Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My 1/2 hp sump pump has to pump up about 4' and then downhill about another 50'-60' to a creek and can't keep up during steady rainfall.

Would a stronger pump fix this problem or would just adding a utility pump be better?

share|improve this question
The horse power does not give enough information what is the flow rate vs presure of the pump can you just change the impeller to a larger one – UNECS May 29 '13 at 13:22
Unless that 50-60 feet is through a very constricted pipe, the downhill section shouldn't be any work at all for the pump. In fact, as long as the whole path had no leaks, all the pump would have to do is get the flow started, and it would act as a siphon and be self draining. – Tim B May 30 '13 at 3:09

I would favor a strategy that maximizes reliability. I would go for a pump that is rated at double the estimated worst case flow. That will mean there is a margin of safety and also mean the pump is not running at full capacity. This will be better for a longer life, as friction and heat are an electric motors worst enemies. This may be hard to estimate, but double the GPM (gallons per minute) might be a good starting point.

Take care that the larger motor is within the capacity of the circuit. 50% of the maximum circuit capacity is a good rule of thumb, especially for a motor circuit, which has large start-up current requirements. Since this circuit is so critical, it would be advisable to make it a dedicated one, ensuring no other device would cause a nuisance trip of the circuit breaker.

Finally, large rain related increases in sump flow might suggest some runoff improvements around the house might be in order.. Extending downspouts, berming any reversed pitch areas (places near the house that collect water).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.