Choosing The Right Sump Pump For Your Home

Many people have sump pumps in their basements to help remove water that makes its way into the home. If you do not have one of these pumps and you notice a great deal of water in your basement, then it is wise to purchase a device as part of your home waterproofing plan. You do need to purchase the right pump for your house, and there are hundreds of different options to choose from. If you are not comfortable buying one on your own, then enlist the help of a professional plumber. If you want to get one yourself and have the plumber install it afterwards, then consider the following information.

Choose the Right Model

One of the most important aspects of installing a sump pump is to buy the right device in the first place. All sump pumps generally work in the same way. Water flows to a central location called the sump basin and a float inside the basin raises as water collects. As the basin becomes half or three-quarters of the way full of water, the water pump inside the sump device activates and forces water through a discharge tube where water drains away from your house.

There are two main types of sump pumps to choose from, and these include pedestal and submersible models. Pedestal pumps sit just outside the sump basin, and they are best if you do not have a lot of water coming into your basement. The units are smaller, and the motor is not meant to come into contact with water. This means that if you have larger volumes of water coming into your house, or if the basement sometimes floods entirely, then a submersible unit is best. These devices feature a motor that is sealed inside the sump housing so the entire unit can be placed inside the sump basin below the level of water that moves into the opening. 

Consider Capacity

Once you decide on the type of sump pump, you will also need to consider the capacity of the unit. Capacity is measured in gallons per minute, and you want a sump pump that will remove water from the home much quicker than it flows into the sump basin. You can measure the water that moves into the basin during a heavy rainfall to figure out the best capacity for your house. Take your measurement by placing a yardstick in the sump pump pit and set a timer for a full minute. Look to see how many inches of water entered the pit within the 60 second period. If your pit is 18 inches wide, then each inch of water will equal a gallon of water. This means that you will need a device that can remove at least 10 gallons of water every minute if your yardstick recorded 10 inches of water entering the pit in one minute.

You can also buy a unit that removes around 14 gallons of water every minute if your house is around 1,000 square feet instead of measuring water. If your home is double this size, then double the capacity of the pump as well. 

You have the option of purchasing a high capacity sump pump if large volumes of water enter the sump basin during a heavy rainfall. However, these devices are larger, heavier, and require much more power than a standard device. Instead of purchasing a high capacity model, consider expanding the size of your sump basin instead. Most sump pump pits or basins are 18 inches wide, so think about expanding it to 24 inches instead. 

Think About Head Pressure

After deciding on the type and the capacity, make sure that the sump pump you purchase can lift the water up and away from your house. The height at which the water must be lifted vertically is called the head pressure. Before looking at this head pressure, measure from the bottom edge of the sump pit to the top of the pipe that expels water outside the home. This height will usually be somewhere around 10 to 13 feet, so find a sump pump with a head pressure that exceeds this height. For more information, see a website such as