I needed to find the best sump pump because having a flood in our finished basement would be too costly, would take too much time to clean up, would cause too much frustration and could cause mold growth. So I proceeded to follow what my high school teacher used to say, ‘ If you want to find the best of something, take the time to look for it’. So in a very methodical manner I began to look for the best pump. I identified my water pumping situation, documented my prior experience with sump pumps, defined what I wanted in a sump pump, reviewed manufacturer specifications, read customer reviews, and talked with plumbers. By taking the time to look for the best sump pump, I found it’.
What is my water pumping situation?
I live in a flood plain so my house is situated in a low-lying area. My home is lower than the homes around me. My basement is deep into the ground to accommodate a nine foot ceiling. The water table is high. The ground around the foundation cannot be sloped so the water flows away from the house. There are too many houses in the area so there is no where for the water to go when those heavy rains come. I live in an area of the country that gets significant rainfall and frequent lightning and thunderstorms. The run off from the homes very steep roof, two-story, one-hundred sixty foot perimeter home provides additional challenges. To sum it up, I do have water pumping challenges.
What is my prior experience with sump pumps?
I owned a thermoplastic housed sump pump with thermoplastic volute and impeller; however it didn’t last long and there were no replacement parts. The tether switch on another sump pump I owned seemed to get hung up and caused the pump to stop working all too frequently. The vertical float switch on another pump I owned got stuck in the ‘on’ position and the motor burned out plus the factory preset ‘on’ ‘off’ position caused the pump to run at least twice a minute even on days with no rain. The power cord on that same pump was not a ‘piggy-back’ so I couldn’t even run the pump when the switch failed.
What did I want in a sump pump?
I wanted a sump pump that is built to last with cast iron pump housing, volute and impeller. To provide enough room for a battery backup sump pump, I wanted a primary submersible pump that had a width of around ten inches and a height of twelve inches. I decided I wanted an adjustable float so I could set the ‘turn on’ height higher and set it ‘lower when I knew heavy rains would come. Since I am a handyman, I wanted replacement parts readily available, especially a float switch that was not hard-wired to the pump. To handle the volume of water coming in the pit during heavy rain storms, the pumping capacity needed to be at least seventy gallons per minute at a ten foot lift. The float switch needed to be piggy-back so I could run the motor manually in the event of a float switch failure. I did not want a built-in check valve. Having a manufacturer who would provide technical support was also very important in case I had questions. Since I knew my pumping needs and pit limitations, I was able to define what I wanted in my next pump.
What did manufacturer specifications reveal?
During my search for a cast iron housing, vortex and impeller manufactured pump, I found only two manufacturers. Many manufacturers used thermoplastic throughout or cast iron/stainless steel housing but thermoplastic vortex and impeller. I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of pumps that met my dimension requirements. I found very few pumps with an independent, adjustable float switch. However, I learned that if a piggyback switch was used, I could add an independent float switch. Not many independent adjustable float switches were available. I discovered I could replace float switches that came hard-wired to a pump if it came with a piggy-back switch. Fortunately most pumps do not come with a built-in check valve. As for gallons per hour, I found some one-half horse power sump pumps have a greater or near equal gallons per hour pumping capability than some three-quarter horse power pumps due to motor efficiency. Reviewing the manufacturer specifications helped me narrow the number of pumps from which to select the ‘best’ pump..
What did I read in customer reviews?
I checked thirteen manufacture brands and the customer reviews associated with them. One brand had more customer reviews than any other brand by more than one hundred percent. The same brand that had the most customer reviews consistently had the most favorable reviews. In fact out of 230 reviews, ninety percent rated the brand excellent. The ratings from the customer reviews provided sufficient evidence there was one brand that was ‘best’.
What did plumbers say?
Various plumbing stores and plumbers rated the same brand the customers did as ‘best’. I was surprised how consistently the plumbers rated the one brand. I walked away with great confidence I found the ‘best’ pump for my pumping needs.