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What is a Sump Pump and Why Do You Need One?

With the increased rainfall in the recent years, basement flooding has become more prominent. There are many different ways to prevent flooding such as a backflow valve and insulation, but one method you should consider is installing a sump pump.

What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a pump located in your basement or crawlspace with the purpose of removing excess water (rain or ground) from entering your home. Most sump pumps are usually installed in sump pits (or sump basins) which are dug underneath the concrete floor.

When it rains, water begins to collect from the foundation drains and is pushed through a pipe in the basement wall. Most sump pumps turn on automatically once the water rises through a float activator or a pressure sensor. The pipe system should direct water away from the house, and expel it onto the ground surface at a safe distance. The water should not be going directly onto the street or into the sanitary sewer system. Should the sump pump fail to work, there is also an option for you to manually activate the pump. Without a sump pump, groundwater can quickly collect in your foundation and possibly flood the basement.

The Two Types of Sump Pumps

A submersible pump is placed inside of the sump pit and hidden from view. It runs quietly but will wear out faster as they are submerged in water. They last anywhere from five to fifteen years depending on the amount of routine maintenance you perform.

Pedestal pumps are cheaper and do not sit under water. They can last up to twenty-five years with good quality maintenance and care. Unfortunately, it is considerably loud compared to the submersible, and you’ll be able to hear when it is in the process of discharging water. For anyone who is working or sleeping near the basement, this can be quite a bother.

The Two Types of Sump Pumps

A submersible pump is placed inside of the sump pit and hidden from view. It runs quietly but will wear out faster as they are submerged in water. They last anywhere from five to fifteen years depending on the amount of routine maintenance you perform.

Pedestal pumps are cheaper and do not sit under water. They can last up to twenty-five years with good quality maintenance and care. Unfortunately, it is considerably loud compared to the submersible, and you’ll be able to hear when it is in the process of discharging water. For anyone who is working or sleeping near the basement, this can be quite a bother.

How to Care For Your Sump Pump

Performing sump pump maintenance at least once a year is recommended to check if it’s running correctly. Ideally, early spring is the perfect time to check, this is right before it starts to rain frequently.

To perform the check, you will need to slowly pour buckets of water into your sump pit and wait until the device turns on. Once it turns on, wait for all the water to be pumped out. If the water is not properly drained or fails to turn on, you should call us to inspect and repair or replace the machine.

Additional maintenance tips include:

  • Clearing debris from intake screen
  • Taking out visible debris from sump pit
  • Removing obstructions from discharge pipe
  • Making sure it’s plugged in and the cord is intact
  • Properly positioning the pump if it has fallen or leaning to one side
  • Testing backup battery

Sump pumps run on electricity and power outages happen during particularly heavy storms. Having a backup available is recommended to prevent basement flooding in case power is lost. You can have an additional power source connected or choose to get an auxiliary pump.

How A Professional Can Help

Aside from installing the sump pump, we can also help you inspect your pump annually. We will:

  • Check to see if pump and switches are running smoothly
  • Clear debris and obstructions
  • Test battery back-up pump
  • Check alarm’s battery
  • Conduct a flood test
  • Check discharge line for clogs
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Once your sump pump is up and running properly, you won’t have to think about it until an emergency happens! If you have any questions, please contact us.