The Pedestal sump pump is located above ground, and sticks out about a foot from the pit. Pedestal pumps cannot get wet, which is why they are above the water level. They turn on and off using a float switch. These float switches will turn on the pump when the water rises to a certain level. Pedestals are the least expensive, but are also the noisiest of the group. The pedestal runs off of electricity.

Submersible sump pumps are located in the tank and can work fine under water. The motor is sealed tight so not only do they work underwater, but they tend to have a longer life span. Submersibles also have a float switch, but they run much quieter and generally cost more. This one also runs on electricity.

A water powered sump pump will not use your home's electricity. Instead, it is run off of your home's water pressure. This is a great option because the pump will continue even when the power goes out. The only down side is that a water powered sump pump is much slower to pump water out of your home than the electrical kind. For this reason, a water powered type is best suited as a back up secondary sump pump for when your electricity goes out.

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