How to Determine Which Sump Pump Size You Need

In general, a sump is a collection bowl that holds liquids. For instance, your car has a sump to collect oil. As for your home, a sump pump is a vital plumbing appliance that provides a long list of benefits and an unparalleled level of security. So, if you are on the market for a new sump pump, it is important to procure the proper unit for your home or office. Otherwise, you could be in for a plumbing disaster down the line. This obligation starts with determining which size sump pump you need.

Continue reading to learn how to size a sump pump, correctly.

Indianapolis Sump Pump Services 317-784-1870
Indianapolis Sump Pump Services 317-784-1870

Sump Pump Operation

In order to know which sump pump make and model is best for your home or office, it is necessary to understand some basics surrounding sump pump operation and maintenance. Sump pumps are designed to eliminate excess flood water filtering through loose aggregate and soil surrounding a property’s foundation. In most cases, they are installed in a small pit that is dug in the floor of a basement, usually 2 feet deep and 18 inches wide.

The pump portion of a sump pump system is designed to detect water levels within the sump pit using a specialized float device. When water in the sump pit gets too high, the float completes an electrical circuit, turning on the pump and sending the excess water away from the property through a series of plumbing pipes. Such systems also have a one-way “check valve” that is designed to prevent expelled water from returning to the pit.

Maintenance and Installation

Because sump pumps require electricity to work, it is vital to also have a backup sump pump battery (or an alternative back-up power source) in the case that your power goes out. In regions where precipitation patterns are consistent or high, it is necessary to have an entire back up sump pump system to manage the larger flow of water. As with anything electrical near water, it is critical to have your sump pump connected to an outlet that has a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Sump Pump Size

When you are talking about sump pump size, you are really referred to output. Sump pumps come in a wide range of make and models, all with varying outputs. This is basically the capacity to which the sump pump can displace water. Factors that will influence the sump pump output you need include property size, location of pump, distance of plumbing pipes, and more.

While shopping around, look for a chart on the side of the sump pump. This chart will depict how much flow and head values. Flow refers to how many gallons of water per minute the sump pump can move, while head refers to how far the water must vertically travel from the pump to the outlet pipes. These values are inverse, which means as the flow rate lowers, the head rate increase. You see, a sump pump must use more energy to push more water farther upwards. Therefore, if you have a sump pump that is not the proper output, it can be wasting energy or using up too much.

In order to know which sump pump size you need, you must calculate your flow rate. In order to do this, you have to wait for a rainy day. Here’s how:

On a rainy day, run your sump pump until the water level is below the shuts off level.

Then disconnect the power and measure the distance to which the water rises in 1 minute. This is your flow rate.


Next, multiply your flow rate by 1.5, which will give allowance for severe storms and flooding.

Then measure the vertical distance from the bottom of the basement to the sump pump outlet pipe. This is your head distance.

Now that you have flow and head values, refer to the chart on the side of your sump pump to see if it is sufficient.

A Fair Warning

A power rating of 1/3rd horsepower is recommended for the average residence, however, aside from flow rate and head values, there are several other factors that can impact the proper sump pump size you need. For instance, components like elbow joints, check valves, and narrow piping, can increase friction levels, thus requiring a more powerful unit. That is why it is strongly recommended to consult with a licensed plumber to learn the best sump pump options for your home or office.

Sump Pump Service and Repair in Indianapolis

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 when you need skilled and dependable Indianapolis sump pump services you can trust. Our licensed plumbers offer a wide range of standard and master plumber services for both residential and commercial properties, including help with sump pump installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance. We also sell top-of the-line Zoeller sump pumps at wholesale price! Get the best package deal on a brand new sump pump that includes installation and maintenance! Request a free estimate, today.

Common Sump Pump Issues With Melting Snow

Now that the outdoor temperatures are fluctuating more and more, the snow accumulation is not sticking around as long. Everywhere you look, pavements, lawns, and more are soaking wet as if a long storm just passed through; but really, all the excess moisture is a result of the recent melting snow. Although we can be happy that the snow is going away and spring is even closer than before, there are some serious issues associated with snow thaw and plumbing, namely, with sump pumps.

If you have a sump pump system in your home or office, you need to learn what issues might arise during this exponential snow thaw. Continue reading to do just that.

Indianapolis Sump Pump Repair 317-784-1870
Indianapolis Sump Pump Repair 317-784-1870

Sump Pump Maintenance

Whether you have a residential or commercial sump pump system, one of the most effective methods of maintenance is to routinely inspect it to ensure it is still running and discharging water correctly. Although now is a good time to check this, it is also important to do this a few times a month. Furthermore, it is important to have your system professionally serviced at least once per year by a licensed Indianapolis plumber.

After Melting Snow

Right now, your duty is to ensure your sump pump is still intact and functioning properly. Some of the most common issues associated with melting snow and sump pump systems involve check valves, downspout extensions, blocked drainpipes, burst pipes, and more. Worst of all, plumbing and water leaks can occur in more serious situations, leading to flooding, mold, mildew, and of course, costly renovations and remediation.

Here is what to look for after the snow melts:

Check Valve – Ensure that the check valve is still fitted correctly. Check valves allow water to flow in only one direction, while preventing pumped water from returning back through the line. If water is returning back into the line, there is a problem with the check valve, which requires professional repair.

Downspout Extensions – Check that the downspout extensions are still properly installed. Heavy snow and ice accumulation can knock drain and downspout extensions, as well as other plumbing materials, out of place. This can lead to water accumulation, which can affect your property’s foundation and even lead to a mold outbreak.

Blocked Drainpipes – During the freeze and thaw cycles this time of year experiences, water within drain pipes can also freeze and thaw; but sometimes, the water does not thaw enough, thus causing an obstruction in the pipe. This is common during times of snow melt.

For further details regarding sump pump maintenance and care, read our blog, “Top 7 Reasons Why Sump Pumps Break” and learn how to protect your system, year-round.

Trusted Sump Pump Service and Repair

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 when you need a licensed Indianapolis plumber you can trust for quality sump pump service and repair at an affordable price. We use a comprehensive approach to plumbing diagnostics, with the help of state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technologies in the plumbing industry. Request a free estimate, today.

FAQS About Sump Pumps and Basement Flood Prevention

Aquanot II Battery Backup Sump Pump 317-784-1870

Aquanot II Battery Backup Sump Pump 317-784-1870

Now that it is spring, we can expect a whole lot of rain. And with heavy rainfall comes the customary seasonal concerns about water leaks, water damage, and worst of all, basement and crawl space flooding. Fortunately, there is a solution to effectively managing excess water flow caused by heavy rainfall, and it happens to be a major component in a home’s plumbing system. We are talking about sump pumps!

Sump pumps are highly effective and important appliances to have if you want to keep the inside of your house dry. Generally located in a basement or crawl space, sump pumps are plumbing appliances that prevent excess groundwater from entering a home. They force excess water out of drains and away from the house during times of heavy precipitation. Sump pumps are often installed in a sump pit, which is essentially a man-made designated hole that houses excess water in the case of an emergency.

Sometimes, learning more about sump pumps and their role in flood prevention can help you reach your home improvement goals faster. It can teach you the purpose of routine plumbing maintenance, and how sticking to a schedule can protect your home from plumbing disasters like basement and crawl space floods. A great place to start is to review some frequently asked questions about sump pumps and basement flood prevention. Continue reading to do just that!

What Does a Sump Pump Do?

A sump pump is located in a basement or crawl space, and installed in a man-made hole called a sump pit. The sump pump diverts excess groundwater in drains by pumping it out and away from a home or building. This prevents interior flooding and keeps the interior dry.

How Much is a Sump Pump?

The overall price to purchase and install a sump pump varies depending on several factors. These factors can include the size, brand, make, model, square footage, location, region, weather patterns, and your preferred budget. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $2000 for a new system. This may or may not include the price of labor.

Is My Sump Pump Working Correctly?

You can test your sump pump in one of two ways to ensure it is performing properly. The first method involves unplugging the two sump pump cords from the outlet. Unplug both cords, and then plug in only the cord for the pump. If the pump does not turn on right away, there is a problem that needs professional attention. If it turns on immediately, the pump is functioning properly. The second method is to run a little water through it to see is the pump kicks on. You only need a cup or so of water to do this. You can also lift the float arm up to see if the pump turns on. It is wise to consider replacing your pump every 5-10 years. It is wise to have a back up plan in place in case of a huge storm or long power outage.

Do I Need a Sump Pump?

Not all houses require a sump pump since not all properties are likely to be subjected to excess water runoff. Homes and properties that are prone to flooding or located in confirmed flood zones are the ones that will require a sump pump. Talk to a licensed Indianapolis master plumber for advice that is unique to your property’s circumstances and needs. If you do not have a sump pump, it is strongly encouraged to have one installed, especially now before the heavy rains continue this season. If you already have a sump pump, it is important to ensure that it is prepared to perform its purpose by having it inspected by a licensed plumber.

Indianapolis Sump Pump Service and Repair

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 when you need a licensed Indianapolis plumber you can trust for quality sump pump service and repair at an affordable price. We offer a wide range of standard and master plumber services for residential and commercial properties, including sump pumps and septic systems. We also offer Zoeller® Sump Pumps, Aquanot ll® Battery Backup sump pump systems, free estimates, free plumbing advice, and even free haul-away for old plumbing appliances like water heaters, water softeners, sump pumps, and more. Request a free estimate, today.

What are the Advantages of Installing a Sump Pump?

Aquanot II Sump Pumps 317-784-1870

Aquanot II Sump Pumps 317-784-1870

If you own a home with a basement, you should strongly consider purchasing and installing a top-quality sump pump. This is especially true for home’s located in known flood zones, built on low terrains, or regions with high precipitation. Basements can flood, and water damages will cause hundreds or even thousands of dollars-worth of damages and losses. If you want to safeguard your belongings and prevent devastating basement or crawl space floods, think about buying a sump pump.

Continue reading to learn about all the benefits of owning and installing a sump pump.

Sump Pumps

Basements and other areas of a property that are below ground-level can become flooded with water from heavy rainfall, clogged or poorly-maintained gutters, and large amounts of melting precipitation. Once a home is flooded, it is almost impossible to stop damages from occurring. When a home is built, especially in newer homes, manufacturers drill in a sump pit. This is basically a small dip in the basement floor that collects any flooded or excess water that may enter the premises.

Zoeller Sump Pumps 317-784-1870

Zoeller Sump Pumps 317-784-1870

Sump pits are important for homes with basements that are below the local water table or retain poor foundation drainage systems. These pits must be drained and emptied regularly to prevent overflow. Within the pit is a float, or buoyant tool that notifies when a pit is too full. Once this float reaches a certain level, the sump pump turns on and relieves the excess water. Many sump pump systems have an automated timer that initiates these tasks for a certain amount of time, at regular intervals.

Sump pumps typically connect to a large drainage pipe that carries water out of the pit, to another location far from the home, like a dry well or public drain. A check valve within this drainage pipe prevents water from backflow and returning to the pit. Older homes might drain water to a nearby sewer, but this practice is no longer permitted due to overcapacity.

Back-up sump pumps are important in the case of a power outage. These systems are battery-powered and will operate even when your electricity is turned off. Sump pumps and back-up pumps are extremely lucrative and beneficial investments for all homes. They can prevent a considerable amount of damages and losses, and insure against flooding and drainage problems. Contact a local Indianapolis sump pump repair contractor or plumber for accurate industry advice and assistance.

Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc.

Weilhammer Plumbing Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Weilhammer Plumbing Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 to learn more about sump pump installation in Indianapolis, Indiana. Master plumber, Mark Weilhammer, and his team of highly trained and licensed plumbers, have decades of experience repairing, installing, selling, and servicing all make and model sump pumps and backup systems. We offer free estimates, emergency services, free plumbing advice, and much more. Call 317-784-1870 and speak with a licensed master plumber in Indianapolis about sump pump repair and installation, today.

Sump Pump Failures and Foes

Sump Pump Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Sump Pump Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Over the past several decades of being a state licensed master plumber, I have seen my fair share of disturbing sump pump failures and foes. Many people, unfortunately, put too much trust in old sump pump equipment. People that own a 15 year old sump pump can surely expect to have a messy situation on their hands sooner than later. And if you are one of these people, and happen to have a finished basement, you might want to consider a sump pump and battery pack replacement before the “overflow” fairy comes to town. Failed sump pumps lead to costly basement flooding and property damages. Trust me when I say it is cheaper to replace or repair a sump pump rather than pay for basement and foundation renovations!

It’s not just the old and ugly sump pumps that can cause massive flooding and property damage. This is why the same warning goes for cheap, poor quality sump pumps and battery backup systems as well. Some cheap units are known to fail within the FIRST YEAR of ownership solely if the battery water level is not checked once every month! It is vital to invest in a high-quality and reputable sump pump back up system in order to evade messy situations and back up accidents. Water-operated brands are not recommended. They tend to malfunction a lot and flood basements.

Recommended Sump Pumps and Battery Backup Systems

The best way to avoid a sump pump accident and flood situation is to buy the very best brands of backup systems on the market. Take for instance:

The Zoeller Aquanot II

Zoeller Sump Pumps Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Zoeller Sump Pumps Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

This heavy duty, highly recommended, battery-powered sump pump comes with a 1 year labor warranty, a 3 year parts warranty, and a maintenance-free marine battery. It can be installed in residential properties, as well as, small commercial office buildings and spaces. Check out the customer reviews.


Sump Pro Sump Pumps, Ace in the Hole Sump Pumps, & Wayne Sump Pumps

If you have a low-end sump pump that hasn’t been serviced in years, you are in DIRE NEED of some healthy sump pump education. Contact a licensed Indianapolis Plumber as soon as possible for information about sump pump replacement and purchasing. The longer you wait, the higher your chances for a sump pump accident are. The next time it downpours, is your sump pump capable of handling the water intake? Ask yourself this question when deicing if your sump pump is in good condition or not.

Weilhammer Plumbing Company

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for the most accurate and honest sump pump information and advice in Indianapolis, Indiana. Owner and Master plumber, Mark Weilhammer, has more than 60 years of experience working with sump pump repairs and replacements. We carry the Zoeller Aquanot sump pump and can install it for you at the most competitive price in town! Call 317-784-1870 and receive a free estimate for sump pump repair and service in Indianapolis, IN and its surrounding counties.