How much does it cost to replace a sump pump? What a loaded question.
Besides the technical aspects of sump pumps being almost infinitely variable, the quality of sump pumps is all over the place. When we talk about the replacement cost of a sump pump, we have to first determine what the technical variables are that we desire, and what quality level of each do we want.
So one might be thinking “What is he talking about? I just want it to pump water out of the basement. Isn’t that what they all do?”
Of course you are correct but we need to define that a little more to determine what we are exactly looking for.
1. How much water do we want to pump?
We could do a scientific study on our home through a number of rain cycles and buy a pump that is designed to pump the same amount per hour as the average gallons per hour we calculated in our study.
Problem with using the average is that some of the time the number of gallons will exceed the pumping capacity of the pump because the average is usually a fictitious number that just does not exist.
Think of it this way—-if your head is on fire and your feet are frozen in a block of ice, on average you are pretty comfortable. But while that is a true statement, you would definitely not be comfortable if either one of those situations exists.
The better way is to find out what might be the number of gallons of rain water coming into the pit in the worst case scenario. Waiting for the worst case scenario is not feasible as the amount of time you’d have to wait might be a long, long time.
2. Pump pressure
Another factor we need to consider is the pressure the pump needs to develop to overcome the back pressure created by the pipe, fittings, and vertical distance that the pump needs to move the water.
The engineers refer to this as “head”. Don’t ask us why, that’s just what it’s called.
Anyway, once you determine the gallons of water you need to pump per hour, the next step is to determine which pump is available that will pump our required gallons given the head pressure that exists in our home.
We can do this by referring to the manufacturer’s chart called the “Pump Curve”. Every manufacturer has these and quality plumbing companies such as Yes! have referred to them over the years in determining the characteristics of the pumps that are adequate to remove rain water in the worst possible cases in the homes in the surrounding local towns we serve such as Schererville, Munster, St. John and Lynwood (as well as the other 15 communities in our service area).
Sounds confusing? Call us for some help. We have pumps to fit your budget!
While the factors above are the most critical, there are a few other technical factors to consider when choosing the type of pump you want.
3. Is the casing plastic, cast iron or stainless steel?
All submersible sump pump motors generate heat when they are running.
One of the biggest causes of failure of sump pumps is an overheated or “burnt out” motor.
Plastic housings do not dissipate heat well and while they are cheap, they are usually not the best value by a long shot (unless you don’t mind changing your own pump frequently and don’t mind assuming the higher risk of a flooded basement or crawlspace).
Metal casings dissipate heat much better than plastic and will last much longer as a rule.
4. Motor housing
Another variable to consider is the inside of the motor housing. Is the housing hollow or oil filled?
Even a metal cased sump will burn up more quickly if the motor housing is not properly designed to dissipate heat. The shape of the housing as well as the housing interior is important.
An oil filled housing will transfer heat better because the oil picks up heat from the motor and transfers it to the cooling fins more efficiently than the air does around a dry motor housing.
5. Bearing and shaft materials
Other variables that can affect the quality and life of the pump are bearing and shaft materials and their construction characteristics.
A stainless steel shaft should last much longer than a plain steel shaft or plastic/composite shaft. Some pumps have screens to deflect small rocks which can be carried into the pump through drain tile during heavy storms.
Horsepower of the motor is important also, and usually shows up in the resulting pump curve as developing a higher “head” pressure. We consider ½ horsepower to be the minimum we would require to “sleep well at night”.
6. Control switch
Reliability of the control switch is also another variable to consider. How many cycles is the switch rated for? Was it tested by the manufacturer or is it provided by a supplier and added as an afterthought?
It could be the weakest link that causes a failure of an otherwise high quality pump.
So how much should a sump pump cost?
The short answer is just enough to insure that you are getting the best value for the money you spend, as well as a pump that meets the criteria that allows you to sleep well at night.
How can Yes! Plumbing help you?
If all this seems overwhelming to you—you can relax. Yes! Plumbing has done the research you need already and we stand ready with an array of pumps on every truck which will surely fit your budget.
Every pump is guaranteed to have the capacity you need to sleep well at night. Each is installed to our exacting specifications by our State Licensed Plumbers.
Our “made to Yes! Specification” pumps carry Industry-Leading 3 year, 5 year, 7 year, or 10 year 100% labor and material guarantees backed by our award winning service department.
Give us a call and we’ll send out a truck with a full line of pumps on board. We’re sure you’ll find a pump in a price point to fit your budget.
And as always, qualified homeowners can get our 6 month no interest financing to help cover the unexpected expense of a pump replacement. Just one more reason our slogan is “Yes!—We can do that!”