Sump Pump Vs Utility Pump – Which One Do I need?

Do you know the difference between a sump pump and a utility pump? A sump pump is used to remove water from your basement, while a utility pump removes water from large bodies of water such as lakes.

Sump pumps are usually installed in the basement or lower level of a home, and they work by pumping out excess water that accumulates below ground level. Utility pumps on the other hand operate outside of buildings and can be found at docks, marinas, and boatyards. They often provide pumping services to boats that need emptying before moving them into storage or for repairs.

Do you want to learn more about what these two pumps do? Read this post!

Sump Pump Vs Utility Pump

What is a sump pump?

A sump pump is a small, electrically powered pump that is installed at the lowest point of your basement. When the water level reaches a certain level, it automatically turns on and off as needed to keep your basement from flooding. A battery backup sump pump system is a different type of system, one that would keep your basement from flooding even when the main power supply has failed.

What is a Utility Pump?

A utility pump is a larger, more powerful pump that can be used to drain standing water from sources outside your home. This type of system would be used in cases where a natural disaster or some other cause has caused the need to get rid of a large volume of water quickly. A battery backup system does not come with this type of pump.

How do I know which one I need?

In most cases, you'll want to install both a sump pump and a backup utility pump if your home requires it. The main difference between using the two types is what they are designed for: A sump pump will keep your basement dry in the event that you cannot find someone to help with removing standing water in time or when there is no other method available to do so. 

A backup utility pump is more of an emergency system, being used only when all else has failed and you are left with no other choice but to pump standing water out of your home.

Which pumps are recommended for which types of homes?

Homeowners who live in areas that are known to flood periodically or that have problems with standing water due to heavy rains, storms, high winds, etc., should invest in a backup utility pump system. This will allow these homeowners to remove hundreds of gallons or more of standing water within minutes without having to call for help.

People living in flood zones might consider investing in both sump pumps and battery backup systems depending on their specific needs. Larger homes with high water tables, for example, may need two pumps; one to keep the basement dry and another to remove water when the first pump fails.

Those with smaller homes or those who do not expect their home to become flooded due to severe weather should be alright with only a sump pump system. A backup utility pump is most often used in an emergency situation, and should not be used for routine maintenance.

Can I use the two systems together?

Yes, homeowners who have both a sump pump AND a backup utility pump installed can activate them at the same time. The utility pump may be more necessary in cases where it is simply too much for the sump pump to handle alone—but if it is not powerful enough on its own, then certainly neither will be able to work effectively.

Can I use a utility pump as a sump pump?

A utility pump is not designed to be used as a sump pump. No matter how powerful the utility pump might be, it will not work for your basement's lowest point and is therefore useless as a sump pump.
Sump pumps come with different levels of power depending on the needs of each homeowner and will usually shut on automatically if too much water enters the pit. Utility pumps are designed to run constantly until they are either manually turned off or drained through use, whichever happens first.

Sump Pump Vs Utility Pump

Here we review both types of pumps. You can find the difference between a sump pump and a utility pump.

Superior Pump 91330 1/3 HP Thermoplastic Utility Pump

Superior Pump 91330 1/3 HP Thermoplastic Utility Pump

A sturdy and dependable utility pump, this Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump is the perfect product for homes or businesses.
Unique tough thermoplastic construction ensures reliability even with frequent use, and a 10-foot cord length provides plenty of movement to all sorts of jobs around your house.
This particular model can ferry more than 2,400 gallons per hour through solid objects up to 1/8-inch in size.

In addition to its versatility, it comes with three accessories: 3/4" garden hose adapter included so you'll never have to go without any attachments on hand, a removable suction screen which makes draining fluids a breeze after pumping water from a basement on soap scum from a bathtub smooth as silk.

Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump

Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump

The Zoeller M53 Mighty-mate Submersible Sump Pump has been protecting homeowners from flooding since 1978. This heavy-duty sump pump uses a thermally protected motor to supply all the power you need for any job. And with industry-leading quality control processes in place, this is one powerful pump that will be tough on clogs and corrosion.
The solid buoyant polypropylene float gives you an extra layer of protection against any problems without inhibiting performance like filling the tube with weights can do.
With CarboN coating for excellent rust resistance plus convenience features like automatic reset thermal overload protection, this serviceable high strength cast iron sump pump operates safely within 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 Celsius).


This post has shown you the difference between a utility pump and a sump pump, as well as some of the considerations to make when choosing which one is right for your home. Now make your decision which one you need.

About the Author Juan Williams

Leave a Comment: