How Much Does it Cost to Install or Replace a Sump Pump? (2023)
For homes that deal with flooding problems, a reliable sump pump is a must. These devices pump the water out of your basement, preventing rising water levels from flooding your home when it rains, damaging and destroying your property. No one wants their belongings and home ruined by flooding, but in some areas, it’s practically guaranteed to happen without a sump pump.
If your home needs a sump pump but doesn’t have one, you could be in big trouble when it starts to rain. Similarly, if the sump pump on your home is malfunctioning, unreliable, or simply stopped working, you need to do something about it before it becomes a real problem.
For many, fear of prohibitively high costs might prevent them from taking action. So, let’s explore the potential prices involved with replacing an old sump pump or installing a brand new one.
Two Types of Sump Pumps
Before we start discussing prices, there’s an important distinction to make between the two main types of sump pumps. Each is better suited for a particular situation, but they’re priced very differently.
A pedestal pump is so named because the motor sits above ground on top of a pedestal. This makes it more accessible for easy servicing and replacement. But it also means that the motor is exposed, causing a pedestal pump to be far louder than a submersible.
Pedestal pumps have long lifespans of 20 years or more. However, they can’t deal with solids and particles like submersibles. Pedestals pumps also can’t handle the same volumes of water as submersibles.
In general, pedestal pumps tend to be more affordable than submersible pumps.
As you might gather from the name, submersible pumps are submerged in water at the bottom of your sump pit. Because the motor is submerged, it’s much quieter than the exposed motor of a pedestal pump. But it also means that repairs are much harder since the pump and motor are difficult to reach.
Submersible pumps are less likely to clog than pedestal pumps. They can handle solids and particles as well. Their lifespans are shorter than pedestal pumps though, with most lasting 5-10 years on average. Submersibles are also costlier than pedestal pumps.
How Much Do Sump Pumps Cost?
Sump pumps span a wide range of prices, starting at about $50 with some models costing as much as $400. How much you end up spending depends on what you need from your sump pump.
Factors that Affect Sump Pump Prices
Certain features cause particular models to cost far more than others, but you can save a lot on your pump if you do without those features.
Type of Pump
This is likely to have the biggest effect on the price you pay for your pump. Pedestal pumps are far cheaper than submersible pumps.
Under $100, pedestal pumps are practically your only option. They start at just over $50 for a basic model with ½ horsepower. High-end models are typically about $150-$180.
Submersible pumps start at $100 for a very basic model. The more advanced models with added features can cost as much as $400. Even a mid-grade submersible pump will cost more than a high-end pedestal pump.
Pumps can be made from different materials, and this can have a drastic effect on price. Most commonly, they’re made with either plastic or metal.
Models made with metal parts are able to deal with higher water pressures and are more durable overall. However, metal is highly susceptible to corrosion, which can reduce the life of the pump. Metal pumps are also more expensive.
Plastic pumps don’t face the same corrosion issues that metal pumps have to deal with. But plastic pumps can’t handle high water pressures. They’re also less powerful most of the time. This also means they’re generally more affordable.
As with most things, more powerful pumps generally cost more than weaker models.
For pedestal pumps, most are between ⅓ horsepower and ½ horsepower. Models with ⅓ horsepower occupy the bottom of the price range, while ½-horsepower pumps are the most expensive of the bunch.
Submersible pumps follow the same pattern, though they tend to be more powerful, with some models offering ¾-horsepower. These are the pumps that cost several hundred dollars though, making them some of the most expensive sump pumps around.
Certain features aren’t necessary but can be real lifesavers, like battery backup. This feature will cost quite a bit extra upfront, but if it saves your home from flooding in an emergency, it will pay you back for the initial costs many times over.
Battery backups will power the pump in case of power failure. If the electricity goes out, most sump pumps are dead in the water. But if you have a battery backup, you’ll still have several days of power for your pump, ensuring your basement stays dry until the power comes back on.
Unfortunately, purchasing a sump pump is only part of the overall cost. You’ll also have to figure in the cost of installation, which can be far more expensive than the pump. Here, we’ll discuss the cost of installing a new pump in a home where one doesn’t currently exist.
This can be a pretty expensive procedure. It will require digging a reservoir and installing drainage systems. If there’s not an appropriate electric circuit nearby, one will have to be installed since sump pumps need electricity to function.
Having a new sump pump installed will cost you between $2,500-$5,000 on average, assuming you have a standard basement with a cement floor. Of course, several factors affect this price, determining if your installation costs more towards the high or low end of the scale.
Factors That Affect Installation Costs
Your Basement Floor
The high expense of installing a sump pump is because of how difficult it is. This requires a large hole to be dug through the foundation of your home — the thick cement slab that’s strong enough to hold your entire home. If you happen to have a basement floor that’s not cement, then you can save a substantial amount on the overall cost of installation. For everyone else, the thicker your foundation and the harder it is to dig through, the more expensive your installation will be.
Where You Live
Prices for this type of work vary by region. The cost difference between cities in the same state can be several hundred dollars. From state to state, costs can vary even more. This is one factor you won’t have much control over.
Pump Installation Location
Your sump pump must be installed at the lowest point of the basement. For submersible pumps especially, if the plumbing in this location is complex, special care will have to be taken to ensure that no pipes are compromised. This can greatly increase the cost of your installation.
Cost to Replace a Sump Pump
If your home has a sump pump already and you just need to have it replaced, then you’re looking at a far lower bill. All of the hard work has already been done, so replacements tend to be pretty affordable.
For a professional sump pump replacement, you’ll be looking at about $400 to $600 on average. Of course, you can save yourself this fee if you have some decent DIY skills and want to replace the pump yourself.
Additional Costs to Consider
You could choose a new sump pump that’s basic, with no extra features or backups, but you might be putting yourself at risk. There are some other features that are worth checking out that might increase the cost of your new pump. On top of this, there are some other factors related to your sump pump that can add to your overall costs, and you should be aware of them before you start adding up the numbers.
If the power goes out, your sump pump goes down. Battery backups are an expensive addition, but if it saves your belongings from being destroyed in a flood, it’s a worthwhile investment in our books.
A backup pump is there in case your main pump fails. Hopefully, you never have to deal with such an issue. But if your main pump does die for some reason during a torrential downpour while water levels are rising, your backup pump can kick in and prevent your home from filling with water. These pumps can also serve as secondary pumps to assist the main pump when water is rising faster than it can evacuate.
Sediment and debris can quickly ruin a sump pump. By adding a pump filter, you can prevent anything from reaching the pump and causing damage, greatly extending the life of your pump, saving you money in the long run.
If your main pump gets overpowered, you’ll want to know. A pump alarm will alert you if this happens. Of course, knowing is only going to do so much, which is why a pump alarm should be paired with a good backup pump.
If you live in an area where flooding is a concern, you should definitely consider flood insurance on your home. You can get an insurance rider specifically for sump pump failure that will keep you protected in case your sump pump dies at the worst moment.
When to Replace Your Sump Pump
Replacing a sump pump is a pretty costly endeavor, so you don’t want to do it unless it’s necessary. But, how do you know if your sump pump needs to be replaced?
It’s Making Excessive Noise
If your sump pump is suddenly making more noise than you’re used to, it might be damaged or worn out. Sometimes debris can bend an impeller, which can cause some awful noises, making your sump pump much louder than it should be. If the impeller is bent, it can vibrate the entire shaft and cause extra damage. This really can’t be fixed, so in this case, replacement is the best option.
It Stopped Working Entirely
Should your sump pump quit working entirely, you’ll need to check a few things before deciding that it’s time for a replacement. First, make sure it’s plugged into the outlet. It seems simple, but this is often the culprit. Next, ensure the breaker isn’t tripped. If both of these check out properly, then you’ll want to use an electrical tester to test the float switch. If it’s getting power but the pump won’t turn on, then the motor is burnt and you need a replacement.
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Having a new sump pump installed could cost upwards of $5,000. If you already have a sump pump and just want to have it professionally replaced, you’re probably looking at $500-$800 including labor and a new pump. But if you’re confident in your DIY skills and want to try replacing it yourself, you could complete the job for $60-$400.
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Featured Image: Ozgur Coskun, Shutterstock