There are a number of little pieces of technology in our homes, that while normally go unremarked, make life easier and less stressful. A sump pump is not as visible as your fridge, or used as frequently as a water heater. But, it is important for keeping your basement dry, preserving your possessions. A flooded basement can weaken your foundation, damage flooring, and lead to mold. While not a glamorous piece of equipment, a good sump pump is important.
The Top Ten
Reliability is one of the most important qualities to take into account when choosing a sump pump. These are the most reliable, and best value sump pumps available.
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||GPM (Gallons Per Minute)||Price|
|Little Giant Automatic Condensate Removal Pump||4.7||65||$|
|Liberty Pumps Cast Iron Automatic Submersible Sump/Effluent Pump||4.8||50||$$$|
|Zoeller Basement High Capacity Sump Pump||4.6||33||$$$|
|Superior Pump 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump||4.6||30||$|
|Zoeller Flow-Mate Automatic Cast Iron Single Phase Submersible Sump/Effluent Pump||4.6||57||$$$$|
|Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump||4.4||43||$$$|
|Superior Pump 92330 1/3 HP Thermoplastic Sump Pump||4.3||40||$$|
|Wayne Submersible Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Sump Pump||4.7||76||$$$|
|Flotec 1/3 HP Pedestal Sump Pump||4.3||58||$$|
|Basement Watchdog BW1050 Sump Pump||4.6||73||$$$|
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||GPM (Gallons Per Minute)||Price|
What Is A Sump Pump And Why Do You Need One?
The water table is the depth in the ground at which water suffuses the soil. If you dig a hole below the level of the water table, it will fill with water. The depth of the water table varies greatly depending on where you are and the specifics of geography. It is easier to dig down to the water table in a low-lying area than it would be from the top of a hill. The water table can also vary depending on the time of year, the recent rainfall, and a number of other factors.
Many people actually have basements that are below the level of the water table. These basements are sealed against the water that would otherwise make them an inconveniently placed indoor swimming pool. Sealing the basement only goes so far, however, and other strategies are also required to keep it dry.
A basement flooding is a perennial annoyance in some areas. Heavy rain, particularly where the water table is close to the surface, is often the cause. Similarly, melting snow or rivers that wander can also cause water to end up where it is not wanted. Sump pumps are placed in the lowest part of the basement, usually in a hole below the level of the floor, called the sump. They pump excess water into the local storm drain system, or into a dry well. Some places still pump the water into the sewage system, though many places have made regulations against this practice. Wet basements can also be caused by other, less dramatic problems. Cold basements can cause condensation, which is a less obvious cause of water damage.
Wet basements can cause a number of problems that a sump pump can help you avoid.
Advantages Of A Good Sump Pump
A good sump pump protects and can increase the value of your home. It does this by preventing your basement from flooding. A flooded basement can cause a number of problems.
- Water Damage. Most obviously, water can ruin or destroy anything that happens to be in your basement. Water can causes thousands of dollars worth of frequently irreparable damage.
- Property Damage. Water can warp wood, leading to damaged supports and walls. It can also weaken the foundation of your home, all of which threatens the structural integrity of your home. Water will also warp floors, not just in the basement, but the floor above as well. Water behind paint and wallpaper can cause it to peel. It will also rust and weaken metal.
- Mold and Mildew. Basements are almost always dark places, with many nooks and out of the way crannies. Add water, and it is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. These can cause as much damage to property as water itself, and is often less noticeable as it grows best out of sight. Some varieties of mold can also threaten the health of you and your family,
- Insects and pests. Wet and water damaged wood is particularly attractive to termites and other pests.
The Different Types Of Sump Pump
Like any pump, a sump pump consists of a water intake, an impeller, and an output. The impeller is the part of the pump that does the work. It pulls water in, and then pushes it out somewhere else. Impellers on sump pumps are most frequently electrically powered. There are some other varieties, including some that are powered by the pressure of the home water supply, though these tend to be less efficient.
There are two basic designs for sump pumps.
- Pedestal pumps. As sump pumps are most often electric, and there is a risk of water getting into the pump and shorting it out. Pedestal pumps address this issue by keeping the electrical components high, out of the water, putting them on a stand. The intake and impeller are put down at the bottom of the stand. Pedestal pumps are, in general, easier to access and easier to replace and maintain. They also have a longer life. These pumps can be less powerful, however, and are more easily clogged.
- Submersible pumps. Submersible pumps have everything together in one housing that is water proofed and sealed to protect the less durable parts. The entire pump is lowered sump. Submersible pumps tend not to last as long. However, they are generally more powerful and less likely to clog.
Sump Pump Prices
There are ranges of prices for sump pumps depending on the type and how powerful it is. However, there are two prices ranges that most pumps will fall into. There are a few extra features that might increase the cost slightly, though by an large sump pumps don’t have or require a great deal of complicated extras.
A basic submersible pump with a durable plastic housing will cost between $40 and $60. A similarly made pedestal pump will cost slightly more, with a price closer to $70. There are also pumps that are meant to deal specifically with the water that collects from condensation, and are best for areas where actual flooding is rare. These are also in the $40 to $50 range.
More durable and more powerful pumps will usually be made with cast iron or stainless steel housings. These have a bigger intake and can produce a higher water pressure, meaning they are less likely to clog or have other problems. These are usually in the $150 to $175 dollar range. Some of the most powerful pumps may cost as much as $200.
This is a small pump, and it works great for small jobs. Users advise that the Little Giant be placed below whatever you wish to pump out, as the small motor isn’t made to overcome big drops and a little help from gravity improves performance and life span. The Little Giant has a manual on/off switch, as well as an automatic float arm switch. This pump is electrical and plugs into a standard household outlet.
This pump is rated for continuous use, so it can pump and pump and not have any problems. The intake is at the lowest part of the pump, allowing the pump to work in any depth down to 1/8 inch of water. There is a wire mesh across the intake that will prevent anything to large from entering. Anything that is small enough to get through the mesh will pass through the pump without a problem. The discharge is 1 ¼ inches wide, but the pump comes with an adapter so that it is possible to use a regular garden hose.
The Zoeller Flow-Mate is a powerful pump that has a 72 gallon per minute flow rate with a 5 foot head. It is made of strong and durable cast iron, with no sheet metal parts that will rust and corrode. The cast iron is painted with a water resistant epoxy to keep the pump in working order. The pump has to be submerged in water to prevent it from over heating, which is a usual requirement for sump pumps. It is made to pass ½ solids, and has no meshes or filters to clog or change. Zoeller pumps are made in the USA.
Like many sump pumps, this one works best when submerged. This helps keep the pump cool and also prevents the pump from have an airlock or otherwise malfunctioning. The Wayne Submersible pump has its intake on the top of the pump, to ensure the pump stays submerged and keeps the head pressure up. It is reliable and quiet, and has a stainless steel casing and cast iron base, both of which are resistant to rust. The Wayne submersible has a ¾ horsepower motor, and a flow capacity of 4600 gallons per hour.
This is a pedestal pump, with an intake at the bottom of the stand and motor at the top. The pump is electrical, and runs off a standard 110 outlet. The cord is eight feet long, and it heavy duty and rugged. The set up and install is easy and straightforward. There are a few details on the install to be aware of. PVC pipe is recommended for the discharge, and a vent hole should be drilled as the instructions describe to prevent air locks. It has a 3600-gallon per hour capacity.
A sump pump is not the most noticeable or exciting of appliances. However, it is often a wise investment.