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I have my 2006 built home on the market. A prospective buyer is asking whether our sump hole is too deep? Is there such a thing as too deep and what are the ramifications?

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    How deep is your sump hole? – ThreePhaseEel May 17 at 1:19
  • They buyer may be (falsely) concerned that more water is being pumped than necessary. The level of the drain tile is what determines that, not the pail depth. – isherwood May 17 at 14:33
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NOTE: While I agree that NORMALLY the depth of the sump pit itself is not a factor it IS a part of the "lift" for the pump. This specific question is about an unusually deep sump pit. So it would be foolish to just say, "it doesn't matter how deep the pit is" because it DOES matter, in this case at least!

Yes, there is a limit on how high a particular sump pump can raise the water up a pipe. It's called the "head" and the problem is that the closer you get to the head limit, the lower the pumping capacity of the pump is.

Here is a link to the Wayne company site, which is a major pump maker:

Wayne Pumps Data

If you have the manual for your pump (probably too much to ask for) you will probably find the spec in there. If you know its make/model, it could probably be looked up.

But the key thing is that the TOTAL height from the bottom of the sump pit to the highest point in the outlet pipe must be less than the head specification. Most home-use sump pumps have a head of at least 10'.

  • While true, it's unlikely that the pail depth will be the last straw on that. Normally building height (foundation depth) would be more of a factor. – isherwood May 17 at 14:49
  • I'll point out that the question is about an unusually deep sump pit. – jwh20 May 17 at 17:41
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    We have no way of knowing that. Homebuyers are not known to be particularly knowledgeable in the area of sump pits. – isherwood May 17 at 17:47
  • We have no idea how deep the pit is so how can you say it is unusually deep, the size of the pit is based on the volume of water collected. The op asked if the pit was two deep the answer is no the the deeper the better. – Ed Beal May 17 at 20:55
  • +1 for "..there is a limit on how high a particular sump pump can raise the water up a pipe." On the final analysis, this is the determining factor. – elrobis Jul 17 at 15:39
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I disagree with the answer by jwh20. I haven’t seen a sump that is too deep. On the other hand I have seen many that needed to be deeper. If you have too small of a pump that can be a problem but that is a pump problem not the sump. A larger sump can be set up to cycle less often extending the life of the pump.

So can they be too deep? NO. Can your pump be too small? Yes.

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    >>>So can they be too deep? NO. Can your pump be too small? Yes. You're talking in circles here. If the sump or the life is too much, you need a higher capacity pump. – jwh20 May 17 at 17:42
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The depth of the pump is what ever is needed.I live near a lake in the early spring, snow melt time. the sump is set to keep basement dry. Any lower pump runs 24 /7 and I pump the lake. any higher floor gets wet. Pump has lift of ten feet, and I put in a simple back flow flapper so it does not go on off with water in the eight foot, two inch line. Been in at least fifteen years,check it all the time never failed and have a back up in case it does. deeper is not always the way.

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