If you are thinking of installing a new pump to keep your basement from flooding, you will usually need to choose between a submersible sump pump and a pedestal sump pump. A sump pump forces water that accumulates in the sump (reservoir beneath basement used to collect excess ground water) to an area above ground that is far enough away from your home that it won't cause damage to your basement or subflooring. Both types of pumps offer pros and cons to a homeowner. This article will discuss some things you should consider before making a choice on a new sump pump.
Submersible Sump Pumps
A submersible sump pump is an integrated design that places both the motor and the pump inside an enclosed container. This type of pump is designed to be placed in the sump reservoir and get wet.
Because a submersible sump pump is installed in the sump reservoir beneath the basement, it is not in the way of any fixtures or furniture that may be placed in the basement. The placement of the pump inside the reservoir also means that there is little or no noise heard inside the home. Generally speaking, submersible sump pumps are available in larger horsepower capacities than are pedestal pumps. This means that larger submersible sump pumps can pump out water faster than pedestal type pumps.
Although many submersible sump pumps are considerably more powerful than a pedestal type pump, these types of pumps are also usually much more expensive. In addition, because submersible sump pumps are installed in the sump reservoir, small cracks or damage that may be caused by solids in the reservoir can render a submersible sump pump useless. If a submersible sump pump needs to be repaired or replaced, it will usually require that the cement floor of the basement be broken up so that the pump can be accessed. This usually results in a time-consuming and expensive repair job.
Pedestal Sump Pumps
Pedestal sump pumps differ from a submersible type in that the unit is divided into two pieces. A pedestal sump utilizes a standalone motor that is installed above the floor of the basement and a hose that is fed down into the sump reservoir.
Pedestal sump pumps are less expensive than submersible sump pumps and usually last longer. Because the motor of the sump pump is not submerged in water when the sump pump reservoir is full, the pedestal type of pump is not susceptible to water damage in the motor. In fact, pedestal sump pumps have been known to last two or even three times longer than submersible sump pumps. Furthermore, if a pedestal sump pump is somehow damaged, the unit can usually be repaired for much less than a submersible one. This is because the motor is easily accessed and does not require the tearing up of the basement floor.
Although pedestal sump pumps are much more cost-efficient (and somewhat more reliable) than submersible sump pumps, they often lack the power needed to pump out large quantities of water during a storm. Therefore, if a rainstorm drops a large volume of water in your area, a pedestal sump pump may not be able to pump out the water fast enough to keep your basement from flooding.