As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
A sump pump is an invaluable gadget for homeowners who live in heavy precipitation areas. In order to tackle the constant wave of floodwater from destroying your home, you need to install a sump pump. A sump pump is the guardian angel that defends your territory against water damage.
Having a pump,
- Protects your basement
- Prevents the growth of molds and mildew
- Saves your home’s foundation from weakening
- Preserves the value of your land
What Is Sump Pump?
A sump pump is a centrifugal pump that is usually installed at the bottom of your sump pit. It removes water that can potentially weaken the foundation of your house.
What are the components of a sump pump?
The sump system consists of three main components – the pump, the sump pit, and the discharge system.
- Sump pump – It is the heart of the system. Depending on the type of pump, it is either kept on top or at the bottom of the basin. The pump contains an impeller. The blades create a low-pressure point that forces the water out through the discharge pipe.
- Sump pits – This is where the water gets collected. The pit or the basin is located at the lowest part of the house, which is usually the crawlspace or the basement.
Inside the pit, there is a float switch that sets everything in motion. As the water keeps collecting inside the basin, the float switch rises along with the water level. After reaching a certain level, the float signals the pump to activate and discard the water.
- Discharge system – At the junction of the discharge pipe, there is a check valve. It ensures that the pumped water does not flow back into the pit. The pipe connects to a tube that dismisses the water to a far-off location.
Why Do You Need A Sump Pump?
To understand whether you need a pump or not, you need to take a look at the list below. If your home falls under any one of these criteria, then you will need a sump pump.
- If your home is previously known for flooding.
- If your home is in a flat zone or a low-lying area with high water retention.
- Precipitation is an important factor if you live in an area where heavy rainfall and snow is known to be common.
- Even if your house doesn’t get affected by floods but has drainage issues.
- If your house has a finished basement but collects moisture.
- Suppose your home has a previously installed sump pump. But, if it is over seven years old, then it is most likely in need of a replacement.
Advantage of Sump Pump
· Keeping basement dry
One of the main reasons behind getting a sump pump is to save your basement. By getting rid of the excess water, the sump pump keeps your home from frequent floods. The pit collects the water, and the pump discards it by pumping it out through the discharge tube.
· Prevents infections
Even if your home isn’t prone to heavy flooding, a small amount of standing water or a wet basement floor can become the perfect breeding ground for molds, fungus, and mildew. These can give rise to a number of health problems for both children and adults. It also triggers breathing allergies in people.
Having a sump pump keeps your basement free of any moisture. Thus, eliminating the possibility of any unwanted growth.
· Sends notifications
The newer version of the sump is more sophisticated than its predecessor. With features like smart monitoring, it can send you alert notifications either by email or text to your phone. So, if your float switch is damaged or the pump water level is rising too quickly, you will be instantly notified.
· Protects the foundation
Without the sump, the water will not only destroy your basement but will also accumulate around the walls of your home. This will erode the soil around the foundation of your house and weaken it. Eventually, it will lead to the formation of cracks and aquifers. Having a sump keeps the water from stagnating around your house and being absorbed by the soil. The pump immediately removes the water and drains it far away at a designated location.
· Increases your real estate value
Water damage can drastically reduce the value of your home. A weakened foundation with creaking hardwood floors can really slash the price. In contrast, a structurally sound house will be more appealing to your buyers. Especially if you are living in a wet area, a home that is fully equipped with waterproofing can be your biggest selling point.
Sump Pump Types
If you are up to speed by now, you understand what a sump pump is and why it is necessary. Also, you should know how much liberty do you have in selecting a pump- here are the options:
Primary Sump Pump
There are two types of primary sump pumps. These pumps run on electricity and must, therefore, be connected to the main power supply of the house.
.Pedestal Sump Pump
The pedestal sump pump is perfect if you are living on a budget. It is reasonably cheaper and can last for up to 25 to 30 years if it is regularly maintained. The pump is placed on top of the sump basin. It is an upright pump with the impeller located inside a scroll housing towards the base of the pedestal. It is driven by a long extension shaft.
Since the pump is kept outside the sump pit, this makes it easily accessible for repairs and replacement. But they do take up most of your storage space and are very noisy during operation.
.Submersible sump pump
The Cast Iron Submersible Sump Pump is more heavy-duty and is hence more expensive. It is placed inside the pit, where it is completely submerged underwater. Therefore, it does not need any room for storage. The motor has a waterproof encasing that prevents it from short-circuiting. The pump is quiet during operation and can remove 1000 gallons of water per hour.
It is equipped to filter out any debris that is present in the sump water. However, submersible pumps cannot last for more than 5 to 10 years, even with proper maintenance.
Secondary sump pumps
It is always a good idea to get a secondary pump for your primary, especially if you are constantly facing power outages. There are two types of secondary sump pumps. These pumps provide additional support to the primary pump. They don’t rely on electricity for running. Therefore, when the power supply is cut off, these pumps automatically turn on and keep handling business as usual.
.Battery-powered backup sump pump
The battery-powered sump pump uses a deep-cycle marine battery for operation. Depending on the quantity of water, there are different models available. Some can be used for occasionally removing while others can be heavy-duty like the Hydropump3000, which can pump 3000 gallons of water per hour through a height of 10 feet.
The backup pump is easy to install and can be used in different households. It does not require an additional discharge pipe; rather, it can simply be connected to the discharge pipe of the primary pump. Although the dual battery case has an allotment for extra batteries, the battery backup system can run for a limited amount of time and has to be replaced every 3 to 5 years.
.Water-powered sump pump
The water-powered backup sump pump uses pressurized water from the municipal supply as a source of power. It can run for an unlimited amount of time. However, it cannot be used in houses with well pumps. The pump uses one gallon of municipal water to pump out two gallons of sump water.
It may not be as powerful as the battery-powered one, but it is more long-lasting and durable. For better knowledge check our article on the differences between both pumps.
Do I need a sump pump in my basement?
When it comes to deciding whether you need a sump pump, there are a few factors that determine whether you need one or not. The factors include but are not limited to-
Previous water issues
If the foundation of your house is old then there are high chances of water seeping in through the cracks. Installing a pump can protect your house.
- If you are living in areas where there is heavy precipitation such as rainfall and snow
- If the land is flat and has very little drainage
- In a low-lying land that is below the water table
- Or if the soil has poor drainage
In these cases, mentioned above, your home is at risk of flooding.
Many homeowners prefer using their basements as storage units. If you are among them, then installing a sump pump can ensure the safety of your household items from water damage.
Do I need a sump pump if I live on a hill?
One of the misconceptions that many homeowners have is that they believe rain and excess groundwater flow downhill, especially when they are living on a hill. While this fact may have some truth to it, but not all of the rainwater trickles down the slope. A good amount of the water gets trapped in the soil surrounding your house. This is because when a house is built, the backfilled soil is loose and can easily soak in water.
Once the soil gets saturated, the water will start seeping into the foundation of your house and eventually makes its way into your basement. So, to keep your basement dry, it is necessary to install a sump pump to get rid of the excess water.
Do I need a sump pump in the crawl space?
According to some surveys, the majority of the houses have moisture trapped in their crawl space, especially if the house is old. A crawl space not only adds height to your house but also accommodates all the plumbing and electrical systems. So, installing the sump pump in the crawl space becomes necessary. The moisture can cause mold to grow and also attract unwanted pest infestation. Having a sump pump can prevent all these issues.
Do walkout basements need sump pumps?
There are a few problems associated with walkout basements such as frost, drainage, and lack of insulation. Although these basements have an exposed drain near the walkout portion of the foundation, they are still prone to flooding. It can be the proximity of the downspout or the geographical location of your house. That is why it is better to have a sump pump installed in the walkout basement.
Do all basements need a sump pump?
The location of your house plays an important factor in deciding whether you need a sump pump or not. If you are living in a dry area where the chances of flooding are little to none, you don’t need a sump pump for your residence. However, some homeowners feel that it is best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and therefore, install one anyway.
Do you need a plumber to install a sump pump/ can I install the sump pump myself just
If you are quite handy with home DIY projects and also have enough expertise in plumbing, you can try installing a sump pump by yourself. However, if you installing one for the first time, I would recommend relying on the professional assistance of an experienced plumber. You may wreck your newly bought pump with new inexperienced hands.
Are sump pumps required by code?
According to the laws regarding new home construction, a sump pump has to be installed in certain areas. Also, the drain pipes should not negatively affect any adjacent properties. The discharge of the drainage pipes should be discarded at an approved location. In addition, it should not be connected to the municipal sewage system.
So, if you are planning to buy a new house, make sure that it undergoes an inspection and see to it that it meets the necessary standards.
When Is the Best Time to Install A Sump Pump?
The perfect timing for the installation of a pump depends on the geographical location of your home. For example, if you happen to live in an area that is prone to severe storms and heavy rains, then it is best to have it installed before summer. On the other hand, if you happen to live in the northern areas where you are likely to receive heavy snowfall, then you can set up your sump system by Fall. So, to figure out the best time, you need to crunch a few numbers about the terrestrial weather patterns.
How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?
In the case of primary pumps, it is advisable to replace the pump after a span of ten years. By this time, the pump begins to constantly show signs of age and most likely is on its last leg. However, with proper maintenance and repairs, a sump pump can last a lot longer than a poorly maintained one.
We have a guide on how to extend the lifespan of the sump pump.
Putting a Period
For many homeowners, a sump pump is nothing short of a lifesaver. It helps in preserving your valuables and saves you from paying a large number of repair bills. It also keeps the environment of your home dry and healthy. Therefore, installing one is necessary. We hope you understand why a pump is the frontline warrior against water damage and whether or not you really need a sump pump in your basement.