Pedestal Vs. Submersible Sump Pumps (Here Are The Differences)


Pedestal Sump Pump Vs. Submersible

Many of us have experienced the sheer panic when your basement has flooded with water. This is one moment where amidst your terror, you might expect your home, or even yourself to completely crumble. Although, not much generally comes from this except for the need to clean up the mess and get to the root of the problem.

While your home will most definitely experience some losses, you can control the extent of them by installing a quality sump pump. An effective and efficient sump pump can give you the necessary time to ensure that the flooding doesn’t seriously damage your home’s infrastructure.

A sump pump can protect your home from rising waters and heavy rains that generally result in structural damages and massive repair costs. There are a number of different types of sump pumps on the market, and selecting the right one is essential to the safety of your home.

One common comparison is that between a pedestal sump pump and a submersible sump pump. The major difference is that the latter contains the motor and pump in one unit and a pedestal sump pump is comprised of a separate pump and motor.

Regardless, let’s examine the differences between submersible sump pumps and pedestal sump pumps, and how to determine the type that is best for you and your home.

What is a Sump Pump and How Does it Work?

A sump pump’s main purpose is to protect your home from heavy rainfall and rising floodwaters. They work by moving water that collects in your basement out of your home. A sump is a naturally created pit, most often a hole that is carved below the key surface of your basement floor.

This pit, referred to as a basin, is used to house the sump pump. The pump is outfitted with valves and mechanisms that monitor escalating water pressure and levels. Once the water reaches a level that is too high, the sump pump is activated and habitually pumps any excess water out of the basement and away from your home via a discharge line.

The discharge line, called an effluent, is used to attach the sump pump to a designated drainage location. Sump pumps can drain in a creek, pond, dry well, or possibly a neighboring drain. However, it’s important that the drainage area isn’t located somewhere that could allow the water to return back to your property.

Quick Tip: For the ideal situation, position your pump ten to twenty feet away from your home’s foundation.

What is a Submersible Sump Pump?

In a submersible sump pump configuration, the motor and pump are contained into one singular waterproof unit. Both rest submerged and enclosed within the basin, or pit, in your basement flooring. Submersible sump pumps are, exactly as the name indicates, completely submerged in the water basin. They also have a screen or grate at the base of the pump to limit debris flow.

Since they are underwater, they tend to be quieter, save more space, and less susceptible to clogging than other types of sump pumps. However, the effects of water submersion could potentially cause them to not last as long. If you have major flooding concerns in your home, a submersible sump pump is the best choice.

Pros and Cons of Submersible Sump Pumps

The following are some of the associated advantages and disadvantages of installing a submersible sump pump in your basement.

Pros of Submersible Sump Pumps

  • Space Saving. A submersible sump pump’s design allows it to be installed hidden underneath your basement floor and will not get in the way or take up any additional space in your basement.
  • More Horsepower. This type of sump pump provides more horsepower, meaning the motor has the ability to pump water much faster than a pedestal sump pump.
  • Backup Battery. Some submersible sump pumps come equipped with a backup battery. This can be a useful tool, should a storm cause flooding and a power outage. A submersible sump pump’s backup battery will allow the unit to continue pumping water out of your basement, even if the power is out.

Cons of Submersible Sump Pumps

  • Overall Cost. While a submersible sump pump may seem like the way to go, it is considerably more expensive in the long run. The nature of the install below ground makes for very expensive repairs, even in the case of small damages. In order to access the pump for a repair or replacement, the cement floor of your basement has to be broken up or removed. This task can run you quite a bit of money in time and labor costs.
  • Vulnerable to debris. Their construction makes the reservoir very vulnerable to debris. Debris buildup in this area can easily cause the entire unit to break down.

What is a Pedestal Sump Pump?

The other type of sump pump that we are offering up for comparison is a pedestal sump pump. Unlike submersible sump pumps, pedestal sump pumps are composed of a separate pump and motor. The motor rests on a pedestal that is situated above the water basin. From there, a hose is connected to run from the basin to where the pump is located.

The pump distributes water through this hose, out and away from your property to an established drain area. Instead of being installed beneath the basement floor, pedestal sump pumps exist above it. Since the motor is not submerged in water, they generally have a higher lifespan and easy access allows for much more efficient repairs.

On the other hand, this device’s lack of submersion means that it will ultimately take up more space in your basement and can be louder than submersible sump pumps.

Pros and Cons of Pedestal Sump Pumps

To make an informed decision about what sump pump is right for you, examine the following for the related advantages and disadvantages to installing a pedestal type sump pump in your basement.

Pros of Pedestal Sump Pumps

  • Longer Lifespan. When compared to other models, pedestal sump pumps can last much longer because they are not completely submerged underwater. In this case, the motor will never experience any possible issues relating to water damage.
  • Easy Access. Most likely one of the greatest advantages to pedestal sump pumps is how they are easily accessible above your basement flooring. They are not placed into the sump pit and repairs can be much easier to achieve.
  • More Affordable. In terms of out of pocket, installation, and repair costs, pedestal sump pumps take the crown. They are much more affordable and can even save you money on your utility bills since they use less energy.

Cons of Pedestal Sump Pumps

  • Less Power. When compared to submersible sump pumps, the pedestal variety is not as powerful and can have a difficult time removing large amounts of water during a big storm. The pump may not work fast enough to prevent flooding caused by great amounts of rainfall.
  • Takes up space. Since pedestal sump pumps are not installed below your basement floor, they will inevitably take up space in your basement. They could also present a hazard since they partially protrude slightly above the floor.

Pedestal Sump Pump Vs. Submersible

Choosing between a submersible and a pedestal sump pump ultimately comes down to preference and your individual needs. However, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, consider installing a pedestal sump pump. On the other hand, if you experience heavy rainfall throughout the year and are at a significant risk for flooding, a submersible sump pump will be better for the job.

Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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