Sump Pump Buyers Guide


When is the last time you thought about your sump pump? Buying a reliable sump pump for your basement is very important step in keeping your basement dry. This buyers guide helps you to choose the right products for your basement application.

What is a sump pump?

A sump pump is a device that pumps water from your basement to the outside of your home. The sump pump is typically installed in a sump pit which collects water from the basement subfloor and may have footing drain piping entering the pit. 

The pump is equipped with a mechanical switch or water level control sensor. When the water gets too high, sump pumps automatically pump excess water out of the basement and away from your property using a discharge pipe. This pipe allows water to flow from the sump pump outside drainage area.

How does a sump pump work?

A sump pump is a mechanism that detects elevating water levels to ensure that these levels do not rise too high in sump pit. These pumps use a switch or sensor to detect water levels. When the switch is activated by a rising water level, the pump turns on and directs water into a discharge pipe and away from the home’s foundation. A pump can be powered by primary AC utility power or by battery backup system case of a utility power outage.

Where should a sump pump drain to?

The sump pump water should discharge to a designated area, such as a dry well, a creek or pond, or a neighborhood drain. Be careful not to set the outside drainage elevation higher than the basement level so that water will not backflow into the sump pit. Keep the outside end of the sump pump discharge pipe well away from the home foundation. Some cities have building codes that determine where your sump pump can drain, so it is always best to check with your local government.

Always choose sump pump horsepower large enough to accommodate maximum water flow into the pit as well as the vertical rise of the discharge pipe to the outside.


The sump pump size you need for your basement can be determined by motor horsepower (pumping power) and flow rate in gallons per minute (GPM). 1-3 horsepower sump pumps are commonly used but 1-2 HP sump pumps and 3-4 HP sump pumps are used in extreme water flow conditions.

Selecting the right sump pump size is important in terms of efficiency, reliability, and durability.

Estimate the flow rate of the water coming into the sump pit so that the correct sump pump HP (Horse Power) can be determined. Do this by measuring how much water accumulates in the sump pit in one minute when water is flowing into the sump pit. The best time to do this is during a high-water flow event like a heavy rainstorm. Use a tape measure to determine the rise in water level (inches) in one minute. If you have a standard 18" diameter cylindrical sump pit, a one-inch rise in water level is 1.1 gallons. The larger the sump pit diameter the more water volume it contains. 

Example (10' Vertical Lift):



  Water Flow Calculation
    Inches of Water Level Increase in One Minute = 12 (In)
    1" Water Column volume = 1.1 Gallons
    Safety Factor = 1.5
    Required Sump Pump Flow Rate --> 1.1 (gal) x 12 (In) x 1.5 (SF)= 19.8 GPM

 Select the Right Sump Pump Size Based on the Required Flow Rate (GPM) below:
    Flow Rates Up To 50 GPM: 1-3 HP Sump Pumps
    Flow Rates Up To 65 GPM: 1-2 HP Sump Pumps
    Flow Rates Up To 75 GPM: 3-4 HP Sump Pumps



A sump pump battery backup system uses a DC to AC power inverter and DC batteries to power the sump pump when utility power is out. These systems provide several hours of sump pump operation to prevent basement flooding. They can also include a secondary backup sump pump in case the primary sump pump fails. 

Select the Right Sump Pump Battery Backup Size Based on the Required Water Flow Rate below (10' Vertical Lift):


    Flow Rates Up To 35 GPM: Eco ACi+ Energy Efficient Sump Pump Battery Backup System
    Flow Rates Up To 45 GPM: 30AC Series Sump Pump Backup System
    Flow Rates Up To 55 GPM: 35AC Series Sump Pump Backup System
    Flow Rates Up To 65 GPM: 55AC Series Sump Pump Backup System
    Flow Rates Up To 75 GPM: Sumpro Sump Pump Backup System








Selecting The Right Packaged Sump Pump Systems

Packaged sump pump systems make installation easier and faster. These packages have a variety of configurations including pre-plumbed sump pump discharge pipes, check valves, sump pump controllers and sump pump battery backup systems.

Select the Right Packaged Sump Pump System Based on the Required Water Flow Rate below (10' Vertical Lift):


     Flow Rate Up To 45 GPM: MPPII Sump Pump Package
     Flow Rate Up To 50 GPM: MPPIII Sump Pump Package







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