For many people who are in the market for a particular service the most important question they have to ask is “How much does it cost?” Most often, these price shoppers want a direct answer without hedging or conditions.
Sometimes, a direct answer is easily available. Drive into a quick oil-change shop, for example, and ask “How much does an oil change cost?” You’ll likely get an answer something like “$34.95.”
However, it’s not always that easy to give someone a direct answer. In a home service business like residential roofing, let's say, the most transparent, plain-spoken roofing contractor can't answer "How much does a roof cost?" without knowing how big the roof is, whether it's on the first, second or third floor, what kind of shingles the customer wants...you get the picture.
So, let’s say you need a new sump pump and you call up a basement waterproofing company and ask “How much does a sump pump cost?” My answer (You wouldn’t call anyone else, would you?) is going to be as direct as I can make it: “Several hundred dollars or several thousand", depending on whether you need a simple, lower-power primary pump or a complete back-up sump pump system.
Now, that answer is direct and responsive but it may not be as informative as you might like so let’s examine it.
It is possible to buy a fifty-dollar sump pump. If you spend a few minutes on everyone’s favorite search engine you’ll find it – at the world’s largest retail store. Does it work? Probably, at least for a while, but is this plastic gadget really the sump pump you want to rely on to keep your basement dry when you’re away from home for two weeks during the summer thunderstorm season? Me neither.
Now, there are decent sump pumps to be found in big box stores, but they will cost $200 or more. Our sump pump expert has reviewed many of them and has given a few his conditional blessing. However, these sump pumps are often marketed with an emphasis on meaningless warranties instead of critical performance factors and, regardless of how good or bad they are, you have to install them yourself or pay a plumber his hourly rate to plunk one in the basin and plug it in.
A primary sump pump purchased from a basement waterproofing company won’t cost that much more, but will be recommended to you based on your home’s size, other waterproofing systems in place and the location and size of the discharge. Also, it will installed by a waterproofing professional who installs sump pumps every day so you can rest assured that the pump will always perform up to its capacity.
So, where does that “several thousand” price come in? Battery back-up sump pumps, that’s where, and only at the high end of that category. A basic battery-only backup sump pump system is still pretty economical and it will ensure that your basement stays dry whenever the power goes off.
What happens, though, when the power stays on and the primary sump pump fails from age, over-use or a clogged impeller? The battery-only unit won’t kick on and you’re in for a wet basement without a dual-power back-up sump pump, a unit with a battery and power from household current that will take over during a power failure or a pump failure.
Want to get the absolute best that justifies that top-end price? Install a dual-pump, dual power system that replaces the primary pump with a matched set of powerful pumps that alternate running to reduce wear on one primary pump and have the same advantages of the dual-power pump above. Oh, and remember that $50 sump pump? This dual-pump, dual-power system pumps 100 times the amount of water per hour as the cheapie!
So, that’s what a sump pump costs. If your sump is missing in action you’re going to need a new one for the rainy months ahead and you’ll get the best pump and highest-quality installation from an experienced basement waterproofing contractor. At U.S. Waterproofing we’ve been installing sump pumps for pretty much our entire 57 years in business and a large percentage of our 300,000 satisfied customers have them humming away in their basements, so why not ask for our free advice?
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