What does a sump pump do?

A sump pump removes standing water from the sump basin in a basement or crawl space. When the water reaches a certain level, the sump pump turns on and removes the water through a discharge pipe or hose. A sump pump can also be used in other applications for general dewatering, storm shelters, and performing emergency water transfer. Installing a sump pump is easy and can be completed using simple household tools in about 30 minutes.

Questions before selecting your pump

What type of pump do you currently have?

Pedestal Sump Pump

Although effective in the application, in heavy rain or flooding situations, the motor can be submerged as it is exposed above the sump basin. They can easily be replaced by a submersible pump.

Submersible Sump Pump

These pumps are submerged under water. A submersible pump can replace a pedestal pump and is more efficient.

What is the size of your current pump?

For the same size pump as the one you have, check the identification plate to determine horsepower (hp). If the horsepower isn't clearly identified on the label, the model number of the product can help you determine it. If the model number contains a 25 it will most likely be a 1/4 hp pump; if the model number contains 3, 30, 31 or 33 it will most likely be a 1/3 hp pump; if the model number contains 5, 50 or 52 it will most likely be a 1/2 hp pump; if the model numbers contains 7 or 75 it will most likely be a 3/4 hp pump; if the model number contains 1 or 100 it will most likely be a 1 hp pump. For example an RL-SC50T is a 1/2 hp pump. Check with the pump manufacturer or call our hotline at 888.956.0000 if you aren't sure.

Information to consider when choosing your sump pump


You will want to choose a pump that has at least the same horsepower as your current pump. If your existing pump isn't sufficient (water is found on the basement floor), move up a size. If your existing pump is wearing out too quickly, move down a size.

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Type of Switch

There are three types of switches that Red Lion offers on their sump pumps. All three offer reliability and effectiveness and provide efficient service in moving large volumes of water.

Tethered Float Switch

The tethered float switch is a buoy device attached with a cord that raises and lowers with the water level, activating a switch inside the pump telling it to turn on, drain the water, and then turn off once water level has subsided. Debris can't hinder operation therefore this switch is used for sump, effluent or sewage applications. Replacement switches are available.

Vertical Float Switch

The vertical float switch is a buoy device attached with a rod that raises and lowers with the water level; activating a switch attached outside the pump telling it to turn on, drain the water and then turn off once the water level has subsided. This style allows for installation in confined areas. This switch is designed for sump applications only. Replacement switches are available.

Snap-Action Float Switch

The snap-action float switch is a contractor-preferred switch built into the pump. It's designed for confined areas, but unlike a traditional vertical float switch, debris can't hinder operation so it is suitable for sump and effluent applications. The switch features a solid float that will never become waterlogged.

Pump Housing

Depending on the model, Red Lion pump housings are constructed with reinforced thermoplastic, cast iron, or stainless steel. While all models feature quality material and workmanship, the reinforced thermoplastic housing is corrosion and rust resistant; the cast iron housing is stronger, heavier, and more durable. Our premium stainless steel models combine corrosion resistance with the strength and durability of the cast iron housing and features the longest warranty.

Typical Installation

Tools needed