10 secret things you didn’t know about sump pumps


  1. Battery backup pumps:

Every one of us knows that a sump pump runs with the support of electricity. But few of us never think how a sump pump can work when there are heavy storms and no electricity. It is due to the backup. Most of the pumps come along with backup availability. It can run without break with the help of backup feature.

  1. Sump pump maintenance:

Sump pump must be properly maintained atleast for every 3 months. First, disconnect the power of the sump pump. Drain out if there is any water still present in it and also remove if there is debris present near the sump pump which can later make a problem. Power on the sump pump and pour some water inside and look whether the sump pump kick starts automatically. Also look whether the water is released out to the correct location.

  1. Cover the top with plastic:

If you are installing a sump pump below your house then the opening must be inside your house. In such case, if it is left out without closing, the smell is going to affect your whole house. Therefore cover the top opening with a plastic which reduces the evaporation of smell. It also saves the kids and pets from falling into the pit.

  1. Safe electricity:

Ensure that the cord is long enough to reach the sump pump. This safeguards you from an electric short circuit when the switch is placed at a very long distance. As the work of pump is concerned with water it is advisable to buy a long wired cord.

  1. Check valve:

Have you ever wondered what this check valve is and why it is fixed on the discharge pipe? Its work is to check the flow of water in one particular direction. In other words, it protects from backflow of water in a discharge pipe.

  1. Does it makes an unusual sound:

By using a sump pump for weeks and months probably you might be used to the sound of the sump pump. But suddenly when you hear an unusual sound from the sump pump it shows that there is a problem somewhere. Try to replace the pump or overhaul them before it completely stops working.

  1. Horsepower in pumps:

Do you know the reason for the difference in horsepower in sump pumps? To understand better let us look into a short example. Let’s take three sump pumps, one with 1/3rd horsepower, second with ½ horsepower and the other with one horsepower. If you only have to move the water 20 feet away from the house then a 1/3rd horsepower pump will work fine. If you have to move the water further way long then go for a higher horsepower. If you want to move the water 60 feet or more from the house then ½ or one horsepower pump works fine.

  1. The float mechanism:

There are different float mechanisms used in different pumps. To choose a right one first you must know what the normal water level is. For instance, a pedestal pump turns on when the water level raises to 10 inches. In a submersible pump, one variety works with a diaphragm switch. It can turn on when the water level has attained 8 inches and no adjustment can be made. And another model of submersible pump floats and kick-starts when the water reaches 4 inches. Another submersible pump works with a tether switch

  1. Two active pumps:

When the basement is a large area, one single sump pump cannot handle the situation. At this time you can buy a two active sump pumps variant. It has two pumps which can quickly send out excess water from the house. When one sump pump fails to kick start then the other starts and discharge the water.

  1. Plastic or cast iron:

Cast iron pumps are heavy in weight and also works perfectly for more number of years. It also does not float in water. But in case of plastic pumps, they are light in weight and can easily float if the water level is more. Though the manufacturer guarantees for few years it is not the right option.



Bill is a DIY plumber, handyman, and homeowner with more than a decade of experience. He has replaced and repaired sump pumps, backup pumps, float switches, check valves, and many other things around his family home. An engineer and tinkerer at heart, he is always looking to see how things work and taking on new home projects that help him grow his skillsets. He is a husband and father of two boys, has a bachelors degree in Computer Engineer and minor in Mathematics and likes to make homebrew beer in his free time.

      Sump Pump Advisor