I am sure we all have faced water problems at some point or the other at our homes. A sump pump is essential to remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin, those which are commonly found in basements. If you are facing water problems and want to buy a sump pump, make sure you buy a good one. Actually, it may make sense to buy two or three of them!

Many people install a sump pump only to abandon its use after installing an outdoor curtain drain that diverts water to a pond. Installing sump pumps near your house’s foundation is undoubtedly useful. And if your house is located down the hill, there are chances of rainwater getting accumulated outside your house and may even overflow your gutters. For such instances, it is smart to keep your gutters clean. Not doing this weakens the foundation of your house and your basement will face watery consequences.

Here are a few tips to remember before buying a sump pump:

  • Buying a Sump Pump:

If you are tired of water problems that you encounter every year, then you definitely need a sump pump. It is essential to know the different kinds of sump pumps before buying.

If your sump basin has enough space, choose a submersible pump over a pedestal pump. A submersible pump allows the sump pit to be covered with a lid, reducing pump noise and, most importantly, stopping debris from falling into the pit. An airtight lid also helps preventing moist air entering your home and basement.

Do not buy a pump made of plastic, rather buy a pump with a cast iron core. Cast iron increases the life of the pump and helps to dissipate heat to the surrounding water. The pump should have a no-screen intake design coupled with an impeller that can handle solids upto ½ inches in diameter to minimize the chance of clogs. The switch should be mechanical and not a pressure switch. The float should be solid so it can’t become water clogged.

  • Common Sump Pump Problems:

If you are planning to buy a sump pump, make sure that you buy a good (read: expensive) one. Because at any given time, any situation can occur making your main pump inoperable:

  • Power may go out
  • Too much water for the main sump pump to handle
  • Float switch can fail or get stuck
  • Main pump can become clogged or can clutch up
  • Discharge pipe may freeze or become clogged

When any of such situations occur, they might result to a flooded basement. Therefore, using a backup sump pump can help you keep your basement dry.


  • Secondary and Backup Sump Pumps:

Install a backup sump pump in your sump pit so that you are protected during a power cut in times of excessive rain, or if your main pump fails. A backup pump is a system used to protect your basement from flooding when the main sump pump stops operating. There are several types of backup systems including battery powered and water powered. The battery powered pump can continue pumping for up to two days, depending upon the demand and battery life. If your main pump fails or is overpowered with the flow of water, the backup pump automatically takes charge.

Consequently, it is wise to have a good sump pump and a backup pump along with it, if you live in an area that experiences heavy rainfall or if the positioning of your house is uneven.

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