If you have ever dealt with the issue of removing water from a flooded basement, or you are puzzled as to what solution to find to protect your basement from rainwater or groundwater, you need to give a go to sump or drainage pumps. These two pumps perform almost the same function with the only difference being the type of liquid they pump. Drainage pumps are designed for clean water only, whereas, sump pumps are capable of handling both. Sump pumps can work with clean and dirty water depending on the type of liquid leaking into a building.

We all know that a moist basement is a potentially hazardous environment, as it leads to the growth of mold and mildew resulting in health and breathing hazards. Hence, these pumps are a great solution for easily flooded house basements or low-lying areas. Currently, sump pumps are becoming a common obligatory construction requirement and are simply a great fixture and a precaution measure.

To make the selection process enjoyable and easy for you, we will explain how a sump pumps works and introduce its basic technical characteristics.

What is a sump pump?

A sump pump is an automatic pump generally used for basin drainage in emergency situations. These pumps are widely used to prevent residential flooding by keeping the area under the building dry through removing excess water from rain, melting snow, and groundwater.

Electric sump pumps are installed in the lowest part of a basement in a specially constructed sump pits. The pump is automatically activated with the help of a float switch. Once the pump is filled with water, it starts moving the excess water away.

Types of sump pumps

Generally speaking, there are four types of sump pumps:

  1. Primary sump pumps
  2. Battery backup sump pumps
  3. Combination sump pumps
  4. Sewage pumps

The most common of all the above-listed four types are primary sump pumps. They are standard pumps designed to remove water from your basement, keeping it safe and dry protecting it from floods. While purchasing a primary sump pump, you need to distinguish between the following two types:

  1. Submersible sump pumps
  2. Pedestal sump pumps

The only significant difference between submersible and pedestal pumps is the location for installation.

Pedestal pumps along with the pump motor are installed above the sump basin. It makes pedestal pumps suitable for small basins. You would highly benefit from such a pump if you have a narrow and deep sump pit.

In their turn, submersible sump pumps are fully submerged into the water: they are positioned down in the pit. These pumps have a number of advantages over pedestal pumps: they last relatively longer and are more effective. Furthermore, they are quiet and because they are submerged into water, it is easy to disguise them. Last but not least submersible sump pumps are easier to operate.

What comes to the other types of sump pumps, battery-backed sump pumps simply offer you a battery back up in case your power goes off. Combination pumps naturally are the mix of primary and battery sump pumps. This is great protection against power outages. The name of the sewage pump speaks for itself: a sewage pump is designed to move wastewater and other effluents.

Water pumps for drainage

Drainage pumps have basically the same function as sump pumps with the only major distinction being the type of the liquid to be pumped. Those pumps are used for draining only clean water. Drainage pumps may be operated either manually or automatically. You can also use them with a controller.

Sump pumps in winter

A sump pump is a significant addition to your equipment. This means you should care about it and do a proper maintenance all the year around. Severe winters may turn into a potentially challenging season, as sometimes your sump pump may simply run dead. Pumping water in such cold season may result in ice buildup.

Below we introduce some tips to help you prevent your sump pump from freezing and preserve it in the good working condition ensuring its longevity:

  1. A discharge pipe is the most vulnerable spot for a sump pump, so throughout the cold season, you have to regularly check whether it freezes or not. You may insulate it to make sure they will not freeze.
  2. One of the primary causes, why your sump pump may freeze, is that most likely you have forgotten to remove the flex hose. If you do not remove it before winter, it will freeze and tamper the work of the pump. But, similarly, remember to reattach the flex hose when the spring season comes.
  3. Keep the water running: it is essential to mention that water freezes not only due to low temperatures but because of not moving. Hence, keep an eye on your device and have the water constantly running during the cold period.
  4. Make sure the discharge pipe of the sump pump is sloped and at least 1.5 away from the foundation. This way the gravity will do the work for you.

Following these steps will help you keep your sump pump running regardless of the season.

The average cost of a sump pump

Now that you know how useful sump pumps are especially in keeping your home dry and in preventing your basement from flooding, you need to get acquainted with a pump and installation prices to plan your budget in advance. The cost of installation may range from $100 (being the lowest price) up to $2000 (depending on your location and the type of pump). The national average is about $1300, which is the sum that most homeowners eagerly pay to safeguard their homes.

There are certain factors that directly affect the installation price of a sump pump. On the first place, the cost depends on the type of a sump pump you choose: pedestal or submersible. Installation of a submersible pump is pricier. Then the location also matters a lot, you must install most of the pumps at the lowest point in your basement. That is why the installation of submersible pumps is more expensive as they have to be situated down in the reservoir. The material of your floor is the next factor determining the price.

Virtually all the buildings have cement floors, so the cement must be hammered through for the installation, which means more efforts and more labor, consequently more expenses. Hence, before purchasing a sump pump you have to consider all the possible factors, preferably consult with a constructor in order to get professional assistance. Besides, make sure to compare several quotes to get the best price possible and only then you are all set for the installation process.


Sump and drainage pumps are essential household additions, which make your life so much easier. This equipment is your home’s first line to make sure you are protected against flooding and moist in your basement. While deciding on the type of a sump pump keep in mind that submersible sump pumps have more perks compared to pedestal pumps. Take into consideration that you should maintain sump pump all year round, especially during the cold seasons.

Hopefully, this information will help you make the right choice to pick and install the pump that will serve you for long years. Though the initial installation may be quite costly, the protection it gives to your home makes all the expenses worth it.

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