Many homeowners who’ve experienced a wet basement know the value of a sump pump. Sure, a sump pump can get rid of standing water, but more important, it can help you avoid the problem altogether by keeping ground water flowing to the outside.

Combine a sump pump with basement waterproofing, and you may never have a water problem again. But eventually, even the best sump pump needs to be replaced. Use the following buyer’s guide to find a reliable unit.

  • Sizing: Choose a sump pump that is the right size for your needs. An oversized pump will waste energy without significantly increasing performance. In most cases, a 1/3-horsepower pump is sufficient. To determine if you need a larger model, consider the total developed head, which indicates how far the water has to travel to flow outside your home. Water coming from a 3-foot pit, climbing a 10-foot wall and traveling another foot to the discharge area has 14 feet of total developed head. The pump must be able to move water that far.
  • Battery: You’ll need a battery to serve as a backup power source. Choose a name-brand battery when possible. It should be able to provide at least six hours of continuous pumping after the main power goes out. A rechargeable battery or a sealed maintenance-free battery are both good choices. If you use a dry-cell marine battery, make sure you keep it filled.
  • Material: Many sump pumps are made of plastic or stainless steel, but a cast-iron sump pump is preferred, because it is rugged, long-lasting and hard to damage.
  • Alarm: Purchase a model with an emergency alarm that indicates conditions such as loss of power, a dead battery or a pump failure.
  • Switch: Sump pumps are usually activated by float switches that rise with the water level. When the water reaches a particular height, the float switch starts the pump. Look for a model with dual float switches or electronic level control.

Since 1910, Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing has been a premier source of heating, cooling and plumbing services for residential and light commercial customers in the Cincinnati area. Contact us for more information on sump pump replacement. We’ll be happy to help you find the sump pump that will work best for your situation.

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