Installing a sump pump is one of the most efficient ways of removing moisture and basement flooding from your home. While you can install them either outside or inside, they're typically located inside at the lowest point of your crawlspace or basement floor, which are more prone to moisture and mildew. The cost of a sump pump installation depends on several different factors that can affect the price. Let's dig into the details.
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Sump pump cost factors
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Type of flooring
Depending on the type of flooring in your basement, you could expect to pay more for a sump pump installation if you have thick concrete that has to be removed. If your basement doesn't already have a sump pump pit and drain-tile system, you'll need to remove a section or the entire concrete floor with a jackhammer for a new installation. Sump pits are typically 2 feet deep and 18 inches wide and can cost up to $5,000 for a professional installation. Dirt basements typically cost less as there's less material to remove.
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Type of sump pump
There are two major types of sump pumps: pedestal and submersible. Submersible sump pumps are the most common and can be more expensive while pedestal sump pumps are cheaper and easier to install. When you choose a sump pump, you'll also need to select the discharge pipe and fittings, check valve, sump cover, sump pump alarm, and power. Ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets are a recommended power source that protects you from electrical shock by shutting off the electricity as fast as one-thirteenth of a second.
Labor and permits
Labor can be more expensive in areas with wetter weather conditions. Depending on where you live, you may need a plumbing permit and have your home inspected before installing a sump pump. On average, you can typically expect to pay around $100 per hour for labor costs.
Sump pump size
Determining the right size of your pump depends on the system capacity. You'll need to measure how much water is drained into the sump basin during heavy rainfall by checking the water level after 60 seconds. In an 18-inch wide pump basin, one inch of water equals one gallon of water, and a 24-inch basin equals two gallons.
The farther you need to pump water away from your home, the more horsepower you'll need. Standard horsepower is typically ⅓ HP. The required amount of horsepower depends on several factors, including the area of drainage connected to the sump, depth to groundwater, and the depth of the basement.
Types of sump pumps
Pedestal sump pump
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Average price: $115
These types of pumps are designed to be above the sump pit with its motor sitting on a pedestal away from the pit. When the water reaches a certain level in the pit, it'll trigger the float switch and motor, turning the pump on. When installed properly, sump pump motors typically last 10 years. Typically, pedestal pumps made out of cast iron can withstand corrosion and have a longer lifespan. While they tend to be loud, overheat, and less powerful than other types, pedestal sump pumps are the cheapest and easiest type to install.
Submersible sump pump
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Average price: $225
Submersible sump pumps are placed in the pit below with motors that run underwater, resulting in a quieter pump. Because the motors are submerged underwater, they don't overheat as easily. While submersible sump pumps are larger and more expensive, they're also more powerful.
Battery backup sump pump
Image source: ION Technologies
Average price: $300
When you experience power outages, your sump pump won't be able to operate without a battery or a generator. Battery backup sump pumps can be sold either by themselves or combined with your existing sump pump system. However, keep in mind that batteries will need to be replaced every five years or so. If you live in a more volatile climate, a battery backup system is essential to avoid water damage during severe storms.
Sump pump horsepower
Choosing a new sump pump with the right amount of horsepower will ultimately save you money and potential damage to your home. Most horsepower units are sold in increments, ranging from .25hp to 3hp. However, the three most common units are .25hp (¼), .33 (⅓), and .50hp (½).
Average cost: $75
If you live in a drier area and don’t experience much flooding, you can get by with the lowest horsepower, which canTo pump between 1,700-3,000 gallons of water per hour.
Average cost: $185
0.33 is the average horsepower for sump pumps, pumping up to 3,500 gallons of water per hour.
Average cost: $225
For homeowners in more volatile climates, .5 horsepower can pump up to 4,000 gallons of water per hour.
Professional vs. DIY
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Hiring a plumber to install a sump pump typically costs $1,200 on average and a sump pump replacement cost estimates around $500 depending on the location of the pump and the extent of the installation. Costs can fluctuate depending on if there’s existing water damage, in which case you’ll need to dry and repair your flooring.
Installing a sump pump yourself is a cheaper and doable home improvement project, but it could also result in potential costly pump repairs if you don't know how to go about the installation. To install a sump pump yourself, you'll need to prepare the pit where the water collects. Then, you'll need to connect all the required pipes and hoses and install the machine itself.
As long as you don't have to remove any extensive concrete flooring, it should be relatively straightforward. Most sump pump manufacturers only feature warranties for up to five years, so it's important to routinely check power sources, and clean out the pump filter.
Sump pump installation cost: in summary
If you're experiencing a flooded basement, installing a sump pump drainage system is one of the most effective ways of removing the excess water in your home. If you're on a tight budget, you'll essentially only pay for materials if you install a sump pump yourself, but project costs could escalate if it's not installed properly. We recommend hiring a professional for your installation to avoid any further damages. With proper installation and occasional maintenance, your sump pump should last you 10 years or more.