Pedestal vs Submersible Sump Pumps

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pedestal vs submersible sump pump

Trying to decide what kind of sump pump to buy and stuck choosing between a pedestal vs a submersible sump pump. Both types of sump pumps can keep your basement or crawl space dry but it is important to know the difference so you can make the best choice!

Pedestal and submersible pumps keep your home dry by pumping water from the pit out through drainage pipes. When choosing a new pump there are two primary styles of pumps – pedestal and submersible pumps. Both types of pumps have pros and cons so it is important to have all the information and make the right choice!

Pedestal Sump Pumps

Pedestal sump pumps are a good choice for small homes and crawl spaces – but they are not perfect for every situation. This type of pump stands up straight in your pit and uses a motor in the head to clear water.


Pedestal sump pumps have a few key advantages when compared to submersible pumps. Lets take a quick look and see if this pump type is right for you!

  • Easy to Install – Pedestal pumps are easier to install than submersible pumps which makes them a. great choice for crawl spaces and low flood homes
  • Less Maintenance – Hate maintenance? Pedestal pump are easier to maintain since there is less to take out of the pit and the motor is on top.
  • Cheaper – Everyone loves saving a few dollars. Pedestal pumps are not cheap but they do tend to cost less than Submersible pumps
  • Smaller sump pit – Digging a pit for a pump basin is hard work. Pedestal pumps can work with smaller pump pits which means less digging for you when installing the pump


Like any tool Pedestal pumps have their share of disadvantages. 

  • Less horse power – Pump power is important when you need to clear a lot of water during a flood. Pedestal pumps tend to be less powerful than Submersible which can cause a problem during thunderstorms. 
  • Easy to knock over – Pedestal pumps need to be standing up to function properly. If you have a lot of foot traffic in your basement it might be a better idea to get a pump with a cover.
  • Smells bad –  If your pump does not have a cover you risk a bad “watery” smell leaking up and into your basement. This can be avoided with proper maintenance but does still happen from time to time.
  • Shorter lifespan – Since this type of pump is made of a few different parts and is typically made of plastic they tend to not last as long as their Submersible counterparts.

Pedestal Installation

Installing a Pedestal sump pump is easy and can normally be done in a few hours. Follow these step by step instructions and you will have a dry basement in no time!

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Dig a pump pit where water pools in the basement or crawl space
  2. Install the basin and pump
  3. Attach drainage and electrical connections
  4. Test the pump by filling the basin with a few buckets of water

Submersible Sump Pumps

Submersible sump pumps are better for high flood areas and large homes. They sit at the bottom of your pump pit and pipe excess water up and out of your home. They are designed to be fully submerged in water – and are built to withstand rusting and leaking!


Submersible sump pumps offer many advantages over other types of pumps. This is important because you do not want your pump to fail and the basement to flood when it rains!

  • More horsepower – Submersible pumps offer more power than Pedestal pump which is important during heavy flooding.
  • Saves space – Submersible pumps sit at the bottom of the pit so they can’t be kicked over and stop working.
  • Less noise – Since Submersible pumps are at the bottom of the pit, underwater and covered they make less noise than Pedestal pumps.
  • Longer lasting – Better build materials mean a longer lifespan. Pumps made of cast iron and steel last longer than plastic Pedestal pumps.


Submersible pumps are great – but they are not without their drawbacks. Lets explore some potential problems so you don’t end up with the wrong pump type!

  • Expensive – Since Submersible pumps are typically made of cast iron and steel they are more expensive than Pedestal pumps. Of course, a good sump pump is much cheaper than a flooded basement.
  • Float switch problems – The more moving parts the more likely something is to go wrong. The float switch

Submersible Installation

Submersible sump pump are usually installed when a home is built. They require a large, waterproof pit with drainage and electrical connections.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Measure and Dig your pit
  2. Install the basin
  3. Run drainage lines
  4. Install the pump
  5. Attach drainage and power connections
  6. Test the pump

How to Choose a Pump Type

Choosing between pedestal vs submersible sump pump is easy. For large basements in heavy flood areas that receive frequent thunderstorms (or snow) you should choose a Submersible sump pump. We recommend the M53 Mighty Mate for most homes. While for small homes and crawl spaces choose a Pedestal sump pump. We recommend the Superior Pump 92333​.

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