Twice so far this Spring we have had unusually heavy rains hit our area. Rain is usually more than welcome, but still too much of a good thing can be bad. Both of these extremely heavy rains hit back-to-back and shortly after I had planted my flowerbed-style gardens. Unfortunately, because of my yard’s drainage, the rain that does not soak into the ground ends up at one end of my yard in one of my flower/garden beds. With both of these rains, the young plants I had planted there (i.e., tomato and pepper plants) ended up standing in 5-6 inches of water – – – some of the pepper plants were close to being completely covered up by the standing water. In both of these cases, my submersible utility pump came to the rescue, and I was able to pump the standing water from the flowerbed without the plants being damaged or killed.
Year after year my submersible utility pump has proven to be one of the most useful and most stress-reducing tools that I own. The two ways I normally use my submersible utility pump are to use the pump to either pump out the rainwater that collects under my house (an annual occurrence) because of the poor drainage in my yard or, as in this Spring’s case, to pump water out of my garden beds to save my plantings. But, submersible utility pumps can be used for a host of other things (e.g., draining the water from hot tubs and swimming pools, pumping water from creeks to water gardens or to fill animal watering troughs, pumping water out of your basement, etc).
The submersible utility pump that I own, use, and recommend is the Superior Model 91250 Submersible Utility Pump. The Superior 91250 has a 1/4 Horse Power motor that operates off a standard 120 volt electrical outlet. With a 1/4 HP motor, the Superior 91250 gives me (your typical homeowner) probably more water pumping power than I will ever need. For example: If you are removing water from under your house and the pump is just having to raise the water a couple of feet high (which is normally the case when pumping water out from under your house), the Superior 91250 can pump out over 22 gallons a minute which equates to over 1,320 gallons an hour. That’s a lot of water being removed fairly quickly!
Plus, the Superior 91250 has some other features that make this pump the pump you want to get. First, the pump is submersible so you can put it down into water much deeper than the pump’s 9 3/4 inch height. Second, there is a handle on the top of the pump which allows you to easily pickup, carry, and reposition the pump without any trouble. Third, the pump has a 10 foot electrical cord which is longer than the cord that some other pumps have and in some cases can save you having to use an extension cord. Fourth, you can attach a very large 1 1/4 inch drainage hose to the pump to remove the water faster if you want, but the pump also comes with a 3/4 inch adaptor that you can use to remove the water with a regular garden hose (like I do). Fifth, the pump has thermal over-load protection built into it. If the water being pumped is too hot (i.e., over 120 degrees), the thermal over-load protector will shut the pump down and let it cool off and then reset the pump so it can start working again. Sixth, the pump has a built-in anti-airlock device which helps keep the pump from malfunctioning and which you can easily clean out with a paperclip if it becomes clogged. (I have never had to clean mine out.) Seventh, once the pump starts (note: the pump needs to be standing in at least 1 inch of water for it to start), it will pump down to within 1/4 inch of the surface that the pump is sitting on. Eighth, the pump has a slender base so it can be put down into a space that is only 6 inches in wide. Ninth, if you want, you can also use the Superior 91250 as a “sump pump” by just adding a float switch to it. Tenth, the pump comes with a one year limited warranty in case it should have some sort of manufacturing defect. (I have never had any sort of problem with mine.)
I would also like to offer a couple of tips in using any submersible utility pump that I have found to be very helpful. First, to help keep the pump’s strainer screen from becoming clogged put your utility pump inside a 5 gallon size paint strainer bag (you can find them at almost any hardware or paint store) and tie the bag up tight to the pump right under the handle on the pump – – – the strainer bag will help keep debris from getting to the pump’s strainer screen and clogging it. Second, if the ground where you will be resting the pump is muddy, just put a 6 inch square of tile down first in the muddy water and then set the pump right down on top of the piece of tile. If the ground is extremely muddy, use a large brick and put the your pump down on the top of the brick. The tile/brick will help keep the mud away from the pump’s intake and allow the pump to remove the water faster. I hope these two tips help!
If you want to get a submersible utility pump (and I think ever homeowner or do-it-yourselfer should have one), I strongly recommend that you get the Superior 91250 Submersible Utility Pump. It is a very well-made pump that is very easy to use, works extremely well (Amazon customers rated this pump 4.7 out of 5 stars), and is not overly expensive (list price is about $100 but you can usually buy it for about $65-$70 on Amazon).