A sump pump is a great device, and often a necessary one, for any homeowner who has troubles with dampness and rain. If the water table is above the foundation of your home, or if your home lies at the bottom of a low area, you will need a sump pump to channel the excess water into a dry well or a municipal storm drain. Since this device will be running inside your home, you will want to choose an option that is not too terribly noisy. In this buyers’ guide, we will be looking at some important factors that you should consider when looking for a quiet sump pump for your home. You will also find information on how to maintain your sump pump and some frequently asked questions.
Sump Pump Types
There are two main types of sump pump. The first type is the pedestal pump. Pedestal pumps have a motor that lies above ground, so they are noisier but easier to access. The second type of sump pump is the submersible pump. These types of sump pumps are submerged in a sump pit. They are quieter, but more difficult to access.
There are three types of switches used in sump pumps. Tethered float switches require a larger sump pump, but they are the longest-lasting of the switches. You may even have to increase the diameter of the area by a few feet to accommodate it. Vertical switches do not last as long as tethered switches, but they also do not require a large sump pump. This means that a tethered switch with a small sump pump can fit into a very narrow pit, making it pretty unobtrusive. The third option is an electric float switch. Electric switches have no moving parts, so there is nothing to become jammed or stuck during operation. Electric switches do tend to get affected by things in the water, though.
Longevity and Reliability
You should always take into consideration the longevity of whatever sump pump you decide to buy. The last thing you want is to need to replace your pump frequently, or to have a pump give out at a crucial time.
In general, older sump pumps were made out of PVC or plastic. Newer models are constructed of cast iron. Cast iron is very heavy, but also can last a long time. Thermoplastic is also a good option for submersible pumps. It is lightweight, which makes it easier to set up and carry if necessary. Some models are made of stainless steel. Because stainless steel can corrode more easily than cast iron, we recommend staying away from stainless steel models, especially if you are getting a submersible pump.
Last, but not least, you should think about how much noise the sump pump will be making. Every sump pump, no matter how quiet, will produce some amount of noise. Older pumps are generally much noisier than the newer models.
Motor size is the greatest determinant for noise level. Larger motors produce more power and more noise. If you need to draw water from deeper levels, you will need a louder and more powerful motor. If you are pumping smaller amounts of water or pumping water from shallow pits, you can choose a smaller and quieter motor. There are techniques by which you may, however, muffle the noise of your sump pump’s motor.
How to Maintain your Sump Pump
Owners should check on their sump pumps at least once a year, and even more frequently during rainy seasons. Occasionally, it is a good idea to fill the sump pit with water to test the pump and make sure it is working. This way, you can troubleshoot any issues before they cause trouble during heavy rain. When you fill the sump pit with water, it has the added bonus of preventing corrosion of the impellers. If the impellers are not activated because there isn’t enough water, then they may corrode from being submerged for long periods of time without activating. Giving them a “practice run” can help prevent corrosion and keep them in working order.
You can also buy and install an alarm that goes off when your sump pump is not working. Flotation switches placed high above the sump pump will let off a buzzing noise that can be heard throughout the house if the pump has stopped working.
You should also install a ground fault circuit interrupter to avoid possible electrocution. This device shuts off electrical power in the incident of a ground fault.
Lastly, be sure to install your sup pump and pit in a location that is easy to access. Not only will this make all of the above maintenance easier, but it will reduce the risk of injuries or accidents caused by stooping, bending, or reaching.
Here are just a couple of the most common questions we encounter when people are shopping around for sump pumps.
How Much Do Brand Names Matter?
We have found some of the most trusted brands to recommend in our list. This means that these brands have proven themselves to be a cut above the rest, and that they have been around for long enough make it happen. This doesn’t mean that a new company can’t make a good quality sump pump, it just means that they will have to stick around and gain some satisfied customers before we give them the green light.
How Much Do The Materials Matter?
Quite frankly, a lot. The proper materials for a sump pump must be durable, long-lasting, sturdy, and resistant to corrosion. Any of the major brands or any designer worth their salt knows that a machine submerged in water will not last long if it is made out of weaker materials.
Thermoplastic, a lightweight and incredibly heat-resistant plastic, is now the most common material for constructing sump pumps. Many sump pumps are still made from stainless steel or cast iron. Because these materials are so heavy, thermoplastic is often used as a lightweight alternative for the more portable models.
What about horsepower?
More horsepower means more water pumped at a faster rate. It also, generally, means greater noise. This trade-off between quieter/weaker and noisier/stronger motors needs to be taken into consideration by homeowners when determining just how powerful their sump pump needs to be. If you live in an area with a lot of water and rainfall, it may be worth it to put up with the noise in order to pump the water out faster with a more powerful motor. Otherwise, lingering water could deal damage while it’s waiting to be pumped out by a weaker, quieter pump.
As a homeowner, there is a feeling of relief that comes with knowing your house is safe and protected from anything Mother Nature has to send its way. That’s why having the right sump pump is essential for the health of your home and your own peace of mind. And with a quieter model, you won’t even have to hear it operating as it diligently works to keep your house dry and comfortable. We hope this information is helpful for you, and that you can be confident in choosing the right sump pump to prepare you for any weather.