A sump pump is more commonly a submersible pump used to remove water that collects in the lower parts of a building, such as in a basement or cellar. Sump pumps are typically automatic, meaning they can be largely left alone to control water levels, providing an effective solution for pumping collected water to the nearest drainage point.

What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump (or drainage pump or ‘cellar drainer’) is a submersible pump designed to pump grey water that originates from high groundwater and filters down into the lower parts of a building.

Sump pumps are typically found in basements and cellars, forming part of a cellar waterproofing solution and keeping the area dry. They are very effective at controlling water levels, but they are not designed for pumping raw sewage or aggregates; for these applications you will need to use a sewage pump instead.

Sump pumps are often confused with sewage pumps - and it’s true that they do look quite similar. The main difference is that a sump pump is specifically designed to prevent and deal with flooding in a basement, whereas a sewage pump can handle larger solid particles. 

Confusingly, submersible sewage pumps may sometimes be used in a sump application under certain conditions, but a specialist sump pump cannot be used to pump sewage.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

A sump is typically installed in the lowest point of a cellar inside a sump hole or basin, which is used to collect the excess water. 

As the water drains into it and the water level starts to rise, a level control component will detect the level and activate the pump when it reaches a predetermined point. In the same way, it will turn off the pump once the lower level is reached. 

The frequency of operation will depend on a number of things such as the income and discharge flow rate, the type of level control, and the size of the chamber. 

Water is typically routed to another location like the nearest foul drain through the discharge pipework. Although a flexible hose is sometimes used for discharge pipework on temporary installations, we would always advise using galvanised steel or ABS plastic pipework for a more robust and permanent solution.

In most cases, a 25mm-50mm discharge should be adequate. Typically, a non-return adjacent pump will also be used in order to prevent reverse flow when the sump pump is not active.

Selecting the Right Sump Pump

Selecting a sump pump requires careful consideration in order to ensure suitability for the job and long-term reliability. 

One of the main things to think about is the volume of water that will be handled. This can be difficult to measure and will often vary according to the conditions, so it’s probably best to work to the worst case scenario.

Other considerations include the dimensions of the sump hole, the discharge head, discharge pipework length and power source.

TT Pumps offers a wide range of sump pumps and cellar drainers designed to provide long-lasting performance and superior durability. The Goliath Super is one of the most popular sump pumps in our range, available in a variety of versions to suit different requirements and offering strong performance and efficiency with robust construction.

Want some help finding the right sump pump for your application? Need expert advice? Our friendly team is always on hand to help. Give us a call on +44 (0)1630 647200.