Do Finished Basements Need a Sump Pump?

It is equally important to have a sump pump in finished basement just as much as in an unfinished one. If your basement is vulnerable to moisture and flooding, a sump pump is a great investment to preserve your finished basement. It even increases the value of your house and makes you eligible for property insurance in some areas. In addition to having a sump pump in your basement, you can improve it further by trying different dehumidifying methods to keep it dry. This improves the hygiene and quality of your living space.

sump pump in finished basement

Why Do You Need a Sump Pump?

Certain basements might remain dry throughout the year, while some might need more than one sump pump to keep out the water during storms. So, to determine whether you need a sump pump for your basement, you can check out a few factors to start with. If you are purchasing a new house, you should first check the following possibilities, which indicate that you should have a sump pump in the basement.

  • Check your local water table to find the average water depth ranges in each season. You can simply consult the local monitoring agency to get accurate groundwater data.
  • Check whether your house is located in a low-lying area compared to the other lands.
  • Examine the draining ability of your soil and the slope of your land near the foundation and towards the rest of the land.
  • Look around the house and inside the basement for signs that indicate water damage caused by flooding in the past.

In addition to these, you should definitely have a sump pump in your house if:

  • A lot of valuable properties are located in the basement, including expensive appliances.
  • There are family members allergic to mold and have other breathing disorders.

Even if you don’t have flooding issues in your region, a sump pump helps to preserve the foundation as it stabilizes the soil around the house. Having a sump pump even increases the resale value of your house since it assures the buyers that the property is well-protected.

Can You Have a Sump Pump in a Finished Basement?

Regardless of the fact that the basement is finished or unfinished, having a sump pump installed is highly recommended. This might even be more for finished basements as they can easily hide moisture and drainage issues than unfinished ones. You need to install the sump pump at the lowest point of the basement, which is more likely to collect water. 

Once water enters the sump pit, the float switch detects the rise in water level. It then activates the pump to remove water from your basement. Since primary sump pumps work on electricity, the process is interrupted during power failures. So, to prevent your basement from flooding during a blackout, you can install a backup sump pump that is powered by a battery or water.

How to Hide a Sump Pump in a Finished Basement?

There will be a hole left in your basement floor as you install a sump pump. But this can be covered by using a sump pump cover or alternative ways. Sump pumps are also considered unattractive, especially if your basement is finished. But it would definitely be worth having a sump pump rather than having a wet, damp basement with mold and odor. Here are some hacks for hiding sump pump in finished basement.

  • Build a closet around the sump pump hole to increase your storage while minimizing the sound from the sump pump.
  • Use sheetrock to encase the area or place a folding room divider to cover it.
  • Build a seat over the hole safely so that it doesn’t fall in.
  • Create a fake/ removable floor over the hole.
  • Place some large potted plants over the area to add an aesthetic appeal to your basement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does It Matter Where You Put a Sump Pump?

A sump pump should be installed at the exact spot where water normally collects on the basement floor. This is usually the lowest-lying location in the basement, where water flows naturally. You can try to figure out this location by sight, or you can even use a level to find the precise point. If you inspect the basement during rain, you can easily figure out this if you haven’t already installed a sump pump.

How Many Sump Pumps Do I Need in My Basement?

The recommendation is to have 2 sump pumps for each sump pit, the primary and the backup. The primary sump pump runs on electricity, and hence, you need to have a battery-powered or water-powered backup sump pump in case of a power outage. If you live in a region with constant flooding and heavy rainstorms, you can even consider installing two primary sump pumps. It reduces the workload and strain on a single pump. This even increases the lifespan of each sump pump due to the reduced working load and time.

Why Doesn’t My Basement Have a Sump Pump?

Your basement might not have a sump pump if the previous owner of the house decided not to install one. It can be either if there wasn’t a need for one or simply a result of neglect. Some homeowners ignore moisture problems if they plan to sell the house eventually. This happens mostly with unfinished basements as the owners will simply live with flooding if there are no valuable items located in the basement. If your house is built on a concrete slab, then there will be no sump pump. Sump pumps are designed to remove water around the foundation that seeps into the basement. Since there is no basement, in this case, there is no need to have a sump pump.


The best time to install a sump pump is before finishing a basement. However, you can also install a sump pump in finished basement carefully and then disguise it. A sump pump protects the house from water damage that could cost thousands of dollars. Make sure to service your sump pump and check that the float switch isn’t stuck, so that you don’t have to worry just before a heavy storm.

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