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How Do Sump Pumps Work?

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Technician installing sump pump

How Do Sump Pumps Work?

Category : Basement Care , News

You’ve probably heard of sump pumps before. They are often mentioned by people after severe flooding or heavy storms. It’s unusual that you will hear people moaning about them, instead you will hear people talking about how the sump pump has saved their home, ensuring that they aren’t knee deep in water and their home is flood free.

What Is A Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a pump that is used to remove water that accumulates in a water-collecting sump basin and is commonly found in the basement of homes.

Water entering a home, due to heavy rain or high water table levels, is collected through the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system. The drains will funnel the water into the sump basin and the pump will then remove the collected water to the nearest drainage point.

The job of a sump pump is to direct water away from the house, to a place where it is no longer problematic, because of this, the pump will often be used in the basement of homes or areas where the water table is above the foundation level.

Basement sump pump

It is very easy for groundwater to collect in basements and crawl spaces. It will rise through cracks in your foundations and penetrate through your walls, often during long periods of rain or heavy storms.

If there is a possibility of flooding in your home, it is recommended that you have a sump pump installed as this will collect the water and redirect it away from your home, protecting your home from flooding and any waterproofing system from damage.

How Much Does It Cost For A Sump Pump To Be Installed?

It can cost up to £600 plus VAT for a sump pump to be installed in an average domestic property. However, this is dependent on whether any additional pipework is required. If larger pumps or foul pumps are required, then the cost can be higher.

Here at Basement Sump and Pump, as a trusted sump pump installation company, we install numerous sump pumps every year. Around 80% of the installations we complete will cost between £400 and £500 plus VAT. However, if a replacement sump is required it will be double this cost.

We would be happy to arrange for one of our sump pump specialists to visit your home and give you a free, no obligation quote for a sump pump to be installed in your property.

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How Does A Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump will be installed in the lowest part of your basement where a hole around 2 feet deep and 18 inches across is cut into your concrete floor and the pump is placed in the sump pit, also known as a sump basin. The water will flow into the sump pit where it will be collected until the pump is activated.

A sump pump is activated by a float, similar to the one in your toilet tank, when the float rises to a set level the pump will start and the water will be pumped out of the sump basin. The water is then taken by the pipes out of the home via a drainage point and safely discarded several feet away from the foundation of the property.


Sump pumps work really well when there is heavy rainfall, strong storms or rapidly melting snow. Instead of these weather elements flooding your home, they will be collected in the sump pit and pumped to a safe drainage area.

The Types of Sump Pumps

There are two types of sump pumps; a pedestal sump pump and a submersible sump pump.

The pedestal sump pump is often the more economical sump pump option. As it is mounted above the sump with an exposed motor it makes it easier for repairs to take place if needed. The pedestal sump pump is the more visible pump, but often won’t last as long as the submersible sump pumps.

The submersible sump pump is completely mounted inside the sump and sealed. This makes it the more visually appealing sump pump, but it does mean it is tricky to complete repairs if needed. The submersible sump pump will tend to cost more than the pedestal sump pump, but it will last longer, be less obtrusive and quieter too.

Why Do You Need A Sump Pump?

If you have a beautifully finished basement that is nicely converted into the perfect space to relax and unwind with gorgeous carpets, latest electronics and more, then you definitely need a sump pump installed. It will help avoid the risk of bad weather, or a change in water table levels, destroying your dream basement space.

You should also be considering a sump pump repair if your basement has flooded before. If you live in a flat or low lying area with soil that readily and easily traps water, if you live somewhere that has lots of extreme weather such as frequent heavy rain or snow or if your existing pump is 6 years old or more as they will usually last up to 10 years.

In order to get the most out of your pump, it is vitally important that they receive a regular service to keep them working efficiently and prevent any unwanted build up.

If you would like a basement sump and pump service then get in touch with us by calling 0800 019 9949 or contact us online.

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Wil Lenton

July 8, 2020 at 11:23 am

Hi There,
Could you please give estimate for installation of a cellar sump pump, in order to keep cellar dry.

The cellar size is approx 3.27M x 2.77M


July 8, 2020 at 12:33 pm

Hi Wil,

Thank you for getting in touch with The Basement Sump and Pump Company. If you could send your contact details to our customer services team will be touch to provide you an estimate for installing a cellar sump pump.


The Basement Sump and Pump Company


August 28, 2020 at 1:14 pm

My town house is Victorian era and has three floors. We have been doing some work in the lower ground floor and discover water under the floorboards and wooden beams. This accumulates when it rains and then drains away but it has been in contact with the wood so we need to replace them and install a sump and pump. As this is a raised floor with wooden beams do we have to install a DPC and concrete over or can we just dig a channel and install a sump and pump. Drainage for the pump is easy as there are storm drains on the lower ground floor.


August 28, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Hi Tom, Thank you for getting in touch with The Basement Sump and Pump Company. If you could send your contact details to our customer services team will be touch to go through what the best option would be.


The Basement Sump and Pump Company

Christopher Juden

October 10, 2020 at 10:33 am

Due to a steeply sloping site there is already 1.3m headroom under the floor on one side of my house. So I propose to underpin the ridiculously shallow foundations of the downhill wall and create a cellar utility room. The floor, unfortunately , will be 20-40cm below the invert of the drains, so I’ll have to pump the waste from a sink and washing machine up to some higher point in the soil stack, before it can go down them. Can I direct this waste to a sump and have the one pump take care of both this and any damp problems? Note: the drains here already carry rainwater in addition to waste and there is no risk of flooding. (Don’t really need a sump pump, could simply run a land drain a few metres further down the 1:5 hill!)

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Cosford hall classic
Cosford hall classic
11:18 11 Jan 21
Brilliant service from Jason , arrived on time and was very friendly and polite, he serviced our pump whilst explaining... in detail what he was doing and what we should expect from our pump system. Mark has done our service for over a decade and I didn’t think anyone could be as good but Jason has filled the slot perfectly. Here’s to another decade of good service from Jason .read more
Steve Milner
Steve Milner
20:32 09 Dec 20
James from the Basement Sump & Pump Co attended to ensure the basement pump his firm installed last year was working... well. These pumps can draw in sand and dirt so it is important to clean it annually. Pump itself is excellent - definitely recommend this company for the installation of more
Tim Wheeler
Tim Wheeler
15:17 24 Nov 20
Friendly and efficient service and very easy to deal with.
Kausar Hussain
Kausar Hussain
13:52 07 Nov 20
Excellent service. The technician identified the issue with pump and the set up and carried out the modifications to... rectify the issue. Very thorough and professional serviceread more
Lynn Woods
Lynn Woods
09:01 29 Oct 20
Extremely knowledgeable and provided a thorough high quality service.
Bradley Brown
Bradley Brown
17:43 09 Apr 20
lewis barwick
lewis barwick
19:07 06 Jul 18
I called up for a service which was promptly booked in. Mark was friendly and knowledgeable. I will definitely be... having you back next year. Many thanks, more
alan holmes
alan holmes
09:59 28 Jun 18
Mark arrived early, protected floor surfaces and carried out the service with good knowledge of the site from doing the... initial installation and previous service visitsread more
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