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Sump Pump Horsepower

Horsepower (hp), in the case of a sump pump, is a measurement of the power in the pump’s electrical motor. One horsepower is equal to 746 watts. All types of electrical sump pumps have a horsepower rating, as well as a capacity measurement. Both are essential factors in helping you choose the most suitable, most durable sump pump for your home.

Horsepower Ratings
Residential Flood A typical residential sump pump horsepower rating falls between 1/6 and 1/2 hp. For commercial sump pumps, which are built for a larger pit and more frequent use, the rating generally ranges from 1/3 to multiple hp.

You can spend a small amount of money on a low horsepower motor, but you may be disappointed in its effectiveness. Moreover, you may eventually need to replace the pump due to an overworked motor. Much like a vehicle, high hp gives better performance than a low hp, allowing you to tow heavier loads, carry more passengers, or go the extra long distance. Low powered sump pumps are often unable to pump out the water effectively, resulting in potential damage to your home and possessions.

Minimum Requirements
Depending on the rate of water flow, your entire basement can be flooded within a short period of time. Sump pumps are designed to eliminate not only excess ground water but also accumulated rain water that can seep into your basement, and direct it to an area away from your house. Its effectiveness depends largely on the sump pump horsepower.

Although there are small, cheap sump pump models on the market, municipal governments, as well as home builders and sump pump manufacturers usually recommend the purchase of a sump pump with no less than 1/3 hp.

A sump pump should also have an adequate capacity rating based on the conditions and location of your home. You can ask your builder or a local plumber to do the calculation for you.

Recommended Maximums and Special Situations
There is rarely a need in residential applications for a sump pump horsepower higher than 1 hp, even in homes with a high water table or excessive water flow around or under the foundation.

Industry experts provide solutions for those special situations whereby excessive amounts of water will be flowing through the system. Instead of one large sump pump, they often suggest splitting the load by installing two 1/2 hp units. During extra heavy water flow situations, should one pump malfunction, the second would be able to accommodate in order to prevent flooding.

In any case, having a 1/2 hp sump pump together with a battery operated backup pump should deliver adequate power in the vast majority of situations. Choose adequate sump pump horsepower and sufficient capacity measurement for your home, and your system should work well for decades.


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