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Sump Pump Review: The Best Systems For Your Home

Though you might not know it, there are many sump pump systems available out there. Which one of these will be best for your home?

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A Maple Grove sump pump system that failed and lead to a basement flood.

There are all sorts of sump pump models out there. Because there are many ways that different homes might need to deal with wetness in their basement or crawl space, different sump pump styles have sprung up in an attempt to handle the different unique needs that every home has. 

The thing is, not every sump pump system is the same. While most systems have their place, some may be more suited to extremely specific situations, and others might work best with other situations. Knowing more about sump pump systems will help you understand what you might need to consider for your sump pump situation.

Types of Sump Pump Systems

Research and information are crucially important when it comes to understanding why a sump pump system might or might not work for you. Innovative Basement Authority wants to provide you with as much information as possible, making it easier for you to make your own choices. Here’s what you need to know about the four main types of sump pump models.

Pedestal Sump Pump

Pedestal sump pump system installed in a home in Maple Grove

You don’t ever submerge a pedestal sump pump in the water; instead, you mount the pump above the waterline. A long line goes from the float switch into the sump pit, bringing water up the line and out of the home. 

Here are the individual ratings for pedestal sump pumps on average.

LifespanSump Pump Review Rating 2 Stars
ReliabilityOne Star Reliability Review
CapacityThree star sump pump capacity review
NoiseNoisy one star rating for sump pump system
Lifetime CostThree star lifetime cost review for sump pump system

As you can see, pedestal sump pumps tend to rank on the low end of the scale. There tends to be a number of problems with pedestal sump pumps, but there are some great things about this sump pump style.

Advantages of a Pedestal Sump Pump 

A pedestal sump pump obviously has benefits, or it wouldn’t be a style that’s so commonly in use. Here are the most common pedestal sump pump advantages.  

  • High-Capacity 

Pedestal sump pumps have a generally high capacity. Although their capacity isn’t necessarily the highest of any sump pump style, they’re much more high capacity than some other types of sump pumps. They can often keep up with heavier amounts of water. 

  • Easier to Access 

Because a pedestal sump pump sits on the top of the pit, it’s easier to access a pedestal sump pump if anything goes wrong. It may be easier for you to identify the source of the problem and fix it with the pedestal sump pump. 

Disadvantages of a Pedestal Sump Pump 

Unfortunately, as the ratings might have indicated to you, there are typically more disadvantages to a pedestal sump pump than advantages. Here are just a few of them.  

  • Frequent Malfunctions and Early Burnout 

Pedestal sump pumps are notorious for issues with early burnout. It’s common for this type of sump pump to “wander” around the sump pit, jamming the switch and overriding the automatic pumping process. It’s likely that the pump won’t maintain its function for very long. 

  • Noisy Operation 

There’s really no way to muffle the noise a pedestal sump pump makes. If you have a pedestal sump pump, it’s going to be extremely loud, which can be a frustrating problem to deal with over a long period of time.

Submersible Sump Pump

Maple Grove installation of a submersible sump pump system

In today’s world, a submersible sump pump tends to be one of the first sump pumps you’ll consider. These sump pumps go into the sump pit and immerse themselves in water when they operate, allowing them to pump the water out directly. 

Here are the individual ratings for submersible sump pumps on average.

LifespanFive star rating for a long sump pump lifespan
ReliabilityReliable sump pump 5 star rating
Capacityhigh capacity sump pump 5 star rating
Noisequiet sump pump with low noise rating of four stars
Lifetime CostLifetime Cost for Sump Pump System of four stars

The ratings for submersible sump pumps tend to be extremely high, which has brought more homeowners closer to them. Here’s what you need to know about submersible sump pumps. 

Advantages of a Submersible Sump Pump 

Advantages definitely outweigh disadvantages when it comes to a submersible sump pump. It’s one of the reasons that homeowners tend toward submersible sump pumps so frequently. Here are the most commonly cited advantages.  

  • High-Capacity 

Of all the common sump pump models, submersible sump pumps are definitely the highest capacity. They provide the best protection of all currently available models because they can pump a huge amount of water over a short period of time. 

  • Long Lifespan  

Submersible sump pumps have a built-in way to elongate their lifespan. The motor utilizes a cast iron housing that the water runs over. That automatically disperses heat into the water, making the pumps self-cooling and a long-lasting option. 

Disadvantages of a Submersible Sump Pump 

Although a submersible sump pump definitely has a lot of advantages, there are also disadvantages you might want to keep in mind when you go to choose a submersible sump pump. 

  • Initial Investment 

The main reason that some homeowners worry about investing in a submersible sump pump is the initial investment they’ll have to consider. It’s more expensive to invest in a submersible sump pump, but it’ll also outlast cheaper pumps.

Water-Powered Sump Pump

A water-powered sump pump is one of the more unique sump pump styles out there. These pumps use your town water supply and your home’s water pressure to pump the water out of the sump pit, rather than using a mechanical process. 

Here are the individual ratings for water-powered sump pumps on average.

Lifespanlong-life sump pump with four star rating
Reliabilitypoor reliability sump pump with two star rating
Capacitylow capacity sump pump with one star rating
Noisequiet sump pump model with four star rating
Lifetime CostLow cost sump pump with four star rating

While water-powered sump pumps definitely excel in some areas, there are some downfalls in other areas. Understanding those issues and benefits can be beneficial in choosing the right sump pump. 

Advantages of a Water-Powered Sump Pump 

A water-powered sump pump has a number of advantages, especially when you compare them to sump pumps that use electricity. These are the biggest benefits that a water-powered sump pump can offer.  

  • No Electricity Required 

Probably the biggest draw toward a water-powered sump pump is that it’s powered by water, not electricity. That means you don’t have to worry if the power goes out or there’s another issue with the power in your home. Instead, it uses three to five gallons of water to pump out every gallon of groundwater. 

  • Long Lifespan 

In general, your water-powered sump pump should last for a good long time. All sump pumps will eventually have functioning issues, but a water-powered sump pump shouldn’t last any less than similar electricity-powered pumps. 

Disadvantages of a Water-Powered Sump Pump 

The reason more homeowners don’t have a water-powered sump pump is typically because of the downfalls. There are some disadvantages you need to keep in mind when it comes to your water-powered sump pump.  

  • Very Low Pumping Capacity 

The main disadvantage of a water-powered sump pump is that its pumping capacity is extremely low. A water-powered sump pump will very quickly have issues with becoming overwhelmed, even if there isn’t a lot of water in the basement or crawl space. 

  • High Water Pressure Required 

You need a lot of water pressure for the water-powered sump pump to work. If you regularly have an issue with your home’s water pressure, you might not be able to make the sump pump work at all, even at a low capacity.

Floor Sucker Sump Pump

floor sucker sump pump used for dry basements in Maple Grove

A so-called “floor sucker” sump pump isn’t great for maintaining your home, but it can definitely suck out water that’s already in your basement. If something happens and your basement is flooded, a floor sucker sump pump can help. 

Here are the individual ratings for floor sucker sump pumps on average.

Lifespanoften failing sump pump with two star rating
Reliabilityunreliable sump pump model with one star rating
Capacitylow capacity sump pump with one star rating
Noiseloud sump pump with one star rating
Lifetime CostLifetime cost for a sump pump system with two stars

These ratings tend toward the lower side, but that doesn’t mean a floor sucker sump pump is useless. It just means you need to think about what you’re planning to use this type of sump pump for. 

Advantages of a Floor Sucker Sump Pump 

There are definitely multiple benefits of a floor sucker sump pump. Otherwise, no one would use them. Here are the most prominent benefits you’ll see with one of these sump pumps.  

  • Sits Directly on the Basement Floor 

You don’t need a sump pit to use a floor sucker sump pump. The pump sits directly on the basement floor and sucks the water up from it. That means you don’t have to install anything for it to work properly. 

  • Ready for Use Immediately 

There’s absolutely no installation time necessary for a floor sucker sump pump. An expert can pull one out, set it up, and immediately start pumping water out of the basement. If you need an emergency pump, you can use a floor sucker. 

Disadvantages of a Floor Sucker Sump Pump 

Because of the way a floor sucker sump pump functions, there are also many disadvantages of this type of sump pump. These are a few of the reasons they’re not more widespread.  

  • Doesn’t Actually Stop Flooding 

The floor sucker sump pump isn’t helpful if you’re trying to make sure your home stays dry. Instead, it’s helpful if you have a basement that’s already flooded. This type of sump pump, contrary to many other types, doesn’t stop flooding before it happens. 

  • Extremely Loud 

A floor sucker sump pump is exceedingly loud. The pump operation typically includes extremely loud sucking noises, which can be annoying to listen to. Plus, the lack of a sump pit also means that you’re not able to cover the sump pump’s noises. 

  • Generally Low Capacity  

Because a floor sucker sump pump helps pump water out after the flood has already stopped, it has relatively low capacity. It won’t be able to keep up with a basement or crawl space that’s still having issues with flooding.

Best Sump Pump Systems


With so many different sump pump options out there, it can seem incredibly confusing to choose the right one. However, it’s definitely possible to choose the right one. Here are a few of the ways you can manage your sump pump options so you’re able to choose the right sump pump for your needs. 

  • Do Your Own Research 

One important element of choosing the right sump pump is in doing your own research. It’s true that your personal research can’t always determine exactly what will be the best sump pump for your needs. However, if you’re able to do your own research, it’s much more likely you’ll be able to figure out at least the basics of different sump pumps. 

  • Talk to an Expert  

Doing your own research is important, but it’s even more important to talk to an expert. A sump pump expert will give you more information about why different sump pumps work the way they do, what you can expect from specific sump pumps, and, perhaps most importantly, which sump pump will work best for your home’s design and needs.

When you take a look at the rating system on this page, you’ll notice that there are five things each offers as part of the rating process. Is one of these things more important than the other? How do you ensure you’re getting a sump pump that’s truly high quality? This is what you should think about when it comes to checking the sump pump.  

  • Looking at All Five Elements 

There are five elements that this rating system considers: lifespan, reliability, capacity, noise reduction, and lifetime cost. None of these things is inherently more or less important than the others. It’s important that you look at all five of these things, as all five of them will give you a bit of information about the sump pump itself. 

  • Deciding What’s Most Important to You 

Of course, there are certain things that will be more or less important to you. For example, you might not mind if a sump pump is particularly noisy as long as it removes the water in your basement or crawl space. On the other hand, you might need something that’s very quiet so you rarely notice it. 

  • Overlapping Sump Pump Systems 

It’s possible to have more than one sump pump system in your home. This can be extremely useful if you’re going to get a sump pump system that’s beneficial in some areas but lacking in others. Stacking more than one sump pump system on top of each other will be helpful.

Your decision regarding the best sump pump system for your home will rely on a variety of components, as it should. When you’re thinking about the best sump pump system for your home, you’re going to need to consider many parts of the sump pump, but you’re also going to think about your home’s unique elements.  

  • Location 

Where is your home? This is one of the most important things to think about when it comes to choosing a sump pump system. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t think about whether the sump pump system is going to be effective in a specific home. Location is crucial. 

  • Unique Needs 

Every home has some unique needs that you need to think about when you’re choosing your sump pump system. For example, your home might have more hydrostatic pressure problems or more flooding concerns. Addressing those unique needs is extremely important.

Installing a sump pump system that will actually help your basement or crawl space isn’t always a simple task. Choosing the right sump pump system for your basement or crawl space should be something you take very seriously. Here’s what you need to know about the process of choosing and installing the sump pump.  

  • Downfalls of DIY 

Unfortunately, a DIY response to your sump pump system isn’t typically going to be effective. Not only will a DIY approach often be unable to choose the correct sump pump system, but it’ll typically even prevent you from installing the system appropriately. This can have a devastating impact on your basement or crawl space. 

  • An Expert’s Help 

You really need to rely on an expert for your sump pump needs. If you rely exclusively on your DIY expertise, you’re probably not going to get very far. An expert from Innovative Basement Authority can help you understand what you need from a sump pump, what sump pump you should choose, and how they can install the pump appropriately.

Install the Perfect Sump Pump System for Your Needs with Innovative Basement Authority 

Different homeowners will need different sump pump systems for their homes. If you’re looking for a way to install the perfect sump pump system, you also need to make sure you’re getting an installer that knows what they’re doing. Innovative Basement Authority is the perfect option for anyone looking for the right sump pump system. Whether you already have a sump pump and you’re looking to upgrade or your under-home area doesn’t have a sump pump at all, Innovative Basement Authority can help. Request a free estimate today to find out more about your options.

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