Sump Pumps – All You Need To Know

Sump pumps are designed to protect homes and basements from water damage by automatically pumping out excess water from the sump pit. Despite their importance, many homeowners are unfamiliar with sump pumps and how they work.

 

Do you have a basement flooding? You should consider a sump pump installation.

flooded basement is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Water can cause extensive damage to your home and be very costly to repair. The sump pump systems are an important part of any building that can prevent flooding.

all you need to know about sump pumps
all you need to know about sump pumps

What Is A Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a pump that is installed in the lowest point of your basement or crawlspace and used to remove water that has accumulated in a sump basin. Its purpose is to remove water accumulated in the sump basin, usually in a house’s basement. Sump pumps help to keep the area dry by pumping the water out and away from the foundation of the home.

The size of the sump basin will determine the size of the pump that is required. Sump pumps are typically small, submersible pumps that are powered by electricity. Some sump pumps are also battery-operated, which can be helpful if there is a power failure.

Some of the sump pumps also have an alarm system that will sound if the water level in the sump basin rises to a certain level. This can help prevent basement flooding.

What are the benefits of having a sump pump?

There are several benefits to having a sump pump:

  • A sump pump can help to protect your home from flooding.
  • A sump pump can help to reduce the risk of water damage in your home.
  • A sump pump can help to reduce mold and mildew growth in your home.

 

How Does A Sump Pump Work?

Water enters the sump basin through drains or by natural seepage. The sump pump then pumps the water out of the basin and away from the home’s foundation.

Most sump pumps are automatic, meaning they will turn on when the water level in the sump basin reaches a certain point and then turn off when the water level has lowered.

Sump pump components and how they work together

A sump pump typically has three main parts:

  1. The float switch is a sensor that tells the pump when to turn on and off. When water levels in the sump basin reach a certain point, the float switch activates and signals the pump to start working. Once the water level drops back down, the switch deactivates, and the pump turns off.
  2. The impeller is the part of the pump that moves water through it. It is usually made of plastic or metal and is powered by an electric motor. As water enters the sump basin, the impeller starts spinning, and forces water up through the discharge pipe.
  3. The discharge pipe is a hose that carries water away from the sump basin. It is usually made of PVC or other durable material, and it should be at least two inches in diameter. The pipe must be sloped so that water flows away from the house, and it should be long enough to reach an area where the water can drain safely.

 

Sump pumps are a simple but effective way to keep your basement or crawl space dry. By understanding how they work, you can be sure that your pump is always ready to do its job.

Why does the sump pump fail?

There are several reasons why sump pumps fail. The most common reason is that the pump loses power and is unable to turn on. A power outage can cause this, as a tripped circuit breaker, or a blown fuse. Other reasons for sump pump failure include clogged intake screens, clogged impellers, worn-out bearings, and broken float switches. If your sump pump fails, it is important to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid flooding in your home.

 

Different Types Of Sump Pumps

There are four different types of sump pumps:

Pedestal Sump Pumps 

If you’re in the market for a new sump pump, there’s no better time than now! Pedestal pump models offer many features that traditional ones don’t. Pedestal pumps work by sinking down below ground level so they can be outfitted with an under-sink tunnel which is perfect if your home has strange-shaped lot sizes or steep grading nearby. One of the benefits of pedestal pumps is that they’re not as susceptible to clogging from debris.

Submersible Sump Pumps

Submersible sump pump is one of, if not the most popular type on the market. As the name suggests, these sump pumps work by being placed directly into your pit. Once there, they’ll sit discreetly out of sight until needed. Because these devices are small and require little maintenance, they’re perfect for basements that have a limited amount of space. Because submersible sump pumps are permanently installed, you’ll never have to worry about them floating to the surface and becoming damaged during a flood.

Battery-Operated Sump Pumps 

Many people are familiar with the idea of an emergency generator for power outages, but what about something that can solve your drainage problems? A battery-operated sump pump known as “battery backup” may be just what you need. These devices use batteries to operate, which means they’ll still be able to pump water even if the power goes out. Most battery-operated sump pumps will have a backup power source that kicks in if the batteries start to run low. This is usually a generator or solar panel.

Battery backup sump pumps are an important piece of equipment for any homeowner who wants to protect their home from flooding. If you live in an area where power outages are common, or if you want to be prepared for anything, a battery backup sump pump is a wise investment. If your primary pump fails for any reason, a backup pump will take over and continue to protect your home from flooding.

Water-Powered Sump Pumps 

Water-powered sump pumps are an excellent choice for people who want a reliable pump but don’t want to worry about electricity costs. These devices use the pressure of water from your home’s plumbing system to power the pump. This type of pump is perfect for people who live in an area with a lot of rainfall because it means the pump will always have a water source.

How To Choose The Right Sump Pump For Your Home?

When choosing a sump pump, there are several factors you need to take into account:

The Size Of Your Sump Pit 

You must ensure that your pump is the right size for your sump pit. If the pit is too small, the pump will have to work harder and could overheat. If the pit is too large, the pump might not be powerful enough to remove all the water.

The Capacity Of The Pump 

The pump’s capacity is measured in gallons per hour (GPH). This is the amount of water that the pump can move in an hour. To calculate the capacity you need, first, determine the amount of water your pit can hold. This is the volume of your pit. To calculate the volume, multiply the length by the width by the depth. Once you know the volume, multiply it by 0.6 to find out how much water you need to remove in an hour. For example, if your pit is 20 gallons, you would need a pump with a capacity of 12 GPH (20 x 0.6 = 12).

The Height Of The Discharge Pipe 

Another essential factor to consider is the height of the discharge pipe. This is the pipe that carries water away from your home. The higher the discharge pipe, the more power your pump will need to move the water.

How Much Does A Sump Pump Cost?

Sump pumps can range in price from around $100 to $1,000. The type of pump you choose, as well as the size and capacity, will affect the cost. Battery-operated and water-powered models tend to be on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

The most common type of sump pump is a submersible pump, designed to be placed in a pit or basin. This type of pump typically costs between $200 and $500.

If you have a complex drainage system, you may need a more powerful sump pump, which can cost up to $1,000. These pumps are usually more extensive and durable than submersible pumps and can handle higher volumes of water.

You may also need to purchase a backup sump pump, which can cost around $150 to $250. This type of pump kicks in if your primary pump fails, ensuring that your basement stays dry even during a power outage.

If you are not sure which type of sump pump you need, it is best to consult with a professional before making your purchase. This way, you can be sure that you are getting the right pump for your needs and budget.

Sump Pumps
Sump Pumps

How Often Do Sump Pumps Need To Be Replaced?

Sump pumps typically last for around ten years. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of your pump, as well as how often it is used. If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall or your pump is constantly running, it may need to be replaced more frequently.

It is a good idea to have your sump pump checked by a professional every few years to ensure it is in good working condition. This way, you can catch any problems early and avoid costly repairs down the line.

What are the signs that my sump pump needs to be replaced?

There are several signs that your sump pump might need to be replaced:

  • The pump is making strange noises
  • The pump is not turning on
  • The pump is not removing water from the pit
  • The pump is leaking

 

If you notice any of these problems, it is best to consult with a professional sump pump installer. They will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action.

Sump Pump Installation

Installing a sump pump is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, be sure to select a pump that is appropriate for the size of your sump pit. Second, if you’re installing an electric pump, be sure to use a proper grounding rod and wire. Third, when connecting the discharge pipe to the pump, be sure to use a check valve to prevent backflow. Finally, when choosing a location for the sump pit, be sure to consider both aesthetics and function.

Sump Pump Installation Tips

  1. Select a pump that is appropriate for the size of your sump pit.
  2. Be sure to level the sump pit before installation to ensure proper drainage.
  3. If your sump pit is in an area prone to flooding, be sure to install a flood alarm to alert you of rising water levels.
  4. Be sure to test your sump pump regularly to ensure it is working properly.

 

Follow these tips, and you’ll surely have a successful sump pump installation. If you have any questions, consult a professional plumber or contractor.

Common Problems And How To Solve Them

The sump Pump Runs Constantly.

If your sump pump runs constantly, it could be due to a clogged inlet screen or impeller, a faulty float switch, or an issue with the discharge pipe. If the inlet screen or impeller is clogged, clean it out and see if that solves the problem. If the float switch isn’t working properly, you may need to replace it. Lastly, if there’s an issue with the discharge pipe, you’ll need to call a professional to take a look at it.

The sump Pump Won’t Turn On

There are several reasons why your sump pump may not turn on. First, make sure that there is power running to the unit. If there is, then check to see if the float switch is stuck in the “on” position. If it is, you’ll need to replace it. Another possibility is that the impeller is clogged, in which case you’ll need to clean it out. Lastly, it’s possible that the motor itself has burned out and will need to be replaced.

The sump Pump Runs Intermittently.

If your sump pump runs intermittently, it could be due to a problem with the float switch. The float switch may not be closing properly, which would cause the pump to turn on and off erratically. You can try cleaning the float switch or replacing it altogether. It’s also possible that there is an issue with the discharge pipe, which would need to be fixed by a professional.

Sump Pump Is Noisy

If your sump pump is noisy, it could be due to a build-up of sediment in the impeller. Clean out the impeller and see if that solves the problem. It’s also possible that the motor is going wrong and will need to be replaced.

The sump Pump Won’t Shut Off.

There are several reasons why your sump pump may not shut off. First, check to see if the float switch is stuck in the “on” position. If it is, you’ll need to replace it. Another possibility is that there is an obstruction in the discharge pipe, which would need to be removed by a professional. Finally, it’s possible that the motor itself is faulty and will need to be replaced.

If you’re having any issues with your sump pump, it’s best to call a professional for help. Trying to fix the problem yourself could make it worse and end up costing you more in the long run.

Sump Pump Alternative

French Drain

If you are looking for an alternative to a sump pump, you might want to consider a French drain. French drains are installed around the perimeter of your basement and are designed to collect and redirect water away from your home.

French drains can be installed by a professional and typically cost between $1,500 and $3,000. However, this price will vary depending on the size of your basement and the severity of the problem. French drains are a good option for homes that do not have a sump pit, or for those who want to prevent water from entering their basement in the first place.

Window Well Drain

Another alternative to a sump pump is a window well drain. Window well drains are installed around the perimeter of your basement windows and are designed to collect and redirect water away from your home.

Window well drains can be installed by a professional and typically cost between $600 and $1,800. However, this price will vary depending on the size of your basement and the severity of the problem. Window well drains are a good option for homes that have window wells or for those who want to prevent water from entering their basement in the first place.

Waterproofing

Another solution for preventing water from entering your basement is waterproofing the walls and floors. Waterproofing can be done by a professional and typically costs between $1,500 and $18,000. However, this price will vary depending on what type of waterproofing you need.

You have two main options when it comes to waterproofing your basement:

  1. Exterior waterproofing: This type of waterproofing is done from the outside of your home and involves excavation. It is typically used for homes that have serious water problems.
  2. Interior waterproofing: This type of waterproofing is done from the inside of your home and does not require excavation. It is typically used for homes that have minor water problems.

 

Waterproofing is a good option for homes that have already experienced flooding or water damage. It can also help to prevent future problems by making your basement more resistant to water.

No matter what type of sump pump alternative you choose, it is important to consult with a professional before making any decisions.

Summary

Sump pumps are an effective way to remove water from your basement, but they require regular maintenance and inspection. There are a few alternatives to sump pumps, including French drains, window well drains, and waterproofing. But sump pumps are the most common and effective means of preventing basement flooding.

You should inspect your sump pump regularly, at least once a year. Check the inlet screen for debris, and clear it if necessary. Inspect the discharge pipe to make sure it is not blocked or frozen. Test the pump by pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The pump should turn on and begin pumping the water out. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to have it repaired or replaced.

Sump pumps require electricity to operate, so if you experience a power outage, you’ll need to have a backup plan in place. A battery-operated backup sump pump is the best option, as it will keep your basement dry even if the power is out for an extended period of time.

While sump pumps are designed to last for many years, eventually, they will need to be replaced. When choosing a new sump pump, be sure to select one that is the correct size for your needs, and that has features that you find important.

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FAQ

If you are experiencing flooding in your basement, or if your sump pump is not working properly, you should call a professional to inspect and repair your sump pump.

You should inspect your sump pump at least once a year. Check the inlet screen for debris, and clear it if necessary. Inspect the discharge pipe to make sure it is not blocked or frozen. Test the pump by pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The pump should turn on and begin pumping the water out. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to have it repaired or replaced.

If you experience a power outage, you’ll need to have a backup plan in place. A battery-operated backup sump pump is the best option, as it will keep your basement dry even if the power is out for an extended period of time.

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