How To Buy A Sump Pump

5 Helpful Steps How To Buy A Sump Pump


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How To Buy A Sump Pump And What It Looks Like When Installed

How to Select a Quality Sump Pump – 5 Helpful Steps

Select the step of interest or scroll down the page to review all five steps.


Determine Need – Step 1

Determining your sump pump needs is crucial to deciding which sump pump is best for your water pumping needs.

We periodically review our existing system to determine if our sump pump needs are adequately met. Whenever one of our sump pumps requires replacement we use the following list of questions to help us decide if we should replace our existing pump with the exact same model or if we should buy another brand with similar or different specifications. We are sharing our questions with you to save you time and help you determine your sump pump needs.

Six Questions To Determine Sump Pump Needs

The following six questions will help you to determine your sump pump needs.

1) Has the amount of water flowing into the sump pit changed since replacing your last sump pump?

A change in the volume of water flowing into your sump pit can be due to many factors such as heavier and longer lasting rainfalls, settling of ground around the foundation so slope is toward house rather than away, additional building construction in your area decreasing the amount of soil available to absorb water. Such changes suggest a need to review the size of pump required.

2) Can your existing sump pump keep up with the number of gallons flowing into your pit during heavy rainstorms?

Liberty Pumps Model 250 Series Performance Curve at SumpPumps.PumpsSelection.comHow many gallons of water flow into your sump pit during a heavy rainstorm? To find out, stick a yardstick in the pit and measure how many inches of water flow into the sump basin in 60 seconds. Every one inch of water equals 18 gallons if the pit is 18 inches in diameter. If the pit is 24 inches in diameter, one inch equals 2 gallons. Lift height also impacts how fast your existing pump can remove water flowing into the pit. To identify the lift, measure the height of the vertical discharge pipe attached to the sump pump port to the top where the horizontal pipe is attached. Check the manufacturers lift height flow chart for your brand and model to see if your sump pump is powerful enough to handle the water flowing into the pit during heavy rainstorms.

3) Does your sump pump run a lot even when it is not raining?

A high water table will cause your sump pump to run even when it is not raining. A sump pump that runs a lot will need replacement parts quicker. Installing an external piggyback float switch which allows adjusting the height of the ‘on’ and ‘off’ switch sensors will decrease the number of pump run times.

4) Does your sump pit get filled with debris and small pebbles frequently?

Are you finding debris and pebbles larger than 1/8 inch in your pit? Not all sump pumps can handle debris and pebbles. Preventing pump failure because of debris can be handled in one of two ways: frequently clean the pit or install a sump pump that allows debris and pebbles to flow through the impeller without clogging it.

5) Does your existing sump pump float get hung up on the basin (pit) wall frequently?

Tether floats are more prone to hang up because the float swings up and out when the water rises. A vertical float has very little movement since it moves up and down on a rod. Generally the only time a vertical float will get caught is when the pumps moves during heavy, continuous pumping causing the pump to move.

Installing a sump pump with an external switch that attaches to the discharge pipe provides the most protection against float hang up.

6) Has your sump pump cracked?

Sump pumps made with thermoplastic are most likely to crack. Pumps made of bronze for the housing, shaft and impeller are least likely to crack or break. Stainless steel and cast iron will not crack as easily as thermoplastic. Pumps made from thermoplastic are also least likely to have replacement parts.

Conclusion – Step 1

Answering the above questions will help you determine if replacing your existing sump pump with the same brand/model will best meet your water pumping needs or if your existing pump is inadequate. In addition, your answers above will help you to use the menu tabs above to discover which brand and models have those specifications that meet your needs.

Review Features – Step 2

Reviewing features is important in the sump pump selection process to help you identify which of many excellent pumps meet your water pumping needs. Many pumps provide similar features; however, there are specifications and features that distinguish each manufacturer. Every time we need to replace our existing pump we review the following features.

Six Key Sump Pump Features To Consider

The following six features will help you to determine which are important for your sump pump needs.

1) Horse Power determines water pumping capacity

A sump pump with too much horse power can be as much of a problem as one with too little pumping capability. Too much horse power with too little water causes the pump to short cycle – start and stop too frequently. Too little horse power causes extra demand on the motor and continuous runtime of the pump with the potential of pit overflow during heavy rainstorms. To avoid buying the wrong pump it is important to know how much water enters your pit during heavy rains and if your pump runs only during rainstorms. Check the flow capacity of various sump pumps.

2) Switch types make a difference

Sump Pump Float Siwtch Types PicturedTether switches require a larger pit diameter and can get hung up more easily. Vertical float switches only move vertically and thus require less pit space.

Piggyback external switches require even less pit space since they are attached to the discharge pipe. An externally attached switch is much easier and quicker to replace. Variable level piggyback external switches are even more versatile since you can set the height of the ‘on’ and ‘off’ position.

To avoid buying the wrong switch type it is important to know how frequently the pump runs when it doesn’t rain, how wide the pit is and your comfort level in replacing a switch when it fails.

3) Housing, volute, impeller and shaft construction material determine longevity

Housing, volute, impeller and shaft made of bronze last forever. Thermoplastic is most vulnerable to cracking, overheating and warping. Stainless steel, cast iron and aluminum have more durability than thermoplastic. Pumps made of thermoplastic generally do not have replacement parts. Pumps over ½ horse power are not made of thermoplastic.

To avoid buying a pump made of the wrong kind of material, know how hard and long the pump will need to work during heavy rainstorms and know if you wish to buy replacement parts or a new pump every time your pump fails.

4) Impeller with debris and small pebble handling capability prevents pump clogging

The ability to handle debris and small pebbles varies by sump pump. Those pumps with a vortex impeller are least likely to become clogged because they are designed to allow such materials to pass through.

Those pumps with a screen located on the bottom of the pump are most likely to fail because the screen which prevents debris from getting into the impeller becomes clogged unless cleaned periodically.

To avoid buying a pump incapable of handling debris in your pit, know if pit gets filled with debris and how frequently. If you desire peace of mind and do not like to periodically clean a screen, a vortex impeller is the best choice.

5) Power cord lengths do vary

Sump pumps come with varying power cord lengths. Some manufacturers even offer a removable, easily replaceable power cord. Avoid buying a cord that is too short or too long. Pumps with longer chords do cost more.

6) Discharge port sizes vary

Sump pumps come with varying discharge port sizes. The largest size is two inches for very heavy pumping. The most common size is one and one-half inches. One and one-fourth and three-fourths are also available, but are recommended for locations that get little rain infrequently.

Conclusion – Step 2

Considering the above features will help you determine if replacing your existing sump pump with the same brand/model will best meet your water pumping needs or if your existing pump is inadequate. In addition, the features listed can be found in the menu tabs above to discover which brand and models have those features that meet your needs.

Compare Specifications – Step 3

Comparing specifications (features) is important in the sump pump selection process to help you identify which sump pump comes closest to meeting all of the features you need. Many pumps provide similar features; however, when comparing them side by side you will find differences. These differences will help you discover your best choice. If need be, you can print the comparison chart as well.

We used to manually write down the differences between sump pumps and loose our paper. Now we save time and have the flexibility to compare multiple sump pumps any time of the day and print the comparison feature chart if necessary. We hope you find the comparison chart helpful in the process of finding the best sump pump for your water pumping needs.

Compare Prices – Step 4

Comparing prices of multiple sellers is important in the sump pump selection process so you can get the pump you are interested in for the best price. It is important to note that some sellers provide free shipping whereas other charge.

We used to spend time checking several websites to find the best price. Now we can go to one website and find multiple sellers, their price and what other consumers think of their service. To save you time we are providing the information from this website. We trust you will find the information helpful.

Buy The Best Suited – Step 5

Buying the best suited sump pump is much easier if you have followed the prior four steps. First determine your needs by answering some key questions. Second, discovering the specifics about the features you need. Thirdly, choose multiple sump pumps to compare features/specifications side by side. This will help you identify the pumps that truly do meet your needs. Fourth, check the seller price comparison.

The cheapest price does not always mean the best choice. By reading consumer reviews on the pump or interest, you will know which pump and price is the best pump selection for your water pumping needs.


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