A sump pump is a device used to remove water that accumulates in a below-ground chamber, or sump. These types of pumps are most commonly associated with basements or cellars in residential properties, but they can also be used to remove water in other locations, including construction sites and commercial buildings.
In this article, we explore how to choose the best sump pump for your specific needs.
Pedestal vs. Submersible Sump Pump
The first decision you need to make when acquiring a sump pump is whether to opt for a pedestal or submersible pump. With a pedestal pump, the motor is situated above the sump. This keeps the motor dry, which aids with servicing and lifespan. However, a pedestal pump will take up more space and will usually be less powerful too.
The alternative is a submersible sump pump, which is a waterproof device, placed inside the sump itself. Although the lifespan of a submersible pump is generally shorter, it is the most popular type. It will provide greater power, can deal with a wider range of water types and is comparatively discreet.
Water Type and Pump Capacity
It is important to consider the type of water your pump will need to drain. All sump pumps are suitable for basic applications, like draining clean water, rainwater, or swimming pool water. For more advanced needs, you need to select a pump that has been specifically designed to remove water containing mud, salt, faecal matter or debris.
You will also need to think about the pump’s capacity and your choice here will depend on the amount of water you need to process. Capacity is typically expressed in litres per hour (l/h) or gallons per hour (gph). Common sump pump capacities range from around 5,000 l/h right up to 30,000 l/h. Larger options are also available.
Additional Sump Pump Considerations
Another factor to consider is the horsepower of your pump. A 1/3 HP pump is suitable for most homes. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, or if you have more advanced needs, you might want to consider a 1/2 or 2/3 HP pump instead. It is not cost-effective to buy a more powerful pump than you need.
If you are replacing a pump that worked well, it is best to opt for a pump with the same or similar specifications.
Most sump pumps are fitted with a float switch, allowing the pump to automatically switch on or off, based on the water level in the sump. Read the flow rate table before buying and ensure your chosen pump will switch on at the right time.