Sump Pumps: The Differences Between Common Pump Models

Sump pumps are essential tools for many homeowners. They help prevent basement flooding and protect properties from water damage.

These pumps work by removing excess water from the sump pit, a basin typically installed below the structure’s foundation to collect both groundwater and surface water.

There are two primary types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. Submersible pumps are efficient and long-lasting, while pedestal pumps are more accessible but noisier and less efficient.

Key Takeaways

  • Sump pumps protect properties from water damage and basement flooding.
  • Various types of sump pumps offer unique features and benefits.
  • Comparing pump models is essential in choosing the best one for your home.

What Are Sump Pumps?

Sump pumps are key in removing water from basements and crawl spaces. There are two main types: submersible and pedestal.

Submersible pumps, submerged in water, handle larger volumes and stay cool, prolonging their lifespan. Pedestal pumps, positioned above the pit, are more affordable but less powerful.

Ultimately, the choice between submersible and pedestal sump pumps depends on factors like the homeowner’s budget, space constraints, and specific water removal requirements.

Types of Sump Pumps

Submersible Sump Pumps

Submersible sump pumps, designed for full submersion in the sump pit, are powerful and suited for flood-prone homes.

They are often more expensive due to their waterproof housing and superior performance, ensuring functionality even when completely submerged.

Pedestal Sump Pumps

Pedestal sump pumps are mounted above the sump pit and aren’t submerged.

They activate via a float switch when water rises. While generally less expensive and potentially longer-lasting due to additional airflow around the motor, they lack the cooling properties of submersible pumps and tend to be less powerful and noisier.

Battery-Backup Pumps

Battery-backup sump pumps offer extra protection during power outages or pump failures, operating on battery power.

Essential during storms, they may have lower pumping capacity but prevent water damage in emergencies. Some models even combine primary and backup pumps into one unit for convenience and reliability.

Comparing Pump Models

Performance Differences

Pedestal sump pumps and submersible sump pumps are designed for different purposes, and therefore, they have different performance characteristics.

A submersible pump like the Zoeller M53 Mighty-Mate Sump Pump is more suitable for sump pits with walls that exceed 20 feet, whereas utility pumps may not provide adequate power for this kind of application.

Durability and Lifespan

Durability varies between pump models. Cast-iron pumps like the Red Lion SC33PED offer better corrosion resistance and durability than plastic options. Submersible pumps withstand water exposure, while pedestal pumps may have a shorter lifespan due to above-water installation.

Cost Analysis

1/3 and 1/2 HP sump pump models may not seem significantly different. However, it’s essential to consider factors like energy efficiency and maintenance costs in the long run.

For example, the Superior Pump Store 1/4-Horsepower Utility Pump is affordable, while the Wayne Submersible Cast-Iron and Stainless-Steel Sump Pump is pricier but has more power.

You can also opt for a battery backup option like the Wayne Upgraded Combination Battery Back-Up Sump Pump for added protection and peace of mind.

Selecting the Right Model

Assessing Your Needs

Evaluate your flooding frequency and water accumulation severity to choose the right sump pump type and capacity.

Size and Capacity

Submersible pumps, suitable for larger sump pits, are quieter and more compact. Pedestal pumps, cheaper with longer operating cycles, fit narrow or shallow pits. Consider the pump’s gallons per hour (GPH) capacity based on potential water volume in your basement.

Extra Features

Look for sump pumps with features like tether or vertical float switches for automatic operation, or a battery backup system like the Wayne Upgraded Combination Battery Back-Up Sump Pump for reliability during power outages.

By assessing your needs, selecting the appropriate size and capacity, and considering extra features, you can find the right sump pump model for your needs.

Maintenance of Sump Pumps

Maintaining sump pumps is vital for efficient operation and an extended lifespan.

Key maintenance tasks include:

  • Testing the Pump: Regularly pour water into the sump pit to test the float switch and pump functionality. Ensure it turns off after water removal.
  • Clearing Debris: Unplug and clean the sump basin to prevent malfunctions. Keep it free from obstructions.
  • Checking the Impeller: Inspect for jams by unplugging the pump, disconnecting it, removing it from the pit, and disassembling it.
  • Inspecting the Power Supply: Regularly check electrical connections for security and proper function to avoid pump failure.

By performing these tasks, homeowners can ensure optimal operation and protection against water damage.


What factors determine the best sump pump size?

To determine the optimal sump pump size, consider depth and size of the sump basin, the discharge rate, and the area’s water levels. Consult a professional for proper sizing.

How do submersible sump pumps compare to pedestal sump pumps?

Submersible sump pumps are quieter and less obtrusive. They also tend to be more efficient, have longer lifespans, and are safer for households with children.

Pedestal sump pumps are louder but generally cheaper to purchase and maintain.

Which sump pump models are best for handling heavy rain?

Sump pumps with higher horsepower and discharge rates handle rain best. Models equipped with backup battery systems are especially useful in case of power outages during storms.

How do I choose a sump pump for muddy water conditions?

Focus on sump pumps designed to handle solids and debris.

We recommend models with sturdy impellers, larger intake capacities, and vortex openings to prevent clogs and promote efficient water removal.