Unlike the submersible model,
a pedestal sump pump is designed to sit above the water level. It has
a sensor or float switch on board that activates the motor when the water
reaches a certain level. Although pedestal sump pumps tend to be noisier
than the submersible ones, they have many advantages that make it a popular
choice for homeowners. Here are some of its benefits over other styles
of sump pumps:
- Less expensive
- Easy access
- Simple maintenance
- Less costly to repair
- Longer lifespan
Pedestal sump pumps are long and thin in shape, and are generally made
of stainless steel, cast iron or bronze. Manufacturers produce them in
various sizes, typically ranging from 29” to 44” with a 1/6
to 1/2 hp motor, although some models have a higher horsepower.
Each pump has a water flow capacity rating that is measured in Gallons
Per Minute (GPM) or Gallons Per Hour (GPH). Some pedestal sump pumps are
built for residential use, while others are more suitable for industrial
Basics of the Float
Pedestal sump pumps are activated with a float switch that extends down
the length of the shaft. The switch resembles a toilet float, with a large
ball on one end that rises and falls with the water level. When the floating
ball moves up beyond a certain point, screw-clamp fittings contact the
mechanical switch that powers up the motor, and the water is pumped out.
When the float drops to its normal position again, another fitting contacts
the switch, turning the motor off.
In the event of a float becoming
defective, some sump pump models have a built-in alarm that sounds off
when the water in the pit reaches a certain level, allowing you to manually
turn on the pump.
Installation and Maintenance
The set up of a pedestal sump pump is a job best done by a professional,
given that to the unit must be sturdy and in proper position for operation.
Retailers are often able to suggest a reliable contractor for installation.
Location of the water table, soil conditions and climate are all factors
to be considered when installing this essential home system.
such as cast iron and stainless steel, will keep your pedestal sump pump
in good working order for years. Its expected lifespan is between 25 and
30 years, depending on the manufacturer’s quality of material and
craftsmanship, and on frequency of operation. Submersible pumps usually
last between 5 to 15 years. Because the mechanical equipment is partially
submerged in water, it is recommended that you invest in top of the line
materials that are built to last.
Basic examination of the sump
pump and its float, as well as regular removal of any excess debris in
the pit will ensure proper operation.
Back It Up
Even though you may have purchased a reliable and good quality pedestal
sump pump, it is nevertheless a good idea to invest in a backup system.
Because sump pumps function on electricity, a battery operated pump or
a water-powered pump should be installed as back up in case of electric
power failure. The water-powered unit has a valve that is hooked into
the municipal water system for operation; however, prior to deciding on
this option, make sure that your municipal water system is not also impaired
during power outages.
You can protect your home against water damage and the potential growth
of molds that can cause health problems. Invest in a quality sump pump
that is the proper size, power and capacity for your house.