Submersible Utility Pump: A "MUST HAVE" For Any Homeowner

Submersible Utility Pump: A "MUST HAVE" For Any Homeowner

After being a home owner for over 35 years, I have learned (the hard way) that if you own a home then you also need to own a submersible utility pump (also referred to as a submersible water pump). When I first bought my home, I confess that I didn’t already know what a submersible utility pump was (and I also must let in that I was a slow learner). ultimately I finally “got smart”. Now I think of a submersible utility pump as being almost as basic to a home owner as a vacuum cleaner or a garden hose. All a submersible utility pump is is a small water pump that you can attach a hose (e.g., garden hose) to, put into standing water (e.g., a flooded basement or garage, a swimming pool, a hot tub), plug into an electrical outlet, and it will pump the water to wherever you have laid out your hose to (e.g., your backyard, a sewer, a drain, a drainage ditch, etc). As you can see, there is almost nothing to using a utility pump. If you can screw on a garden hose and plug in an electrical cord, then you can function an utility pump.

My years long experience dealing with pipe leaks and drainage problems is what led me to realize the time-saving, money-saving, and I should probably add “back saving” value of having your own utility pump. I have a pier and beam house and from my first pipe leak under the house I quickly learned that a plumber cannot do anything until the water is pumped out from underneath the house. At this point you have two choices: you can pay the plumber (and believe me it will cost you more than you expect) or you can do it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself, you have three basic choices: (1) remove the water by hand (also known as the bucket method) – a really messy and backbreaking way that I did on several occasions; (2) get in your car and go rent a industrial-grade submersible water pump from a home depot, hardware store, or equipment rental company and then return it when you are done – a method I also used on many occasions; or (3) use your own submersible utility pump to remove the water – the smart method that I finally learned. Believe me in terms of time and cost there is no comparison – owning and using your own utility pump wins hands down. And what was really surprising to me was that it is so much easier to do – already than Option #2 because you don’t have to go pick up and drop off the rented pump and hose, lug a heavier industrial-grade pump and hose around, rush so you can return the pump/hose before the store closes, clean up the rental hose and pump before you return it, and of course pay the rental charge for the pump/hose. And that is just one personal example. You can also use submersible utility pumps to drain: swimming pools, hot tubs, small ponds, flooded basements, garages, and bathrooms, etc – in other words drain anything that has standing water in it.

Tip #1: To keep your pump from taking in silt, leaves, etc, put your utility pump inside a 5 gallon paint strainer bag that painters use and tie up the bag with string around the neck of the utility pump. The strainer bag allows the pump to suck in the water without also taking in silt, leaves, etc. The strainer bags are inexpensive and can be obtained at any hardware or paint store. Another approach is to take a 5 gallon bucket, drill a lot of 1/4″ holes in the sides of the bucket, and then insert your utility pump into the bucket. This approach helps keep your pump away from leaves, silt, etc and also provides additional stability to keep the pump upright. Mounting the pump in the bucket can provide already more stability. If you store your pump in the bucket you can wire the pump’s electrical cord around the pump inside the bucket.

TIP #2: Using an automatic timer can help you keep from letting your pump run dry and damaging the pump.

TIP #3: Using plumbing tape on the pump’s hose thread connection will provide a better seal and will also make the hose easier to take on and off.

Factors For You to Consider in Selecting Your Pump

1. The meaningful question is: What will you be using your utility pump for? (Removing water from: under your home? your hot tub? your pool? your basement? your pool cover? low points in your yard? your garage? your pond? Or maybe you plan to use it to fill your pond from a creek? Etc…? Or perhaps several of these?)

2. How quickly do you want to remove the water or do the filling? (Using a pump with a larger horsepower is usually able to move the water faster. Using a larger hose will accomplish the task more quickly but do you really care if the water removal takes longer (e.g., a larger utility hose versus a garden hose.)

3. How much lift (that is, how high will the pump have to pump the water?) will be needed to accomplish your task? (For example: In removing the water from under my home, the required lift was only about 3-4 feet.)

4. How big a space do you have to place the pump in? (Example: Will the dimensions of the bottom of the pump allow you to fit the pump in the space where you want to place the pump? Also, will a pump that has its hose connection on the side of the pump (instead of the top of the pump) be able to fit in the space since the hose will extend out farther to the side than the pump base itself?)

5. Lastly, what is the maximum amount that you want your pump to weigh? In other words, how much weight do want to have to lift and lug around?

Keep these factors in mind when you are deciding which submersible utility pump to buy.

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