Pedestal Sump Pump Buying Guide 2021

One of the types of sump pump people commonly come across when looking at options on which to purchase is the “pedestal” sump pump. While they are not the most popular models, they still have their uses and are relatively common around the US and beyond.

What is a Pedestal Sump Pump?

A pedestal sump pump is thus called because it stands on floor level, rather than sitting under floor level like the submersible sump pump. It still requires a sump pit, just like the submersible pump will, but the pedestal pump sits next to the sump pit rather than within. This has its pros and cons as we will explore later.

A pedestal sump pump itself sits next to where the water collects, but will have a hose which reaches down into the sump pit.

How Does a Pedestal Sump Pump Work?

The pedestal sump pump mechanism is very similar to the other types of sump pump. It is mainly the pipe which is different. This pipe trails off from the main ‘body’ of the pump, which needs to be close to the pit. The pipe will usually go all the way to the bottom of the pit. There is also a float which is attached to the switch on your pump. As it starts to fill with water, this float will trigger the fact that the pump needs to start doing its thing.

The motor will then work to suck the water up using pressure, and divert it to a different pipe, usually attached to your sewer system or an outlet somewhere near the home and above the level of your ground floor.

If you are familiar with how other types of sump pump work, you will notice the similarities. The only significant difference is the fact that the pump is not within the water.

Pedestal Sump Pump Features to Consider 


You may have thought this is a term reserved for vehicles, but actually it is how the power on a few other things is measured, too. Including sump pumps. The horsepower of a sump pump relates to its capacity to pump water quickly and more importantly, powerfully. It requires this power to get the water up and away from the pit where it has collected. Sometimes the water needs to be pumped up a whole story of your home, from the basement to your plumbing outlet, so you can see why it needs some power.

The horsepower measurements are relatively low. You can get models with ⅓ horsepower and these will often be sufficient, but ½ is safer in a larger house or if you are commonly exposed to a lot of water.

There are models with other horsepower measurements available, but these are the most common. In general, the power you need should be decided by the environment you are in, the height you need to reach and the amount of water you expect to be exposed to.

Pumping Capacity

This is the amount of water able to be pumped in any individual model. This is arguably more important than the horsepower, and is a bottom line measurement which will tell you how much downpour the pump is able to handle. If it cannot handle the amount of water you are likely to expose it to, it is vital to get a model with a higher pumping capacity.

This is measured in GPH (gallons per hour) which is a self-explanatory measurement system. Occasionally you will see it listed as GPM (gallons per minute). If you need to calculate exactly how much GPH you need, our ultimate sump pump buying guide will tell you how to do so. Generally speaking, the more danger of flooding you are under, the higher GPH you should look for.

Sometimes this is not listed on the pedestal sump pump’s product page, but many people have gone on to calculate the GPH and shared this, so keep an eye out in reviews and discussions on Amazon and elsewhere.

Build Quality and Materials

A pedestal sump pump is not exposed to the water in the same way that a submersible sump pump is. However, it is still important that it is resistant to the water it is going to inevitably be dealing with and that it is not likely to rust or experience any other issues as a result.

The materials of the housing (the area where the pump sits) are important, and should be solid and hard-wearing. Stainless steel is a popular choice, but this is likely to be more expensive than options such as thermo plastics, which are not quite as durable but are commonly used. The pipe is also important, and is often made of PVC or ABS, these are flexible but durable materials. The final part is the float, as these sit in the water itself.

In every pedestal sump pump review here on our site, we’ve discussed the build quality of the product itself to ensure that it is up to standard. There is little point purchasing a pedestal sump pump only for it to break a few months down the line.

Pros and Cons of Pedestal Sump Pumps

When compared to the other types of sump pump, there are some clear pros and cons which will help you to make your decision of which type of pump to buy.


  • They’re long-lasting. As they’re not in water their whole life like some of the other pumps, they are less likely to corrode and become damaged. Meaning they last longer.
  • Easy access and installation. Because of the fact you’re not having to install the pump within the pit itself, you can set it up and install it with a little more ease, and also reach it for repairs should anything go wrong.
  • Good for smaller pits. If your sump pit isn’t very wide, it may not fit a submersible sump pump in it, leaving a pedestal pump as your key option.


  • Less powerful. As they sit above the level of the water, a pedestal sump pump has to lift the water out of the pit too, meaning more work, and less power to pump the water away.
  • They’re on ground level. They usually sit on the floor of your basement. This is fine for some, but many of us use our basements for all manor of things and having a pump sticking up out of the floor may not be ideal.


As you can see, it is pretty clear that pedestal sump pumps and submersible have their clear differences. It may well be that a pedestal pump is your best (or only) option, depending on your space. If so, ensuring you get one with plenty of power and durability is the best way to keep your home safe.

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