Skip to Main Content

5 Popular Types of Sump Pump Systems

installing basement sump pump system

Sump pumps play a crucial role in keeping water out of the basement, especially during wet seasons. They also come in handy in protecting this below-grade area from occasional leaks and condensation that threaten to ruin your carpets, valuables, and keepsakes.

There are many types of sump pumps available that suit a variety of purposes and spaces. With this range of choices, how do you know which one to purchase and if it will properly protect your home?

In this article, we explore the different sump systems, what you can expect when using them, and how our team at JES Foundation Repair can help.

Commonly Used Sump Pump Systems

There are many different kinds of sump pumps to choose from, but here are the five most popular types:

1. Submersible Sump Pump

installing sump liner in basement floor

This type goes right into the sump pit and operates underwater. It’s enclosed in a watertight casing and has a sensor that detects when water rises to a critical level in the sump pit. An impeller ejects excess water out of the sump basin via an attached drainage pipe. Water is then directed out of your home into a drainage area.

One distinct advantage of submersible pumps over non-submersible types is that they use direct pressure via a pipe, which is a more effective method than suction. This enables them to move water over a great distance.

Also, this type doesn’t need to be primed for operations to start working. This means the pump can start operating the moment it’s installed. Because they don’t need to be primed, their motors are safe from burnout. Submersible pumps are also able to move huge amounts of water out.

If you want a sump pump design that operates quietly and offers excellent protection against flooding, the submersible might be the right type for you. Be sure to get a battery backup so you won’t experience downtime in stormy weather.

2. Pedestal Sump Pump

Mounted above the sump basin, the pedestal sump sits right above the basement’s water line. It rests on a pipe that keeps it above the required water level and has a water sensor that determines the amount of water entering the sump basin. When the water gets to a certain height, the sump’s motor kicks in and starts removing the excess water. 

One of the advantages of installing a pedestal pump is that it can move out huge volumes of water effortlessly. As the sump pit fills with water, the pump’s float activates the motor, and it starts removing the water.

Areas that receive huge rainfalls or experience large amounts of snowfall can benefit from the pedestal sump pump. This also includes areas that are prone to flooding or water damage.

While a pedestal sump pump is economical, it’s likely to malfunction if it stays for long periods without being checked. Plus, its open nature makes it susceptible to damage from debris or other objects falling into the pit, and water can easily evaporate back into the air, leading to condensation and elevated humidity levels, or even flooding the basement. Regular inspections are essential as they ensure your pump performs properly and won’t suffer major damage. With a little effort, you can keep your sump pump in top shape.

3. Water-powered Sump Pumps

This type doesn’t require electric power to function, a major advantage during heavy storms. It’s powered by your house’s water supply. One gallon of water is able to move out two gallons of water from the sump pit.

When water levels in the sump basin rise above the preset level, the float rises too and opens a valve that supplies water via a base pump ejector. Water flow creates a suction that sucks water from the pit and discharges it outside.

Because the main power source is water pressure, there’s no waste of energy or water. Any water that’s used in the process goes back to the earth via a storm sewer. This type can also operate for several hours. If the electricity goes off for a couple of days or weeks, the pump will keep working as long as the water supply remains constant.

Water pressure has to be between 40-90 psi for the water-powered pump to operate smoothly. It’s advisable that the connection pipes be made from copper, as they’re resistant to rust.

4. Combination Sump Pumps

installing a backup battery sump pump in basement

They’re a common type of centrifugal pump and have the salient features of a traditional sump pump but with an added layer of protection.

This type has a primary sump pump, a controller, a battery case, and a backup pump in case the primary one fails. It also has a battery that supplies power to the backup pump. When the primary pump fails, an alarm activates the backup to take over pumping duties. The backup system will keep operating until the primary sump pump is restored.

Its motor is activated by a float switch, and the impeller starts spinning, forcing rising water to the sides of the pipe. What this does is create a lower-pressure area in the pipe’s center. Water from the sump basin rushes to fill the void and is ejected by the impelling via a drainage pipe to the outside. 

5. Battery-powered Sump Pumps

The last type runs on batteries and works like the other sump pumps above. Water gets into a basin, and the pump is activated by a float switch. The good thing about the battery-powered pump is that it will keep operating even if the power goes out. 

Its switch trips the moment electricity goes off in a storm and automatically starts powering the sump pump. Any loss of electricity won’t hamper the pump’s performance. This type is suitable for rural or wooden areas that are likely to experience power outages.

An essential part of the buying decision is how often electric power goes out and what types of storms you experience in your area. Regardless of the above considerations, a battery-powered sump pump does up your safety factor and protects your basement from water damage.

There are various types of battery-operated sump pumps from low-capacity models to powerful ones. Experts will help you choose the right pump size depending on the sump pit size.

Get a Powerful Sump Pump

JES crew installing basement sump pump

Sump pump systems can be complex, but the basement waterproofing experts at JES Foundation Repair take the guesswork out of choosing the right one.

We’ll evaluate your home and suggest the best fit for your water management needs. We’ll also recommend how to keep your basement dry with other systems like interior drainage, vapor barriers, and dehumidifiers.

We have been helping homeowners create and maintain safe, healthy, and dry living environments for 30 years. You can experience the excellence, too. Contact us today to learn more, schedule a free inspection, and obtain a no-obligation quote.

Phillip Mazzotta

Phillip Mazzotta

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

JES Foundation Repair service area map of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Our Locations


8361 Town Center Ct
Nottingham, MD 21236


311 Central Rd.
Suite 2-02
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Hampton Roads & NE NC

2569 Quality Ct
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Northern VA & DC

7940 Gainsford Ct.
Bristow, VA 20136


309 Quarles Rd
Ashland, VA 23005

Southwest Virginia / Roanoke

2033 Cook Dr.
Salem, VA 24153

Western Virginia

456 Old Courthouse Rd
Appomattox, VA 24522


45 W Boscawen St,
Winchester, VA 22601