Sump pump vs Ejector pump (Comparison Guide)

No matter if you have just started in the pump industry, or if you have been in the industry for a couple of years or even decades – you have come across these pumps. Let’s put these pumps in a battle of sump pump vs ejector pump and go over the functions, specifics, problems, and cost that each of these pumps faces. 

Even though these highly technical pumps require an expert to work with them, it’s always good to know what each pump does on the occasion that a problem occurs with one of them.

Sump pump vs ejector pump


If you are a newbie or looking to do your own plumbing, you may be wondering, “Is an ejector pump the same as a sump pump?”. They may look very similar, but you use them for very different things. So, to simply answer this question; the answer is no. An ejector pump is not the same as a sump pump. Let’s see why.

One of the reasons why people tend to get these two pumps is because of the fact that you can most commonly find them in the basement of your home or in crawl spaces. Their main function is for access water not to accumulate in these spaces. If you are a homeowner, you know how bad it can get once you get some excess precipitation.

These two types of pumps are extremely practical when it comes to preventing floods and therefore, protecting your home from any potential water damage caused by the accumulation of snow or rain.

Pros of submersible pumps

  • Handles large volumes of water
  • Can handle solids
  • Most have a battery backup
  • Saves space in your basement
  • Quieter than pedestal pumps

Cons of submersible pumps

  • More expensive
  • Harder to access; might need to tear floor for access

What is the difference between sump pump and ejector pump?

Well, the answer is quite simple.

The sump pump’s primary role is to pump out the water out of the sump pit. This is what protects the basement from any flooding. It has a drain pipe that brings the water outside. An ejector pump is a pump that pumps water from the inside of the basement out.

For example, when you use the bathroom, the wastewater is pumped by the ejector pump to the outside. The ejector pump is connected to the sewer or the septic, as well as a vent pipe. This vent pipe gets rid of the sewer gases. The ejector pump is more sensitive since it deals with raw sewage, unlike the sump pump.

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Another set of answers is the cost and the type of problems that you have to deal with. Most commonly, due to its sensitivity and what it deals with, it is common to run into ejector pump problems. Ejector pump cost is also often higher than the cost of sump pumps.

How they work?


The sump pump is either within the sump basin or sits above it. The sump basin is a cylindrical pit that goes at least about two feet below floor level. Once the water starts overflowing and collecting where the sump basin is located, the sump pump starts pumping through a drain line, ridding itself of the collected water.

The pump activates itself once it detects a certain weight. This process gets rid of the water inside of the home by dispersing it well away from the foundation of the house. The drain line can also be connected to a storm sewer. 

Similar to sump pumps, ejector pumps are also below your basement floor. However, it collects the wastewater that comes from the house. That means the water that comes from the washer, the bathroom, the floor drains, sinks, and so on. For example, when you flush, the ejector pump activates.

The discharge pipe of the ejector is connected to a sewer line. When sewage is handled, the lid is sealed and the previously mentioned vent piper gets rid of the sewer gasses in a safe manner.


These pumps are extremely important for your home and your well-being. Well, extremely important is quite an understatement. This is why you need to be aware of the issues that can happen when dealing with these two types of pumps. It is to be noted that ejector pumps are much expensive and harder to replace.

Sump pumps tend to be more long-lasting, and not nearly as much trouble in comparison to the ejector pump problems that may occur. However, there has been a rise in sump pump failure, so you might want to get yours checked out just in case.

Cons of ejector pumps

  • Can get clogged due to large or solid objects
  • Risk of flooding if the pump fails to activate
  • The appearance of black or grey water which is a health risk
  • Inability to activate if there is a power outage with no backup system

Cons of sump pumps

  • May develop a damaged float switch, which prevents the pump from activating/deactivating
  •  Inability to activate if there is a power outage with no backup system
  • Battery backup failing, not allowing it to activate during a power outage
  •  Repeated turning on and off of the pump

Pedestal sump pump vs submersible sump pump


As previously mentioned, there are two types of sump pumps. The pedestal sump sumps are considered exterior sump pumps. The motor of the pump is on a rack above the sump pit, connected to an extension submerged into the pit. While submersible, like the name suggests, is submerged in the water. The motor is inside of the water too.

If you built your house, chances are that you have a submersible sump pump since they are the most common type and most often placed during construction. Both types of pumps have their upsides and downsides.

Pros od pedestal pumps

  • Durability (longer lifespan)
  •  Cheaper
  • Not bulgy, can fit in smaller spaces, as well as in shallow water
  • Uses less energy
  • Easier to repair

Cons of pedestal pumps

  • Gets clogged by debris
  • Not for areas susceptible to flooding; can’t handle large amounts of water
  • Can be an eyesore


Both of these pumps are of utmost importance when it comes to your home. Without a modern sump pump, you would be on the edge of your seat every time heavier rain starts to fall. Then, it’s highly likely that your floors will start rotting, which can lead to serious health issues. Directly putting you and your family in danger.

Factor in all of the things that are important for you, like the price, the effectiveness, and the fixability. Only you know what the best choice for your home is. Let this article be a reminder that you might want to get both your sump and ejector pump checked.