What Is a Sump Pump? How They Work, Types, & More

Homeowners often face the challenges of water damage, mold growth, and excess moisture in their basements or crawl spaces. One potential solution to these problems is a device called a sump pump. But, what is a sump pump?

We’ll delve all into the world of sump pumps – what they are, how they work, and the various types commonly available through professionals and retailers. We’ll also explore why you might to invest in one for your property. 

If you live in a flood prone region, like many parts of Columbus, OH, having a sump pump can save your property (and save you from added expense).  

Understanding Sump Pumps

Sump pump systems are devices that detects water in the “sump” and move it away from the property through a network of pipes, making it an essential tool for homeowners looking to prevent water damage and excess moisture.

What is a Sump Pump?

repaired sump pump installation

A sump pump is a vital device designed to protect your home from the damaging effects of water accumulation. Its primary purpose is to collect and redirect excess water away from low-lying areas, such as basements or crawl spaces, preventing flooding and potential damage to the foundation.

This essential tool serves not only as a protective measure for your home but also helps maintain good indoor air quality by reducing mold growth due to excess moisture. Mold can lead to a variety of health issues, including allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

By keeping the area dry and free from standing water, sump pumps play an invaluable role in safeguarding both the structural integrity of your house and the wellbeing of its occupants.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The mechanics of a sump pump may seem complex, but in reality, they operate on a fairly simple principle. At the heart of the system is an electric motor, which powers the pumping action to remove excess water from your basement or crawlspace.

As water accumulates and reaches a predetermined level within the sump pit, this triggers the float switch or pressure sensor to turn on automatically. The activated motor then drives an impeller, drawing water through an inlet pipe and pushing it out through a discharge line or sump basin away from your property.

This prevents flooding, water damage, and potential mold growth resulting from standing water.

Reasons Why You Need a Sump Pump

One of the main reasons to have a sump pump in your home is to prevent flooding and water damage, particularly in areas prone to heavy rains or with high groundwater levels. Water damage can become a huge, costly expense — in addition to putting the health of your family at risk due to eventual mold growth.

Basements and crawl spaces can quickly fill up with water during these events, which can lead to costly repairs due to soggy foundations, wet insulation, damaged drywall, and ruined personal belongings.

In addition to preventing structural damage caused by floods, sump pumps also contribute positively towards maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Excess humidity can encourage mold and mildew growth on walls, ceiling tiles, wood surfaces as well other porous items present inside the house.

Mold spores not only cause unpleasant odors but also pose health risks such as allergic reactions and respiratory issues for those living in the residence.

Types of Sump Pumps

There are various types of sump pumps, including submersible and pedestal models, as well as battery backup and water-powered backup options (considered to be secondary as additional units to primary sump pumps).

Submersible Sump Pump (Submersible Pump)

Submersible sump pumps are the most commonly used type of sump pump these days. They work by sitting inside a well or sump pit that collects excess water from your basement or crawl space.

Submersible pumps combine the pump body and motor, and they’re electric-operated. Water flows into the sump pit via drains or other channels where it’s then pumped out using centrifugal force that is generated by the impeller.

These types of pumps draw fewer amps when running as compared to pedestal models which save you money in operating costs each time you run it. It is essential to maintain them regularly since they sit underwater for long periods; you should check them at least once per year to ensure they remain operational until needed- especially with heavy rain prediction.

Pedestal Sump Pumps (Pedestal Pumps)

Pedestal sump pumps are a type of sump pump that have their motors mounted on top of a long tube above the sump pit. This design keeps the motor away from water, making it less susceptible to water damage compared to submersible pumps.

Pedestal sump pumps consist of a separate motor and pump, with the motor sitting on a pedestal above the basin. While they are not as powerful as submersible pumps and can be noisier, they are generally easier and faster to repair or replace since the motor is easily accessible.

Battery Backup Sump Pumps (Backup Pump)

A battery backup sump pump is an essential part of any sump pump system. It serves as a backup in case the primary pump becomes inoperable due to mechanical or electrical sump pump failure.

The most common type of backup sump pump is the battery-powered backup, which springs to life when the primary sump pump fails.

The advantage of having a battery-powered backup over water-powered backups is that they can be used even during power outages and heavy rainstorms where there may not be enough water pressure for the water-powered option.

Plus, some models are equipped with smart technology that sends notifications when batteries need replacing or detects issues with the system. So, replacing drywall after flooding will be easier if you have installed this kind of sump pumps at your place.

Water-Powered Backup Sump Pumps

residential backup sump pump discharging water

Water-powered backup sump pumps are an excellent option for a homeowner who wants to avoid relying on electricity. These backup pumps run solely on water pressure from the home’s plumbing system, making them an eco-friendly and reliable option.

While these types of sump pumps have their advantages, there are some drawbacks as well. They typically don’t pump as much water per minute as electric-powered pumps and can be less efficient than battery backups if your home has low water pressure.

However, they’re still an excellent choice when used alongside battery-powered backup models.

In conclusion, homeowners must consider multiple factors while deciding upon the right type of sump pump for their homes.


A sump pump is an essential device for any property in need of protection against water damage – it can act as a safeguard for those in flood prone areas, or regions with heavy rainfall. Understanding the mechanics and types of sump pumps can help homeowners make informed a more informed decision about which pump to install.

Whether it’s a submersible or pedestal pump, Allphase Restoration has got you covered. We only install the highest quality sump pumps. Outside of sump pump installation, we also have many decades of experience providing professional repair and sump pump maintenance if you have a pre-existing unit.

The ability to remove excess water from your property quickly and effectively via sump pump reduces or eliminates the risk of costly water damage to your home. Let our experts guide you toward the best sump pump for your residential or commercial needs! Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you need professional sump pump installation.

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