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3 Tips for Choosing the Right Sump Pump

Imagine you just finished your basement, added carpet, paint, and all the amenities necessary for a beautifully comfortable space. Then, bam! You have a flood, and all your hard work is ruined. Plus, now you have to spend more money to call in a professional to find the water source. A sump pump (a properly functioning one) could have helped keep your new space from being inundated with groundwater.

Many homes have a sump pump installed in their basements or crawl spaces to prevent groundwater damage. But before you run out and get a sump pump, our pros at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Greater Minneapolis have some tips for buying the sump pump that best suits your needs.

1. Consider the Type of Sump Pump

Most major sump pumps are either pedestal or submersible, making them ideal and affordable options for homes and businesses. But what’s the difference, you ask? Let us tell you.

  • Submersible: Submersible pumps are a bit more powerful than pedestal pumps as they can extract debris and other solids from your sump pit as well as water.
  • Pedestal: In general, pedestal pumps are less expensive than submersible because they don’t have the power to pump out anything but water. And, there is a greater probability that they’ll overheat under extreme use.

Pro tip: If you’re replacing an existing pedestal or submersible sump pump that hasn’t given you any issues for many years, simply buy a pump with the same type and horsepower. Regardless of the brand, the horsepower will determine how fast the motor works to keep water from pooling in your basement or crawl space.

2. Consider the Types of Features

Just because a major manufacturer makes a sump pump doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work perfectly for your specific situation. You need to keep in mind a few features when looking to replace a sump pump or have a new one installed.


For most sump pumps, the standard motor sizes are 1/4 HP, 1/3 HP, 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP, and 1 HP. While horsepower is essential, you want to consider how many gallons of water per hour your sump pump can remove. If your existing sump pump continuously runs, you may want to think about a more powerful pump that automatically shuts off. Also, if your basement ceiling is high, you’ll want your sump pump to be powerful enough to lift the water through the discharge pipe. The number to look for is the pump’s gallon-per-hour (GPH) capacity. The average water discharge rate is 2,500-3,200 GPH, so anything higher than that will give you more bang for your buck.


The three main sump pump switches include:

  • Electronic switch: When the top sensor detects water, the pump will automatically start, and it will shut off after the bottom sensor no longer detects water. This switch is better suited for narrower sumps and isn’t greatly affected by dirty water or debris in the water.
  • Vertical float: This float turns the pump on and off by raising or lowering a rod attached to a switch. A vertical float can also be used in narrower sumps.
  • Tethered float: Similar to the vertical float, a tethered float has an attached bulb that floats up to turn on the pump. When the bulb drops after the sump is cleared, the float sinks to turn off the pump. A tethered float isn’t ideal for narrow sumps, but it can travel beyond a vertical float, allowing the motor to cool off longer between cycles.

Keep in mind that all three of these switches turn on the sump pump automatically when water reaches a certain point.

3. Consider a Battery-Backup Sump Pump

Sump pumps are vital devices that help keep water out of your home, but what happens if the power goes out during a bad storm? You don’t want to have to deal with a flood on top of a power outage. Invest in a battery-backup sump pump. It’s a good idea to keep a battery continually charged so if you lose power, the backup system can turn on a separate pump that’s linked to the discharge pipe. The sump pump will continue removing water until your power is restored.

Benjamin Franklin Can Help with Sump Pump Installation, Repair, & Maintenance

Every home has varying sump pump needs. And if your home’s needs are not being met, you could have some significant and costly property damage to deal with. Fortunately, you have the punctual plumbers at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Greater Minneapolis to help with various sump pump services.

We offer sump pump services that include:

  • Backup battery installation and testing
  • Sump pump repairs
  • Sump pump maintenance
  • Sump pump installation

We can’t wait to work with you and get your home’s basement or crawl back to being the perfect extra living or storage space you need.

For the sump pump services that suit your specific situation, find a location in your area or call (612) 430-6547.