What Is A Sump Pump? - My Plumber Kelowna


By Dave Bangar

What is a Sump Pump and Why You May Need One

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Their Sump Pump

If you live in a city like Kelowna that experiences lots of rain, you probably have something in your basement called a sump pump. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or have simply never owned a home that has one, sump pumps can be a bit tricky to understand. 

Either way, it is crucial that you have a solid understanding of what it is, what its purpose is, and how it works. 

In this article, we will go over the most important information all Kelowna homeowners should know about their sump pumps. 

What is a Sump Pump and What is its Purpose?

A sump pump is a device that lives in your basement and pumps excess water outside. It automatically senses when water levels are getting too high due to excess rain or snowmelt.

Without a sump pump to pump out excess water, your basement would be at risk for flooding. 

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The “sump” component of a sump pump is a pit, otherwise known as a basin, that is carved into your basement floor and holds the sump pump in place. The pump itself is what pumps water that fills the basin and drains it outside. 

A sump pump uses a switch to sense when water levels are getting too high inside the basin. When the switch is activated, the sump pump will pump the excess water out of the basement and away from your home’s foundation through a discharge line that is also called an effluent.

A sump pump can be powered in three ways:

  • Electricity
  • By battery
  • By water

Most sump pumps have a water or battery-powered backup pump that will kick in when a power outage occurs.

What Types of Homes Need a Sump Pump

As previously mentioned, a sump pump will help prevent your basement from flooding. However, some homes may require a sump pump more than others.

This includes:

  • Homes in areas that have lots of rainfall
  • Homes built on flat ground where drainage is an issue
  • Homes with an older pump that isn’t functioning properly
  • Newly renovated or built homes that could be ruined by flooding
  • Homes in areas that are prone to flooding

The Different Types of Sump Pumps

There are four main types of sump pumps:


A submersible sump pump is a single unit that contains both the pump and motor. The unit is submerged under water in an enclosed basin.


A pedestal sump pump is quite different from a submersible pump in that the pump and motor are two separate units. Instead of being submerged under water and enclosed within the basin, a pedestal pump sits on top of, you guessed it, a pedestal. 

Battery-Powered Backup

A battery-powered backup pump is used as a backup option when the regular sump pump fails due to a power outage. This type of pump is battery-operated and uses a float switch to detect when water levels are getting too high.

Water-Powered Backup

Like a battery-powered backup pump, a water-powered pump is used as a backup if your power goes out. 

The main difference between the two is that a water-powered pump uses water pressure to drain water from the basin. 
It’s important to note that some municipalities have banned this type of pump, so always do your research and make sure you are allowed to install one in your home.

Work With Kelowna’s Leading Sump Pump Experts

With over 159 rainy days a year in the Okanagan, having a sump pump in your Kelowna home is crucial.

Whether you have a sump pump that needs replacing or your home doesn’t have one and needs a pump installed, our team of Kelowna-based plumbers can help.

At My Plumber Kelowna, we have a team of licensed, trained, and highly experienced plumbers who can help repair, replace, or install any new sump pump in your home.

Call us today at 250-601-0000 or fill out a form on our website and we will be in touch ASAP.

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