Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "What's the difference between a sump pump and an effluent pump?"
A. Sump pumps are designed only to pump waste water - specifically ground water from low-lying areas such as basements or crawl spaces - they aren't equipped to handle larger solid waste. In any pumping situation where you're expecting some form of solid debris to be included in the waste water, an effluent pump is a better choice. Effluent pumps use impellers to break up smaller solids (generally less than 5/8") without damaging the motor or pump in any way. Note, however, that these pumps are only designed to handle solid waste that could easily be broken up by hand, NOT rocks, metals, etc.
Q. "What's the difference between a vertical and tethered float switch?"
A.Using a float switch with your sump pump ensures that the pump activates when water levels reach a certain height, thus protecting your home from flooding of groundwater. The tethered switches offered with DuraMAC pumps are attached to the top of the pump with small brackets, allowing you to adjust the length of the switch as needed. Alternatively, you may attach it to your discharge pipe, as shown here. Tethered float switches generally take up more space, and so are more appropriate for larger diameter, deeper sump pits. Because they aren't locked in place the way a vertical float switch is, they allow the pump to be off longer between cycles. The pump has more time to cool completely, which can sometimes reduce your overall power usage and lengthen the life of your pump. In contrast, a vertical float switch is somewhat locked into place on the side of the pump. This makes these types of switches very useful for a narrow or shallow sump pit. Using a vertical switch means your pump will run more often, but water levels will remain lower. Ultimately, the type of switch you choose will depend upon the space available to you and style of pump you choose. Don't forget there are electronic switch options available too!
Q."What is a split capacitor motor?"
A. Split capacitor motors are becoming standard in most pumps now because they offer greater energy efficiency without sacrificing pumping power. It takes more energy to start the pump than it does to keep it operating. Essentially, this type of motor starts your pump with one capacitor and runs it on another, turning the starting current off once the pump begins running. This means you aren't continuously using the high volume of electricity required to start the pump for the entire time the pump is running. Once the starting current has been turned off, the motor uses only the lower volume of energy to keep the pump running.
Q."Can you help me decide what kind of pump I need?"
A. Our staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and we are always happy to discuss your plumbing needs with you and answer any and all questions our customers may have. Every customer's needs are different, so while we cannot choose the pump for you, we will do our best to help you determine the best product for your situation and provide you with assistance throughout the ordering process. Having been selling plumbing products on the Net since 1995, we sell only top-quality plumbing parts and products - and are happy to resolve any issues you may have with a pump you purchase from us.