By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Anyone who has experienced a flooded basement knows the mess and damage that storm water can create. A submersible sump pump is the best way to drain that floodwater away, protecting appliances and other things that might be damaged. The unit has a waterproof pump and motor that sits in a pit or tank in the floor, where it's plugged into an electrical outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter. As rain or storm water rises, the pump is activated and brings the water out and away from the basement through a discharge pipe.

A plumber will charge $424 to replace a 1/3 hp. Submersible sump pump, which includes labor and material; but you can buy one and make the swap for $175, the cost of the sump pump replacement, and save 58 percent. If you do it yourself, buy a replacement pump that is similar in design to the old unit, so hooking it up won't require any modifications.

You can make the replacement in about two hours, which includes time to thoroughly clean the inlet in the pit and remove any debris or dirt that may have accumulated there. Use a bucket to test the new installation by slowly pouring water into the pit to make sure the pump starts.

Make a habit of checking a sump pump every three months to see that it's working and remove any dirt or debris that may have collected in the bottom. This is particularly important to do in the spring and fall when the rainfall is at its heaviest.

That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to replace a sump pump lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.

Cost updated 2014

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