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Submersible Sump Pump

These types of electrical pumps are installed in ground and are designed to work underwater. They have the same float-activated switch or a pressure activated switch. They are more expensive than the pedestal pumps but are quieter and tend to have a longer life because their sealed, oil-cooled motors are protected from moisture and dust.

The submersible sump pump features a watertight motor (sealed and submerged in oil) making it fully functional under water. It is placed at the bottom of a sump basin and installed below water level. Although a little more costly than the pedestal type, it has significant advantages.

  • typically quieter
  • requires less maintenance
  • out of plain sight
  • can handle larger quantities of water
  • less hazardous to children

Sump pumps come in an array of sizes and styles. To find the right sump pump, begin by estimating your needs, and measure the size and depth of the sump pit to ensure a good fit. Two features that are important to consider when shopping around for a submersible sump pump are: GPM and horsepower.

Size and Power

  • Capacity of water flow - GPM (gallons per minute)
  • Horse power - motor capacity required to discharge the water

Manual and Automatic Switches

  • Float-activated switch
  • Sealed interior switch

An automatic switch is your best bet as it will activate the sump pump should flooding occur when you are not home. The manual switch requires that someone turn on the switch in order to start the sump pump.

An automatic switch comes in three different types. Here are how the float switches work.

Diaphragm pressure switch
(Click to buy a pump that uses this switch)
The compact diaphragm switch is perfect for small diameter basins and eliminates concerns about moving parts becoming entangled. As the level in the sump chamber rises, the pressure in the housing rises and pushes upon the diaphragm to activate the switch. As the water level in the sump chamber decreases, the pressure decreases and the switch turns off.
Wide-angle float switch
(Click to buy a pump that uses this switch)
Most reliable but requires a larger sump chamber. A “wide angle” switch is better than a narrow switch for a sump pump so that the pump does not turn on and off at the slightest wave action.
Vertical float switch
(Click to buy a pump that uses this switch)
The vertical float switch is activated when the water level lowers and no longer supports the hanging float.

When looking for parts or housings for your sump pump, make sure to avoid purchasing materials that corrode. Non-corroding materials such as cast bronze, alloy, stainless steel and epoxy-coated cast iron are durable and reliable.

Back Up Plan
Like any other mechanical device, a submersible sump pump can break down. If your philosophy is “better to be safe than sorry”, you need to have a back-up plan in place.

Extra protective devices such as alarms and battery powered back up sump pumps can be purchased to provide you with peace of mind and additional assurance against water damage in case of system failure.

Free installation or installation at a small fee may be offered from the place of purchase; look into it. It is recommended that a submersible sump pump be installed by a professional. Improper installation can result in system malfunction and thus cannot guarantee protection against flooding.


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