The first thing you need to look at is the shape. The unique bell shape of the pit above left, allows for a greater amount of water to gather at the inlet of the sump pump. This design causes the sump pump to run less often and more efficiently. Your sump pump will run less often and allow more water to be removed when it is turned on, effectively increasing the life of your sump pump system. Remember, your sump basin needs to be large enough to easily add an extra sump pump or battery backup sump pump. If the basin is not wide enough at the base there will not be enough room for water to collect because of too much equipment being placed in the bottom of the pit.
Following the shape, you will see that some sump basins will have perforated holes around the perimeter and some will not. Depending on the design of the whole system will dictate whether or not perforations are needed. In many clay soils the perforations will help remove water from under the slab. In sandy soils perforations can cause clogging of the sump pump system.
Sealed Sump Lid
The next feature to look for is an airtight, moisture proof lid. The lid or cover is a very important piece to a quality sump basin or waterproofing system. There are several reasons to cover your pit with a lid. First, for safety concerns. With children and pets around you want to keep the sump pit covered to prevent someone or something from falling in the pit. Next, an airtight lid will prevent moisture from migrating throughout the living space. The main purpose of a sump basin is to remove water from the home, so keeping the water in the sump pump basin by using a sump pit lid is necessary. One feature of some sump basin lids is the ability to see through them. Clear, sump pit lids allow you to see into the sump pit and make sure that everything is operating properly. These lids will have a gasket seal surrounding the perimeter which helps fight against noise and prevents moisture from entering the living space while allowing you to observe its functions.
Sump basins are not all built alike. Take your time and evaluate the basin before you decide which type to install. Many of us have “builders grade”, glorified trash cans installed in our homes. If you have basement water problems one of the first upgrades that should be made is the sump basin or pit. A quality basin along with a battery backup sump pump can go a long way towards fixing basement water issues.