What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is used to protect your home to prevent flooding in your basement. Without it, it can cost you tons of money in repair cost and damage to your home. The purpose of the sump pump is to move water out of your home. There is a pit, basically a hole below the surface of the basement. The pit has valves that can sense the pressure of the water. When the pressure of the water gets too high, then the sump pump will know to empty out the extra water out of the basement. This is done by using a discharge line or called effluent. The effluent connects the sump pump to a drainage area of your choosing.

If you live in Toronto, the city even encourages sump pump installations through a subsidy program. We promise that the program will help you, so that you can save money.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump will connect to drains that wick water away from the ground outside. When enough accumulated water is inside the pump basin. The pump is then activated directing water to pump through a pipe on the outside surface.
The sump pump has to pump water out of your basement. A sump itself is a constructed pit or a basin, which stores the sump pump. The pump uses valves to sense escalating water levels or pressure. If your water rises too high, the sump pump will pump out any extra water out of your basement and away from your property through a discharge line.

Where does the drained sump pump water go?

The sump pump will discharge the excess water to a designated area, such as a pond or a dry well. The owner will be responsible for picking the drain point. Ideally, it should be at least 10 – 20 feet away from the foundation of your home. To increase the drain power of the pump you can attach an extended drainage hose.

Types of Sump Pumps

Most sump pumps fall into two categories: submersible pumps and pedestal pumps. Submersible pumps are immersed within the water basin in which they pump water out of. Pedestal pumps on the other hand sit outside of the basin.


Submersible sump pumps will contain the pump and the motor in one unit. They are submerged and closed inside the basin of your basement. This makes them quiet and they can save space in your basement. They also do not clog as much as the pedestal sump pump. However, they may not last as long as other types of pumps, but they are the best option to counter flooding concerns.


The pedestal sump pump has a separate motor and pump. The motor sits above the basin and a hose running to the basin is where the pump is set. The pump then releases water through the hose and into your designated drain area. When comparing it to the submersible pump, it would last longer. However, it may generate more noise and it could take up more space than a submersible pump.

These types of pumps are the most common, however, there are other sump pump options:

  • Battery-operated Backup
    •  Contains a float switch, which allows it to operate even if the main power goes out
    • The water rises in the basin and the float switch is triggered sending your battery operation into action
  • Water-powered Backup
    • Clears the water in your basin through increased water pressure
    • No batteries or monitoring required
    • It uses additional water  
    • some cities do not allow this installation

If you’re getting a new sump pump, it’s a good idea to get a hardwired electrical one with a battery backup because you don’t want to shock yourself. This way when there are ever any electrical outages, say during a heavy rainstorm, you will still have protection.

How do I know which pump is right for me?

When choosing a pump, you should consider:

  • If your pump has just enough power to prevent flooding, but not too much because this could lower the lifespan of the pump
    • E.g. an average level of rainfall will need a ⅓ horsepower submersible pump

What are the types of switches that work with a sump pump?

A switch can allow the pump to be turned on by itself. Switches may have different operations, but they will also help in preventing any flooding. The types of switches include:

  • Pressure: senses amount of water pressure and triggers an action based on it
  • Float switch: a float attached to the pump, as the water level rises the pump will turn on
  • Diaphragm: it rises when the pressure increases and lowers when the pressure decreases, it is commonly used as it rarely gets stuck
  • Electronic switch: it senses the water pressure within the basin, as water pressure increases, the probes are triggered causing the pump to turn on

What factors in the cost of a sump pump?

The main factors in determining the cost of a sump pump include:

  • The type of pump 
  • The material of the basement 
  • The drainage point from your house (e.g. distance)
  • Permits 
  • Hiring a licensed professional 

Based on these factors, the pump can cost you from $100-400 or even up to $1000 for commercial use.

Is a Sump Pump Installation or Repair a DIY Job?

If we are honest, the process of a sump pump installation is backbreaking work. It is one of the things you don’t want to turn into a DIY project. Along with the machine and lifespan errors, improper installation is the main reason why sump pumps can fail. Before installation, you have to find a suitable drain spot for the pump. Also, you have to excavate with machinery and so forth. With this in mind, even repairing one is a hassle. If you hear loud noises or your pump is continuously running, it is a sign that a repair is needed.

Over the years, we have installed plenty of sump pumps in all kinds of properties. With every property being different, our experience over the years gives us the edge in determining the most efficient place and the manner in installing your pump. If you have us complete your installation, you can be sure that you not only save time and energy but that your sump pumps are going to work.

If you’re thinking about installing or repairing a Sump Pump, call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation or quote. In summary, if you are thinking of doing a sump pump install or repair, call the best Toronto Sump Pump team.

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