Lowes Sump Pumps and How They Work

Protect Your Basement From Flooding With A Sump Pump.

Water can be a very dangerous threat to your home. Some homes have water that accumulates year round, while others only have problems with melting snow or heavy rainfall. There are a few rules to keep in mind about sump pumps.

And a wet basement is going to cause all sorts of problems beyond water—rust, rot, mold, and unhealthy indoor air.  Many homes now have a finished basement and the last thing you need is water or sewage infiltrating your basement living space. A simple flash flood or melting snow can easily transform your new carpeting into a moldy mess.

How a sump pump works. A sump pump removes groundwater that accumulates around your house.  They are ideal for parts of the country that experience heavy rain and melting snow and are necessary for houses built on flat or low-lying areas. Its job is to help keep the area under the building dry and to prevent it from flood­ing.

Usually, sump pumps are installed in specially constructed sump pits or crocks. Water flows into the sump pit through drains or by natural water migration through the soil. Sump pumps can save you thousands of dollars in damage when flooding occurs, and provide everyday protection from groundwater and accumulated moisture. Many basement water problems are really exterior drainage problems.

Take a good look at the drainage around your home. Make sure gutters aren’t clogged and downspout extensions move rain water at least 4 ft. beyond the foundation and that the soil slopes away from the house.

There are two types of primary sump pumps: submersible pumps and pedestal pumps. Both work with a float or switch that activates the pump when the water level in the basin or crock reach a certain level. When the water reaches the height of the float the float switch is activated and the pump operates.

Submersible pumps are put under water in your sump pump basin.  It actually rests inside the pit and becomes submerged by the incoming water. It is tightly sealed against debris and infiltration, which makes it  very reliable. A submersible sump pump sits in the sump basin below the water level, making it  quieter.

Pedestal Pumps are positioned with the pump motor out of water, above your sump basin.  Its motor is out of the water and can’t get wet, which makes it louder but also longer lasting since it’s not sitting in water all the time.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Sump Pump

Replacing an Existing Sump Pump
• If you are replacing an existing pump, match the HP to your old pump. If your current pump is not performing as desired, consider buying the next larger HP pump.
• Sump pumps dont change alot. A model from 10-15 years ago may fit into the old spot with little or no hassle.

Installing a New Pump
• For new installation, a 1/3 HP pump minimum is recommended.
• A pump that is too small may run constantly and not remove water quickly enough.
• A pump that is too big may remove water too quickly, which might not allow the pump to have the proper cooling required to run. This may overheat the pump, which may damage the pump.

As a safeguard in a power outage or in the event your primary pump fails, it’s smart to have a backup.  Battery Backup pumps provide you added insurance in the case your power goes out. As sump pumps are electric-powered, they can be rendered useless in a power outage, which is usually when you need them most.

When the power goes out, the battery on the unit kicks in providing the pump with power so it continues working, even without regular electric power.

Pumps MUST be plugged into a GFCI electrical outlet that is at least 4 feet off the floor.  If installing a new sump pump, remember that building codes vary so make sure you are compliant!  Always unplug the pump before reaching in and touching anything in the pit.

Utilitech  .33-HP Thermoplastic Pedestal Sump Pump. Lowes item 651693.  The 1/3 HP pedestal pump will move up to 50 gallons of water per minute with a heavy duty motor and 1 ¼” discharge for optimal flow. With the base made of corrosion resistant thermoplastic, a drive shaft made of hardened steel, and a metal switch arm. UL listed.

  • High capacity flow, pumps up to 3000 GPH
  • Non-clog impeller design passes 3/16″ diameter stringy material
  • Vertical float switch for automatic operation
  • Corrosive resistant thermoplastic construction for long life
  • CUS certified for safe operation
  • One year warranty

Utilitech .33-HP Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump Lowes item 94086.  This 1/3 HP submersible sump pump  will move up to 40 gallons of water per minute. UL listed and safe, this pump is made of corrosion resistant thermoplastic with an adjustable float switch to automatically turn the pump on/off.

This pump has a powerful, yet energy efficient (4.1 amps) motor for longer life and durability. Equipped with a suction screen on the bottom this utility pump can whisk away water to 1/8 of an inch from the floor

  • Cast Iron Housing
  • Piggyback/Tether Float Switch
  • 1-1/2” Discharge
  • CUS certified for safe operation
  • Two year warranty

Our Review.  These are both entry level sump pumps at Lowes.  Both retail for under $100.  They are Lowes only brands and yes, they are MADE IN CHINA , but my experience has been that China makes some good pumps for the money, and these are two good ones.

As a near exact replacement for any existing USA model, it installs very easily. I was skeptical of this pump simply because of price. You will typically pay over $150 for sump pumps of this type but they  perform flawlessly and effortlessly (so far) and beats the performance of most Wayne, Flotech, Zoeller or Goulds pumps that will cost twice as much.

Both the Submersible and the Pedestal sump pumps are good sump pumps for seasonal flooding problems. Great for replacing an existing sump pump.  Easy to install and quiet running motors.  The only thing I don’t like is the plastic parts which are certainly going to wear out faster or break before metal or cast iron pumps will.

If you have basement water problems and your sump pump runs every day, these pumps are not recommended.  You may need to step up to the next level 1/2 HP  pumps which will cost between $150 -$250.  However, for the typical homeowner who needs a decent sump pump, these models work great.

By Victoria Stone

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