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5 Essential Sump Pump Electrical Requirements You Need Know

Are you thinking about installing a sump pump? It’s a good idea if you have found your basement ankle-deep in water. Sump pumps can cause critical damages if not installed correctly. 

What are the sump pump electrical requirements?

To determine the electrical requirements of a sump pump, check the voltage of the sump pump before adding it to your home’s electrical system. The pump should have a grounding cord, so you need a proper outlet for that. And the switch should be located four feet above the ground. You can use water alarms and GFCI outlets for additional safety.

Still a bit confused? Set your mind at rest; I’ve prepared a comprehensive conversation for you.

What are the Basic Requirements of a Sump Pump?

In most cases, sump pumps are wired into the home electrical system. However, some sump pumps could also have a battery backup. This is essential because the moisture can result in several molds. And it will result in respiratory problems.  

A home’s high-pressure water system may occasionally be used to operate the pump. This means there is no need for electricity. However, this might result in higher operating costs than electrical pumps because portable water must be used instead.

Therefore, by installing a sump pump, you are practically saving bills. So, let’s check out the electrical requirements. Shall we?

Sump Pump Electrical Requirements

Now that you understand the fundamentals, we can move on to the electrical needs. We have discussed the five basic electrical requirements that you need to follow. Without them, the home inspector could charge you. Or worse, there could be an accident. 

So without any further delays, let’s dig in!

Requirement 1

You should check the National Electrical Code for your area. Make sure that there is a separate branch circuit. It must be large enough to fulfill the requirements of the National Electrical Code.

We advise you to have a separate circuit for your sump pump if your neighborhood gets a lot of rain. This is also the case if your basement is built below ground level.

So, do not plug anything else into it. Also, keep your basement moisture-free to avoid accidents.  You can do this without using a dehumidifier

Requirement 2

We have seen that a 15 amp circuit breaker is used in almost every jurisdiction. Devices in your home must run at 125 volts. Most are rated at 110 volts, which means 1725 watts for a 15-amp cord. But you need this outlet to be a single receptacle. And this, too, must be an unfinished location. 

Requirement 3

It’s essential to check the voltage source. It needs to be just like what the pump motor needs. The pump manual should have the voltage information you need. Ensure the electrical supply circuit has enough circuit breakers and fuses to run the pump motor.

Requirement 4

Another essential requirement is that the sump pump switch has to be 4 feet above the basement floor. You should do this to help prevent the receptacle from getting wet.

You should check to ensure that you don’t have any efflorescence on the wall. It means that there is leakage. And the switch should not be placed on that side of the wall. 

Requirement 5

You will see that an electric cord with a grounding conductor is included with the pump. A three-pronged grounding socket should also be there. The pump needs to be grounded in compliance with all applicable local and federal rules, as well as the NEC. 

You have to install this plug correctly. Don’t change the plug that came with your TV. Do not tamper with the supplied plug.

You should get a qualified electrician to install the proper outlet if it doesn’t fit in the outlet you have now. The ground prong should not be removed from the plug.

There are many ways to get the water out of the basement without a pump. But why would you risk it in the first place? Just install a sump pump and avoid being up to your neck in damage repair bills.

Additional Electrical Requirements To Keep your Home Safe

We have listed a few additional tips to make your home safe. You can add these with the installation of your sump pump. 

Use of Water Alarms

A sump pump water alarm will sound to notify you if the water level in your sump pit has increased to an unsafe level. So that you can look into and fix problems before they cause a lot of money. Installing a basement water alarm on the lip of your sump pit is a good idea.

We have prepared a list of the best Water Alarms in the market just for you : 

Product 1
Product 2

Get a Head Start on Water Damage Prevention. Some alarms can withstand temperatures as low as -40 F to 140 F. Check the product description and get those. 

Install GFCI Outlets and Circuit Breakers

GFCI plugs should be used to protect sump pumps. In this case, it should be either at an outlet or a switch that turns on the sump pump’s electricity. These receptacles have better protection against high-frequency noise, making them less likely to trip. 

These switches have a high-tech design that makes them more resistant to surges and voltage fluctuations.

Many of the sump pumps for homes that I’ve seen require GFCI protection because of how they’re set up. However, state or municipal codes may supersede the installation instructions in some circumstances, so be mindful of this.


Question: Can I use extension cords to power the sump pump?

Answer: No, you should not as it could cause accidents. Extension cords can be dangerous if the insulation becomes broken and contacts the water. Besides, extension cords can not supply sufficient power to the  sump.

Question: Should I connect the sump pump to a dedicated circuit?:

Answer: Definitely. To avoid breaker tripping, the sump pump should have its own circuit breaker. And, the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter will help you prevent electrical shock.

Question: Can I put the battery backup on the same circuit as the sump pump?

Answer: Yes, you can, but it’s not a good idea. Remember, the maximum load on a 20-amp circuit should be no more than 2400 watts.


Now, you know everything about sump pump electrical requirements. So you can start installing after you check all these. It is an easy enough process. 

But if you still have doubts, then please contact your local electrician. They will tell you all the guidelines and the local codes. 

Best of luck with your project!