In-ground sump pumps to fight flooding from historic high rainfall

Sep 9, 2011   //   by Robert Monk   //   Products & Services  //  1 Comment

Stop wrangling with shop-vac hoses, portable sump pump and extension cords!

Besides being unpleasant, basement flooding is a potential electric shock (ouch!) or electrocution (death) hazard, especially in older homes where basement receptacles (outlets) tend not to be protected against ground fault. Flooding can also lead to or aggravate mold problems, damage appliances and household items stored in the basement.

A permanent, in-ground, automatic sump pump installation may eliminate the need to even visit the basement during and after heavy rains, keeping water levels from ever rising above the pump’s float-switch set point — below the basement floor. Installed at the bottom of a recessed cistern, the sump pump remains permanently submerged, operated by its float switch when water level lifts the float. The pump is permanently connected to your plumbing waste lines so there are no hoses to manage (or lose control of!). Most importantly, the installation includes a dedicated, GFCI-protected receptacle, so no one has to manage cord-and-plug connections at dubious old basement receptacles in a last-minute scramble and while standing on damp floors and surrounded by hazardous ground-paths attracting electric current.

Note that a single-location sump pump cannot prevent minor pooling throughout all basements, and will not prevent dampness from saturated ground around the basement and water infiltration far from the pump location. If your goal is a dry basement, a dehumidifier and/or a comprehensive  ‘dry basement’ design and installation (starting at over $5,000 from most contractors). Dry basement contractors should guarantee dwelling-space quality dryness, and the work entails excavation of the entire basement perimeter, with installation of a dehumidifier necessary in many instances.


Basic installation of the pump in a cistern, electric to a new receptacle serving the pump, and outflow plumbing direct-connected to your waste line, runs from $500. Optional adders include:

  • Moisture alarm  ~$35
  • Battery backup (for 1/2-hour operation) with power failure alarm  ~$650 including first year battery servicing.
A pre-installation survey includes an assessment of the flood-tolerance of your basement electrical wiring and appliances for electrical safety and potential damages in the event of a 4″ flood.


See also:

1 Comment

  • I had a sump pump and basement perimeter drainage system installed at my home and haven’t had any problems since.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Find Electrical Answers

Articles Categories


%d bloggers like this: