches.
Here are a few tools and materials you will find handy when replacing an old pump or installing a new one:
If you are replacing an existing sump pump with the same or different model, these are the initial steps to follow:
To continue replacing an existing sump pump or for a new installation, follow these steps:
Assemble the outlet plumbing using PVC primer and glue
As a homeowner, there are a number of things that you need to keep in mind with your house. And, with all of these things that you need to keep in check, it’s not unlikely for various problems to pop up and occur – no matter how many preventative measures you put in place to try and prevent these things from happening.
A leaky roof, drafty hallway, dripping faucet, and weak insulation are just a few examples of something of the problems that the average homeowner can expect to run into at one point or another during the time that they live in their house.
Although every house is bit differently and each house is unique in its own right, there are some problems that have a tendency to affect a great number of folks. Once of the most common issues it that of a basement that has a tendency to get wet.
Wet basements prove to be a problem for more than 60% of homes all across the country, and it’s something that can become a rather big annoyance in not a lot of time. Sump pumps can help to greatly reduce the amount of water that enters your basement, and are often lifesavers for a lot of folks out there.
However, sump pumps aren’t things that you install in your house and then never deal with it again. As with any major component of your home, your sump pump requires regular maintenance in order to keep in functioning just the way it did when you first installed it. While conducting regular sump pump maintenance may seem like a bit of a hassle at first, it could prove to be the difference between you having a water-free basement or not.
So, in order to keep your sump pump working the way it should, what can you do to go about ensuring its overall quality? Today, we’re going to be going over some of the most important factors and practices to keep in mind in order to achieve excellent sump pump maintenance.
When it comes to keeping your sump pump working properly, its best to get a sort of checklist or program in place in order to know that you’re checking every possible area of your sump pump for possible signs of trouble.
First off, one of the most important things is to keep an eye on your sump pump’s discharge line to make sure that it hasn’t stopped working or frozen up during the winter or colder months of the year. If you find that it has stopped working for whatever reason, unclogging the air vent hole that is in the same line usually proves to do the trick.
Additionally, keeping a close eye on the inlet screen helps to make sure that it isn’t getting clogged up with any sorts of debris or other residues. This should be done between 3 and 4 times a year, so it isn’t all that demanding of a task.
In addition to these two points, making sure that the floating component of your sump pump is not blocked or obstructed by any sort of object will go a long way in making sure that it runs the way it is supposed to. Similarly, looking over the pit of your sump pump and getting rid of any noticeable stones, mud, or other objects will also help to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
About once every year, it’s a good idea to completely disconnect your sump pump from its power source and to remove the unit entirely from your basement. Once this is done, you’ll want to completely flush it out with water. This process will help to remove any sorts of gunk or other unwanted items that have made their way into your pump throughout the year. Once this has been completed, you can go ahead and re-install the pump and ensure that everything is working the way that it should be.
Sump pumps don’t require an enormous amount of maintenance, but they do need to be checked with regular tasks to ensure that they are working to their full potential. Sump pump maintenance certainly isn’t the most glorious thing to do, but conducting these tasks on a fairly regular basis will help to ensure that you sump pump continues to work the way it should for a great number of years to come.
Clearly there are many choices with regard to the size, configuration and quality of sump pumps to consider when making your sump pump buying decision.
Your first consideration should be selecting the correct size of primary sump pump that will adequately remove all the water flowing into the sump pit even during the heaviest rains. If you have an existing sump pump that was performing this function well up until its demise, then buy one with at least the same head lift and flow capacity. If you have any doubts at all about the correct size of sump pump, buy one at least one size larger. The little bit extra you pay for, say, a ½ HP pump versus a 1/3 HP pump pales in comparison to the prospect of standing water in your basement.
Next, compare the quality of pumps from different manufacturers. Here, the best information comes with this guide and product reviews by verified buyers. Discount sites with only a few reviews of a particular product. Also, consider the length of the warranty and the type of materials used in each pump. Ask a couple of local plumbers for their opinions about specific pump brands.
Always include in your sump pump budget room to buy either an automatic battery backup pump or at least a good quality portable pump as insurance against a primary pump failure. Sump pumps are generally reliable, but all it takes is one failure when you need it most to cause irreparable damage to belongings or your home’s structure.
Keep in mind that any sump pump should last at least 10 years and many last up to 30 years. Always buy the best basement sump pump possible, since the cost will be amortized over those 10 to 30 years. If you choose a pump because it is a hundred dollars cheaper, is the three to 10 dollars per year you saved really worth the doubts or lost sleep you might suffer?
Whichever pump you finally decide on, make sure it is installed correctly and do not forget to perform maintenance on it at least once a year to keep it running smoothly and reliably.