How To Choose A Sump Pump

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

How to choose a sump pump.

So, how would you go about choosing one?  What can you pick from?

How about the stack of cheap units on sale at the hardware store?  Why not?

With just about everything, you get what you pay for.

What's a sump pump?

It is a pumping unit buried in a tub under the basement floor that collects and discharges water before it can flood the home.

In modern construction it is fed by drain lines placed around the foundation wall, and under the house.

Older houses, with retro-fit sumps, might have drain lines inside the house feeding water to the unit.

Either way, a properly-functioning sump pump is flood protection.

How would you go about buying one?  If you were replacing one that broke, what would you look for?

There are two kinds - pedestal and submersible.

Either runs automatically.  When the water level inside the tub it is buried in rises high enough, a float turns the unit on.  When it has pumped out enough water and the float lowers enough, the unit turns off.

There should be a valve in the discharge pipe, called a check valve,  which prevents water from returning to refill the tub.

WHEN YOU ARE REPLACING A BAD SUMP PUMP YOU SHOULD ALSO THINK TO REPLACE THE CHECK VALVE.  IT MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN LOOSE, OR CLOGGED, OVER TIME AND NO LONGER WORKS PROPERLY.

You can go to the hardware store or order a new sump pump unit on line.

What should you look for?

  • Housing material - cast iron, stainless steel, thermoplastic, aluminum, etc.  Probably the stronger the housing, the better the unit.
  • Gallons per hour flow - if you live with a high water table, or where there is a lot of rain, more gallons per hour are important.
  • Float type - tether or vertical.
  • Motor amps - like the vacuum cleaner, the higher the amperage the stronger the motor.  Consider 12amps, but fewer than 10amps would probably not serve you long.
  • Horse power - the most popular units, and those recommended by most professionals, are 1/2 HP.
  • Discharge port size.  A 2" pipe is usually the largest you can find.
  • Price range.  Again, you get what you pay for.   On line you can find a good cast-iron submersible, 1/2HP unit, with a vertical float, for $200 - $300.

I RECOMMEND A SUMP PUMP BATTERY-BACK UP
ON EVERY ONE OF MY INSPECTION REPORTS.

If the power goes out, or if the pump fails from overuse or overheating, you should have back up!

These are big batteries which come in DC or AC/DC.  All units switch to DC if the power fails, but the AC/DC unit will allow the pump to operate directly off the electric power without depleting the battery.  They plug in and are continuously charged.

Obviously the more hours they provide protection the better!  One that protects for 48 - 72 hours is not too large!  Again, you can select HP and gallons per hour.  The bigger the better, but buy depending on your sump pump usage needs.

The good ones aren't cheap, but peace of mind is worth a $million!

My recommendation:  sump pumps are crucially important to the health of a lower level.  And if you have a finished basement they are essential.  The cheaper units are a waste of money.  A battery back-up is also very important.  I have this one, and feel confident my basement is as protected as it can be.

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


close

Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 04/21/2016 07:00 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Dedicated Bloggers
Professional Home Inspectors
Addicted to Active Rain
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Best Practices
Tags:
sump pump
sump pump back up battery

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
2,703,593
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Jay Markanich 

As with most things, you get what you pay for...  If I needed a sump pump, I wouldn't scrimp as a flooded basement would be no fun.  Here in Dallas, though, basements are not an issue.

Apr 09, 2016 09:35 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,827,938
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

We have slab homes here too, Lisa.  But for those of us with basements, these are important little fellows!

Apr 09, 2016 09:39 PM #2
Rainmaker
559,350
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

As you don't have to deal with swamp coolers, I don't have to deal with sump pumps! I do see their value though, but don't know much about them.

Apr 10, 2016 12:14 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,827,938
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Then reading my post is as good an education as you can get Fred!

Read on, dude.

I didn't think you had cooling swamps out there either, but silly me, I guess.

Apr 10, 2016 07:22 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,684,513
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Jay Markanich Thanks for the very good report on Sump Pump.

Apr 10, 2016 01:32 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,827,938
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It's something many don't know about John.  They are important devices when houses have lower levels.

Apr 10, 2016 08:22 PM #6
Rainmaker
5,224,228
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is excellent advice to share with home owners. I will schedule a reblog.

Apr 11, 2016 10:01 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,827,938
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Appreciated as always, Roy.

Apr 11, 2016 10:15 PM #8
Rainmaker
4,431,606
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the information. I will bookmark this post and share with others.

Apr 21, 2016 09:06 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,827,938
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Glad you found it informative, Gita.  I write them to be able to share.

Apr 21, 2016 09:08 PM #10
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,827,938

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information