Sump Pump Alternatives

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    If you own a home with a basement you will need some kind of drainage system or sump pump alternative. While sump pump is an effective way to keep water from pooling in your basement they do have some disadvantages that can leave homeowners looking for alternatives to a sump pump.

    In this article we will show you 5 of the most popular sump pump alternatives so you can keep your home from flooding next time it rains.

    French Drains

    French drains are a common sump pump alternative. Instead of actively pumping water from the basin as the water level rises French Drains passively drain water away from the home which helps with the need for a sump pump.

    French drains are a good option for minimizing the amount of water but they will not keep all of the water from entering your basement. High water flow areas will need a portable sump pump to make sure there is no water pooling.

    Waterproofing The Walls

    One of the easiest ways to keep water out of your basement is improving the waterproofing of the walls. If the homebuilders missed a spot while caulking and the area went without sealing water can seep in from the nearby ground.

    Gorilla Silicone

    Fortunately this is an easy fix – especially if you can identify where the water is leaking in through the wall. In most cases waterproofing caulk can be placed into the cracks that will seal and waterproof the area.

    Install and Improve Gutters

    Installing and improving the gutters is another way to keep your basement from flooding without installing a sump pump. While this option will not drain or prevent water from entering your basement through the soil it can push water from your roof far enough from your home it drains to another area.

    One thing to consider if you have gutters on your home already is the last time they were cleaned. Over time gutters can become clogged with leaves, debris from the roof, dirt and other materials. We recommend cleaning your gutters as part of your yearly maintenance routine.

    Grading the Ground

    Grading the ground – aka sloping – is an effective way to force water to drain away from your home. Ideally when your home was built the builders included a slight slope in the ground leading away from the foundation.

    This slope helps water drain out and away from the home instead of into the basement. Check the ground around the foundation and make sure the slope is at least 30 degrees away from the home.

    Is your home missing grading?

    If you notice your home does not have grading around the foundation you should carve out a few hours next weekend or schedule a handyman to make a visit.

    Portable Utility Pumps

    Setting up a portable sump pump at low areas that commonly flood after heavy rain is a cost effective option for homeowners that receive occasional flooding and do not want to set up a dedicated basin. Portable pumps are not as powerful and can’t be exposed to the elements for long so make sure to bring them in when the job is done.

    Need A Portable Pump?


    If you don’t have a portable water pump we recommend the Wayne WaterBUG. It is a good idea for homeowners that only need a pump a few days a year – just make sure to buy one before the next big storm!

    Other Important Information

    While these alternate options will keep water out of your basement they will not act as a backup sump pump or flooding alarm so it is important to have a backup plan in case of heavy flooding.

    One common solution if you do not want to dig a sump basin install a sump pump as your primary pump you should still consider a water powered pump as a backup. Water-powered pumps runs off your city water supply and do not require an electrical connection.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is there an alternative to a sump pump?

    Some potential alternatives to a sump pump are french drains, ground grading and gutters to improve drainage away from the home.

    Can you have a basement without a sump pump?

    Yes, although it may be difficult to keep water from pooling in high areas with high waterflow.

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