Sump Pumps: Key Features and Buying Guide

When contemplating home safety, it’s easy to overlook certain appliances until they malfunction, and a sump pump is one of those unsung heroes. Designed to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, a sump pump is vital for protecting your home from flooding. It’s an essential piece of equipment for many homes, particularly those in areas susceptible to heavy rainfall or with basements below the water table.

This guide will walk you through the key features to consider when purchasing a sump pump and provide insight into sump pump replacements and plumbing. So, whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a first-time buyer, read on to make an informed choice for your home’s safety and comfort.

Call 317-784-1870 For Sump Pump Replacement and Repair in Indianapolis Indiana
Call 317-784-1870 For Sump Pump Replacement and Repair in Indianapolis Indiana

Key Features of Sump Pumps

Submersible vs. Pedestal

When looking for a sump pump, it’s important to consider certain features that will determine the right fit for your home. The most common types of sump pumps are submersible and pedestal pumps. Submersible pumps sit inside the sump basin and are quieter than pedestal pumps, making them the more popular choice for residential properties.

Pump Capacity

The next key feature to consider is the pump capacity, or power of the motor. This will depend on how much water needs to be removed from your sump basin each time it pumps and ranges from 1/6 horsepower (HP) – 1/3 HP.  For most homes, a 1/3 HP pump should suffice, although if you have a large sump basin, you may require a higher capacity.

Pump Height

You should also think about the size of the pump, namely the height, which is referred to as ‘head’. This indicates how far above or below ground level the water will be pumped and ranges from 10 feet to 25 feet. For most household applications, a 15-foot head will suffice.

Unit Switch

Finally, consider the type of switch that you need. This is the mechanism that will determine when your pump needs to be switched on and off, and there are two types available: mechanical floats or electronic controllers. Mechanical float switches activate with an internal ball bearing while electronic control switches are set to operate at a certain water level in the sump basin.

Sump Pump Replacement

Sump pumps are built to last, but they will eventually need replacing. It’s important to keep an eye out for signs that your sump pump needs servicing or replacement such as increased noise levels, leaking water around the pump, or a shorter cycle time – meaning the pump is running more often than normal. If you suspect any of these issues may be present, it’s best to contact a professional plumber right away.

Sump Pump Plumbing

Installing a sump pump may seem like a daunting task, but with the help of an experienced plumber, you can rest assured that the job will be done properly and safely. Your plumber will advise on the best type and size of sump pump for your home, as well as the necessary plumbing fixtures and requirements. They’ll also ensure that all parts are connected correctly and will test the system to make sure it’s functioning properly.

Sump Pump FAQs

Q: How often should I replace my sump pump?

A: Generally speaking, a sump pump should last between 5-10 years. However, this can vary depending on the size of your sump basin and the frequency with which it’s used. It’s important to inspect your sump pump regularly for signs of wear and tear so that you can replace it before any potential damage to your home occurs.

Q: What type of sump pump is best for my home?

A: This will depend on the size and design of your home, as well as the specific needs of your sump basin. Generally speaking, submersible pumps are quieter than pedestal pumps and are the most commonly used in residential properties. However, it’s best to consult a professional plumber who can advise on the best option for your home.

Q: How do I install a sump pump?

A: Installing a sump pump is not a job that should be undertaken by anyone without experience or knowledge of plumbing systems. It’s best to hire a professional plumber who will ensure that all parts are connected correctly, and the system is functioning properly.


Choosing a sump pump is an important decision for any homeowner – one that can protect your property from floods or water damage. By following this guide, you can ensure that you purchase a pump that meets the specific needs of your home, and with the help of an experienced plumber, you can ensure a safe and secure installation. So, take the time to consider the features mentioned above, shop around for the best deal, and enjoy peace of mind knowing you’ve taken steps to protect your home.

Ready to get your new unit up and running without a hitch? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for licensed and insured sump pump plumbing service in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our state-licensed master plumbers serve residential and commercial clients.

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