Sump Pump Reviews

With many different models of sump pumps available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right system. We have carefully researched each sump pump model available.

A Model-By-Model Review of the Four Major Sump Pump Models

A Alpena sump pump system that failed and lead to a basement flood.

Improper sump pump installations can lead to moisture, odors, and noise coming from the sump pit. By selecting a sump pump that is reliable, quiet, long-lasting, and strong enough to keep your basement dry, you can be sure that your space is best protected from groundwater seepage.

With so many basements flooding these days, many different models of sump pump systems have been designed to handle this. The most common of these sump pumps are pedestal sump pumps, submersible pumps, water-powered sump pumps, and "floor-sucker" models.

Below, we've provided a review of all four major sump pump designs, including the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Read on to see how we select our system, and which one is right for you.

Contact us today for your sump pump system installation! We serve Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Traverse City, Midland and many surrounding areas, including Petoskey, Grosse Pointe, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, Sterling Heights, Charlevoix, Jackson, Flint and nearby.

Pedestal Sump Pump Systems

Pedestal sump pump system installed in a home in Alpena

Pedestal Sump Pumps are pumps that are not meant to be submerged in water.

These pumps are mounted above the water line, with a long line from the float switch down into the pit.

Lifespan Sump Pump Review Rating 2 Stars
Reliability One Star Reliability Review
Capacity Three star sump pump capacity review
Noise Noisy one star rating for sump pump system
Lifetime Cost Three star lifetime cost review for sump pump system

Pump Advantages

  • Higher Capacity -- Pedestal sump pumps are one of the higher-capacity sump pumps available on the market. They're more able than some models to keep up with heavy volumes of water.

Pump Disadvantages

  • Frequent Malfunctions -- These low-end pumps are notorious for early burnout. Pedestal pumps also "wander" in their sump pits and can jam their sump pump switch on the side, forcing it to stay on or off.
  • Noisy Operation -- Because the motor is out of the sump pit, the noise from the pump cannot be muffled by a lid. Pedestal pumps usually stand in open pits, which let in odors and humidity.

Submersible Sump Pump Systems

Alpena installation of a submersible sump pump system

Submersible Sump Pumps are installed in a sump pit and are meant to be immersed in water when operating. The water cools the unit to help prevent burnouts, while the sump pit can be covered for noise reduction.

Lifespan Five star rating for a long sump pump lifespan
Reliability Reliable sump pump 5 star rating
Capacity high capacity sump pump 5 star rating
Noise quiet sump pump with low noise rating of four stars
Lifetime Cost Lifetime Cost for Sump Pump System of four stars

Pump Advantages

  • High Capacity Operation -- Submersible sump pumps are high-capacity units that can keep any basement or crawl space dry. When combined with a battery backup submersible pump, they provide the best protection of available models.
  • Long Lifespan -- Because the cast iron housing around the motor can disperse heat naturally into the water, these self-cooling pumps are long-lasting and reliable protection for your home.

Pump Disadvantages

  • Initial Investment -- While a submersible sump pump will outlast several generations of similar pumps, they cost slightly more on their initial investment than comparable alternatives.

Water-Powered Sump Pumps

Diagram of a water-powered basement sump pump system

Water-Powered Sump Pumps are installed above the pump pit and are powered by your water supply instead of electricity. These systems use your town water supply and depend on your home's water pressure for pumping capacity.

Lifespan long-life sump pump with four star rating
Reliability poor reliability sump pump with two star rating
Capacity low capacity sump pump with one star rating
Noise quiet sump pump model with four star rating
Lifetime Cost Low cost sump pump with four star rating

Pump Advantages

  • Runs Without Electricity -- Water-powered sump pumps operate by using your local water supply to help discharge water, allowing them to run through many power outages. 3-5 gallons will be used for each gallon of groundwater discharged.
  • Long Lifespan -- These pumps are long-lasting, durable systems that should continue operation for many years.

Pump Disadvantages

  • Low Pumping Capacity -- Unfortunately, water-powered sump pumps run at very low capacity. Heavy rains and water volumes will quickly overwhelm these systems.
  • Requires High Home Water Pressure -- If your home has low water pressure, it will greatly affect how useful these pumps are. If you experience a temporary loss of water pressure, they may fail to operate entirely.

"Floor Sucker" Sump Pump Systems

floor sucker sump pump used for dry basements in Alpena

"Floor Sucker" Sump Pumps will only switch on after the basement has already flooded. They're often used by contractors and many homeowners as an emergency pump to suck the water off of the floor before installing a better waterproofing system.

Lifespan often-failing sump pump with two star rating
Reliability unreliable sump pump model with one star rating
Capacity low capacity sump pump with one star rating
Noise loud sump pump with one star rating
Lifetime Cost Lifetime cost for a sump pump system with two stars

Pump Advantages

  • Requires No Sump Pit or French Drain -- "Floor Suckers" sit directly on the basement floor. There's no need to install a perimeter French drain or sump pit.
  • No Installation Time -- These pumps are ready for use immediately, making them a good option for emergency use, or to clear out flooded waters before installing a different system.

Pump Disadvantages

  • Does Not Stop Flooding -- Your basement must flood with more than 1/8" of water before this pump begins operation. If you're paying to dry your basement, this is not a solution.
  • Loud & Low Capacity -- These pumps are low-end models that will not be able to keep up with heavy floods. The pump operation, sucking sounds, and discharge line will all contribute to significant noise during operation.

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Sump pump failure is the leading cause of basement floods. You should never count on just one pump to keep your basement or crawl space dry.