Should you buy a basement sump pump?

Buying a basement sump pump is sometimes the only solution to serious water problems. The cost layout will quickly be made up by what you save in repairs and headaches and ongoing water damage restoration.

If your basement is flooded, or if it tends to accumulate water, you might seriously consider buying a basement sump pump. Basement water damage can be devastating and costly, so it is wise to do the job correctly.

Courtesy of Hydromatic

Courtesy of Hydromatic

They can make a tremendous difference in managing the water in a basement. Ideally, you would be able to eliminate the source of the water, but this is often much easier said than done. In some cases, it is impossible, and the only option left is to move or get a sump pump.

Learn about basement sump pumps

Before you go out and buy a basement sump pump, do your homework. Ask around at stores, read up on the various models and see what works in your area.

Pedestal and submersible basement sump pumps

There are two types of pumps: pedestal and submersible. They both have advantages and disadvantages, and the price can vary quite a bit as well.

The pedestal sump pump tends to last a lot longer, mainly because it is not spending any time sitting in the water, as in the case of a submersible. These are also easier to work on. Because they operate out in the open they are noisier, which can be a problem, if your basement is a living area.

Hydromatic Sump Pump

Hydromatic Sump Pump

Submersible pumps are quieter, but do not last as long. They may last from 5-10 years, compared to a pedestal, which last twice as long. Most manufacturers do not warranty them beyond one year though, mostly because of the various conditions they operate in.

Manual or automatic sump pump switches

You can get a sump pump with either a manual or automatic switch. Most people seem to prefer the automatic, because, just by the nature of accidents, you will be out of town when your basement is flooded.

The automatic switch is also a good idea because you can easily burn out the motor of a manual pump if you let it run dry for very long.

Gallons per minute of water flow volume

The different pumps are able to pump water in measurements of gallons per minute (GPM), or per hour (GPH). This means a lot more when you consider this relative to how much water it is able to lift. This is called “Head” and needs to be figured in.

Hydromatic Sump Pump

Hydromatic Sump Pump

You need to determine how high the water must be lifted, and how much capacity it will deliver for that amount of head. It is not a good idea to save money by getting the minimum capacity, because it will almost always backfire on you.


You can expect to pay anywhere from $79 to $700 for a basement sump pump. When you figure in the capacity, head, type of pump and how often you will need it, you can get a good idea of how much you should spend.


Have a professional install your pump, unless you are able to do it yourself. Do not use an extension cord, have it properly wired. Keep it safe for children to be around and keep the area clean from debris. DIY restoration is not for everyone.

Good models

A very popular make is the Basement Watchdog 1730 GPH Battery Backup Sump Pump System Model # BWSP. The Home Depot carries these for about $250.

The Watchdog Basement Sump Pump (BW1050) by Glentronics is another good choice, for around $169.

Another suggestion is the Wayne CDU980 3/4 HP Stainless Submersible Sump Pump, which costs under $100.

Good idea

As stated earlier, the best is to find the source of the problem and repair it. Otherwise, you will certainly suffer wood flood damage, carpet water damage, and always have flood clean up.

You should repair any foundation cracks, take care of waterproofing basement walls, and use the best basement floor paint to get rid of mildew and black mold.