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What Is a Sump Pump and Why You Might Need One

[Updated: Mar 04, 2021 ] Jun 11, 2020 by Maurie Backman
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If you live in an area that's prone to flooding, a sump pump could be one investment that saves you a world of money and heartache. Though not every home requires a sump pump, if yours does, you'd be wise to spend the money on one.

What is a sump pump?

A sump pump is a device that's installed at the lowest point of your house -- usually, your basement -- that's designed to prevent flooding. Sump pumps don't run all the time; rather, they're on standby, so to speak, until they're needed. But when heavy rains or snowstorms bring excess water to your home, your sump pump will activate, removing water to avoid extensive damage.

Benefits of getting a sump pump

The primary benefit of getting a sump pump is that by doing so, you'll avoid flooding issues -- issues that could be costly and complicated to repair. You'll also help prevent mold issues in your home, which can not only be unsightly but also have health-related impacts.

In addition, a sump pump can help ensure that your home's foundation doesn't sustain damage due to excess water over time. Foundation repairs can be extraordinarily expensive -- more so than repairs related to flood damage, in some cases.

Finally, installing a sump pump could save you money on homeowners insurance premiums. It could also be a requirement for getting homeowners insurance in the first place, depending on your home's setup and location.

How much does a sump pump cost?

HomeAdvisor reports that sump pumps, including installation, typically cost between $640 and $1,878, with an average price of about $1,200.

Do you need a sump pump?

If you live in an area that's not particularly prone to flooding and you don't have a basement, then you likely don't need a sump pump. But if you have a basement, it pays to have one installed. This especially holds true if you've had water in your basement in the past following a large storm.

Furthermore, if your home is built in a low-lying area, you may need a sump pump even if you don't have a basement. That's because the lowest level, or main level, of your home may be more susceptible to flooding. Finally, if you live someplace that tends to get bad storms (snow or rain), a sump pump can make sense.

The bottom line on sump pumps

Not everyone needs a sump pump, but if you do, don't delay in getting one. Sometimes all it takes is a single storm to cause extensive property damage, and that's not a risk worth taking. Even if your sump pump doesn't kick in often, having one could bring you peace of mind -- and that's something every homeowner can appreciate.

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