Things You Didn’t Know About Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are often used in flood-prone zones and where there are heavy rainfall and storm surges and in low land areas. Sump pumps are a kind of submersible pumps that helps remove the water when it reaches a certain threshold level as the water rises. As the water level rises to a certain point the float inside triggers and the pump activates and sucks the water out of there and discharges the excess water to a designated place, preventing your basement and valuable assets from water damage.

You may own sump pumps but there is a high chance that you are not aware of some secret things about sump pumps.

In this article, I will outline 7 secret things you didn’t know about sump pumps.

7 Secret Things You Didn’t Know About Sump Pumps

1. Battery Backup sump pumps:

Since you use a sump pump, you know it runs on Alternative Current (AC) or it is electrically powered. But do you know that sump pumps also come in DC (Direct Current) form that is backed up by battery power?

It is useful especially in situations when there is no power or electricity. And that happens usually when there is a severe thunderstorm, storm surges, or during flooding conditions.

Having a secondary battery backup sump pump comes in handy when your primary sump pump is unusable due to power outage.

2. Sump Pump needs regular maintenance:

Do you know that like most machines, sump pumps do need regular maintenances as well?

Most users of the sump pump think it is something that you install once and forget about it for good. No, that’s not the case, to ensure prolonged lifespan of your sump pump, it is recommended to properly maintain at least every 3 months or so.

Here’s how? It’s simple.

3. What it is made of – Cast Iron or Plastic:

Usually, good sump pumps are made of durable cast iron that protects it from being rusted and wear and tear. These pumps are built to last for several years and are heavy-duty and durable. They are also heavy due to the heavy cast iron material construction. However, what many don’t know is that there is also a cheaper and lighter plastic made sump pumps available. Additionally, due to the lightweight, they can float on water as the water level rises. The drawback is that they are not as durable and heavy-duty as the cast iron ones and they are not as long-lasting as the cast-iron sump pumps.

4. Use the safe and long power cord and GFCI:

It may not appear to you as important, however, since water and electricity don’t go well together, it is always a wise idea to have the power cord and outlet somewhere water won’t usually reach. Therefore, you should consider having a long and safe power cord that can go upstairs.

You should also consider having GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interpreter) embedded with sump pump outlets, switches so that it protects you from electrocution or electric shocks.

5. Check the check valve:

Normally people don’t pay attention to this. Well, you should. The check valve is usually located in the outlet or discharge pipe. Why do you need to check you may ask? Because it is meant to ensure that water flows only in one direction and prevent the backflow of water. Check to see any presence of debris obstructing or partially closing the check valve.

6. Horsepower (HP):

This is one of the key features that many don’t pay attention to. The horsepower of a sump pump determines how powerful it is and how many gallons per minute it can discharge water and how far away. For instance, there are many commercially available power ratings for sump pumps such as 1/3 HP, ½ HP, and 1 HP (there could be more). If you’d want to transport water to a distance of, say 20 feet or so, a 1/3 HP sump pump may be suitable. For moving water to a greater distance, you would need more powerful sump pumps.

7. The different float mechanism:

One secret thing you didn’t probably know is that there are different float mechanisms available for different sump pumps and you choose carefully choose one that is right for your need. It is associated with the threshold height of the water level. Meaning how high the water level needs to be for the sump pump to be activated or be triggered to run automatically.

What Is a Sump Pump and How Does It Work?


It is not enough just to own a sump pump and forget about it. Since you have an important purpose of owning a sump pump and it is at times a lifesaver and an important part in safekeeping your basement and protect your valuable household assets in case of worst scenarios such as flooding, storm surges, etc., it is of immense significance that you are well prepared ahead of time. Therefore, it is necessary to learn as much as possible about sump pumps and be ready.

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