Plumbers or qualified handy people can provide waterproofing solutions and install sump pumps to prevent moisture-related problems in basements. A sump pump removes excess water that has collected because of leaks, external irrigation, drainage issues or upward seepage from a shallow water table. Removing excess water from the basement prevents long-term foundation problems caused by water, cracks and fissures. Pumping out the excess moisture also eliminates the potential for mold growth.
The "sump" is the lowest point in a basement. Excess water runs down to this basin and is captured there. A sump pump is an electric mechanism that pumps the collected water out of the sump basin and safely out of the house. There are two types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. A pedestal sump pump sits above the sump basin, and a submersible sump pump (as the name implies) is installed in the sump. The former type is easier to access and service but is also more visible. Several factors affect the cost to install a new sump pump.
Total installation costs
According to Mark Van Der Sande at Van Der Sande Plumbing in Tecumseh, Michigan, it usually takes less than a half hour to install a sump pump (in an already existing sump), unless there are unusual circumstances. The average cost for the pump, other materials and labor is around $325 for a standard installation. If the existing crock (basin) has a sealed lid and a radon pipe in it, the job will require more labor and the total cost can increase to approximately $400.
Van Der Sande Plumbing prefers submersible pumps because there are no moving parts exposed above the sump crock. Submersible pumps cost $140–$230, although they can be much higher. Most ⅓-horsepower pumps can pump over 200 gallons of water per minute, but if a basin constantly floods, a ½- or ¾-horsepower pump may be a better choice. High-powered pumps cost $190–$300. Van Der Sande Plumbing installs a preferred brand of sump pump that offers a five-year warranty. Customers can purchase their own sump pump, and Van Der Sande Plumbing will install it—without a warranty. Homeowners may still be able to get a warranty from the manufacturer or the retailer where the pump is purchased.
The cost of labor to install a sump pump depends on the type of existing sump pump system, what piping is needed and the check valve. If there is not yet an existing sump basin in the basement, labor costs will be higher. If contractors must dig and line a basin, the total installation cost will increase to account for the excavation and other labor costs.
Beyond the sump pump itself, installations in most normal home basements require 1 ½-inch PVC pipe and a check valve. A check valve sits on the outside of the pump along the drainage pipe and prevents water from draining back into the sump. It also keeps debris and pests out. These materials typically cost around $50. Some older homes may have 1 ¼-inch or 1 ½-inch galvanized lines, which means approximately $100 in additional materials would be needed.
It’s seldom possible to repair a sump pump, says Van Der Sande of Van Der Sande Plumbing. If a sump pump needs repair and it’s not under warranty, it’s usually better to replace it.