Understanding Horsepower in Your Home Water Pump

A common question when it comes to buying a new sump pump is “what horsepower pump should I buy?” It’s easy to be confused by this if you’re not an expert on pumps—what does horsepower (HP) mean, what does it do, and should you stick with the number on your old model, or go with something higher? Fortunately, we are pump experts, and we’ll help to clarify some of this.


Common Horsepower Ratings

Horsepower, in a nutshell, determines how strong your water pump is. The most important factors that it affects are how much water it can pump total, and the vertical lift/horizontal run or your pumping system. There are three common HP ratings for residential sump pumps, made up of the following amounts:

¼: This is the weakest of all three options, and is ideal for people who only experience a small amount of water in a limited space from time to time. When it comes down to it, a ¼ HP motor isn’t really equipped to handle excessive amounts of flooding.

⅓: This is the most common size of sump pump you’ll find, and there’s a high likelihood that your own unit at home as a ⅓ HP rating. ⅓ HP home water pumps are equipped to handle most threats, and are designed for homes that fall within the typical ranges--pumping eight feet or less and for homes that aren’t far below the water table.

½: These are considerably more powerful than the other sizes, and are designed for homes that have an above-average water table. While ¾ is adequate for most purposes, you might need a ½ pump if you have a larger space or if the threat of water is more pervasive.


When in Doubt, Use the HP From Your Previous Pump

It wouldn’t be irrational to ask, “should I get a pump with higher horsepower than my last one?” After all, technology evolves and maybe it would be better to get one that’s more powerful, right?

In most instances, the answer is actually “no.” The HP of your designated sump pump is based on several factors that have been mentioned above, such as the level of your water table, the amount of space it’s covering, and your vertical/horizontal run. In most instances, you’re okay with just sticking with the power that your old unit had.

Think of it like upgrading your car. Buying a new pump is more akin to replacing your engine, rather than buying a new car entirely. Your house is already equipped for a certain level of power, and installing something stronger can just be overkill. So, if you’re ever unsure of which home water pump to buy, your old unit can always help you out.

Find a Sump Pump That Suits Your Needs

Now that you understand sump pump horsepower a little more clearly, it might be a good time to shop online for a great new home water pump! At Fura, Inc., we’re committed to providing you with the most high-quality pumps that will help prevent water-related catastrophes in our home. Browse our online store today!