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Buyer's Guide: How to Pick the Perfect Submersible Sump Pump. Expert advice on how to select the perfect submersible sump pump. Sump Pumps Direct product experts provide information on what types of submersible sump pumps are best for your water removal needs.

Submersible Sump Pump Buyer's Guide

How To Pick The Perfect Submersible Sump Pump

Jim, the Sump Pump Expert
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Product Expert
Sump Pumps Direct
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Submersible Sump Pump Buyer's Guide

Submersible sump pumps are the preferred choice in most residential applications, but they aren't all the same.

Submersible sump pumps come with different horsepower options. This may confuse many people when they're trying to select one that's right for them.

Choosing the right amount of horsepower will save you money and hassle in the long run.


What Pump Size Is Right For Me?
Check Your Current or Previous Pump

All pumps have a data plate on them. The data plate provides information regarding the model of pump, including the horsepower (HP)

Typically you should stick with the same HP when you switch pumps, but there are a few exceptions. I will touch on those exceptions below.


1/3 HP Submersible Sump Pumps
1/3 HPMost average sized homes in a an average water table will require a 1/3 HP sump pump. This is probably the most common pump size and will easily handle most applications.

If you feel 1/3 HP is not enough power for your needs, there shouldn't be any problem with up-sizing to a 1/2 HP sump pump.

Keep in Mind
1. All 1/3 HP sump pumps are not the same, their output can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

2. Vertical and electronic float switches work well in any size of sump pit.

3.Tether float switches need a sump pit that is 14" in diameter or larger. Anything smaller could be a problem because there's a good chance the float can get hung up. If debris is common in your sump pit, the same problem can occur.

Bonus Tips
  • Just keep in mind that bigger is NOT better when it comes to sump pumps and you don’t want to install the super-sized Tim Taylor 12HP special just to blast the water out as fast as possible. This will only cause the pump to cycle much faster than needed and will reduce the life of that pump.


  • In addition, if your discharge configuration consists of a 7’ – 10’ vertical lift off the sump pump, a 90 degree elbow and a horizontal pipe run of anywhere between 3 and 25 feet, a 1/3HP sump pump will most likely be sufficient for your needs.




  • 1/2 HP Submersible Sump Pumps
    1/2 HPIf you live in an average sized home with an above average water table, you will most likely need a good 1/2 HP sump pump.

    These pumps will generally pump about 35%-40% more than their 1/3 HP counterparts.

    In addition, they will handle a higher vertical lift on your discharge, which may be necessary if you're pumping it out higher than usual above your sump pump.

    Most standard installations will consist of a 7’ – 10’ vertical lift off the sump pump, a 90 degree elbow and a horizontal pipe run of anywhere between 3 and 25 feet.

    Do You Need More Horsepower?
    1. When you have a higher vertical lift or a longer horizontal run (Example: 30-150 feet), you may notice a loss of water flow due to the increased friction from the longer runs.

    2. This is an example of when you may need a higher pumping capacity (Horsepower and/or gallons per hour) to overcome that loss. This is usually where the 1-2 HP sump pump comes into play.

    Bonus Tips
  • All 1/2 HP sump pumps are not the same, their output can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

  • Vertical and electronic float switches work well in any size sump pit.

  • Tether float switches need a sump pit that is 14" in diameter or larger. Anything smaller could be a problem because there's a good chance the float can get hung up.

  • If debris is common in your sump pit, the same problem can occur.




  • 3/4 HP Submersible Sump Pumps
    3/4 HPFor those of you that live in high water tables, flood plains or low lying areas and are very susceptible to flooding, you may very well need a stronger pump like a 3/4 HP.

    These pumps will generally provide a 20% - 25% increase in pumping capacity over a 1/2HP sump pump. In addition, if you have an installation where you need a high vertical lift or head (20-30 feet) and/or a long horizontal run (150-250 feet), the 3/4HP will generally do the job for you.

    When Do I Need a 3/4 Horsepower Pump?
    1. If you live in an area with a high water table.

    2. If your basement is deep.

    3. If the horizontal pipe/run used for discharge is more than 10 feet.

    4. If you're using the pump for outdoor sump applications.

    Bonus Tip
  • 3/4 HP sump pumps from different manufacturers can have varying outputs.


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