Sump pump comparison

The sump pump is the most important part of a basement waterproofing system. When the water level in your sump pit reaches a certain level, a float valve turns on the sump pump so that water can get pumped outside before it reaches the level of your basement floor.

To feel confident that your basement will stay dry even in the wettest weather, you need a sump pump that delivers reliable performance day after day. That’s why it's a good idea for homeowners take the time to learn about the features that separate good sump pumps and sump pump systems from those that aren't so good.

Learn about sump pumps from the experts
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To learn more about the best sump pump systems available, watch the videos below then contact your local Basement Systems dealer for a free quote!


Among the dozens of sump pumps on the market, only a few stand out as top performers. Basement waterproofing expert Larry Janesky and his network of Basement Systems contractors have replaced and installed hundreds of thousands of sump pumps over the last 25 years. Check out his videos to get the inside story on what features are important if you want a reliable, long-lasting sump pump.

Exterior sump pump features such as float switches, intake screens, and pump housings made from plastic or cast iron.

A look inside different sump pumps to compare motor design, RPMs, heat dissipation characteristics, switches and impellers.

Important sump pump features

  • Resistance to clogging: If a sump pump’s intake port clogs with silt or other debris, pumping action slows or stops. This allows the water level to rise while also stressing the pump motor. To avoid a clogged intake, it’s helpful for the sump pump to be housed in a durable plastic sump liner that can be inspected and cleaned more easily than an unlined sump pit. A lid for the sump liner will keep out debris that can cause clogging. Avoid sump pumps that have screened intakes, which can clog easily. Instead, the pump can be elevated on a platform at the bottom of the sump liner. It’s also important for the sump pump impeller to be designed so that small pebbles and other debris won’t be trapped by the impeller blades. All Basement Systems sump pumps come with these anti-clogging features.
  • Powerful sump pump motor: A low-priced “economy” sump pump might have a motor rated at 1/6HP. Basement Systems only uses Zoeller sump pumps rated at 1/3HP or 1/2HP. A more powerful motor lasts longer because it doesn’t need to turn at high RPMs or operate for extended periods to pump a high volume of water. Lower power usually means shorter motor life.
  • Cast iron motor housing: The plastic motor housings used on low-priced sump pumps don’t respond well to the heat that is generated during extended pumping sessions. When a plastic housing gets hot, it expands, creating excessive tolerances that can cause the motor’s bearings to burn out. Cast iron is better at dissipating heat and tolerating high heat without distorting.
  • Float & switch design: All sump pump systems rely on float-type switches that turn on the pump when water rises to a certain level in the sump pit. A “ball-on-wire” float switch is more prone to malfunction than a column-type float switch. The float itself is another important feature. A hollow float will sink and cease to function if it is punctured. The Zoeller pumps used by Basement Systems feature a secure, column-type float valve and a solid float that will never sink.
  • Battery backup: Storms that cause basement flooding can also cause power outages. When the electrical grid goes down, a standard sump pump won’t operate. That’s why Basement Systems offers sump pump systems that include battery backup.

If you have a wet basement and are in the market for a sump pump you will want to invest in the best sump pump. A Basement Systems dealer will be able to recommend the best sump pump for your needs. 

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