A good basement sump pump can make living with the nightmare of basement flooding easier. First, understand that most basements are not level. They usually have a high point and a low point. You want to place your basement sump pump in the lowest point of the floor.
Take a marble and watch to see which way it rolls. The corner of the wall it rolls toward is the most advantageous place for the pump. Now make sure of three things before you go buy a pump. Number one, where is the power supply in reference to the placement of the pump? It should be within six feet unless you have an extension cord. Is the power supply close to the floor? It should be higher, preferably on the ceiling. An easy way to create a sump pump power supply is to purchase a light fixture add on that has outlets. Screw it into the overhead light and plug your pump into it. The pump will turn on and off with the light switch.
Now you need to know where you are going to put the water. It is probably an infraction of city ordinances to pump the water into the sewer or storm system. Usually you can run a hose from the pump to a place in your yard away from the house. However, you do need a clear path for the hose. A crimped hose will keep the pump from working.
Once you have planned the placement of your basement sump pump and the disposal of the water you are ready to look at how much flooding your basement suffers. Unless your basement develops more than an inch of water, most pumps will be of little benefit to you. In this case, you will save a great deal of money and frustration if you contact a contractor about sealing your basement against water.
The last piece of this frustrating puzzle is determining what kind of basement sump pump you need. There are dozens to choose from and the best choice will depend on water depth, water output, and sturdiness of the pump. Most wet basement sufferers can get a small, submersible pump that puts out up to thirty gallons of water per hour. These usually run just over a hundred dollars. The trick to keeping them running is to keep both the water depth sensor and the intake unit clean. Put the pump in a flat strainer, such as a deep fat frying strainer. The strainer keeps the pump from sitting directly on the floor and still allows water to reach the pump.
A tall basement sump pump is better for water more than a foot deep. However, most of these are not submersible. A float monitors the water depth, as much as three feet, and trips the on off switch when it drops. Again, they are not terribly expensive and any hardware store can help you pick out the best basement sump pump for your needs.