Is a Cast iron sump pump always best for a basement?

No two sump pumps are identical. They all have their pros and cons. Outside of their design and features, one of the major differentiators is that some models are made from plastic while others are produced using cast iron for their bodies.

Comparing Plastic and Cast Iron Sump Pumps

Hard plastic is never going to be as durable as cast iron when it comes to protecting pumps. It’s too easy for a plastic pump’s casing to sustain a crack in it that makes it leak like a sieve. By contrast, cast iron isn’t going to leak whether you use it for decades or just a few years.

Look at Value for Money and Pricing

In almost every known example, a plastic sump pump is going to be cheaper than buying a cast iron one. However, the parts making up the sump pump itself might be more advanced. Therefore, you can have a plastic sump pump with advanced capacity vs a cast iron pump that has a more basic specification where the price point is a bit misleading because they don’t reflect pumping capacity but more about the materials used.

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If you’re paying for the shipping separately by the kilogram, then having a cast iron sump pump shipped out will be pricey compared to the plastic version which is considerably lighter.

Durability and Lifetime Value

Consider sump pump reviews how much more use you’ll get from a cast iron sump pump from a premium manufacturer that uses better quality materials and machining with their final products. Because the basic price is higher, the manufacturer can afford to use higher specification parts that tend to break less and prove a longer life.

The lifetime value or cost per year during the full ownership cycle is different between a cast iron and plastic sump pump. If you’re not looking to own your property for longer than 2-3 years before selling up, then I suppose it’s viable to buy a plastic sump pump. However, if you plan to own the property for at least a decade, then investing in a sturdy cast iron one is going to pay dividends over time.

Plastic Impellers Are a Risk Factor

The plastic impeller than usually comes with a plastic sump pump is prone to strip out the motor shaft or get damaged. Damage from debris or falling objects in a basement or floor damage during a storm will quickly break a plastic impeller. This happens more often than with cast iron models.

Contractor Costs to Replace a Poor Sump Pump

You can own several plastic sump pumps that each time need to be replaced or a single cast iron one that lasts years or even decades with the occasional servicing to keep it in good operation. It’s worth considering that hiring in someone to remove a faulty plastic sump pump and replace it with another cheap one or a better-quality cast iron one is expensive. That’s the true cost of buying cheaper initially – your costs for a specialist to come in and replace a broken sump pump can more than double your investment because of trying to nickel and dime at the start.