A sump pump can be essential for keeping your house safe and dry, especially if you live in a low area with rain and frequent flooding problems. It’s also a problem if you live near a river or lake, in a region with a higher water table, or if your home is built on moisture-retaining soil.
Some houses will benefit from sump pumps more than others. How do you know if a sump pump is worth the investment? There are ways to tell, but first, let’s dive into what these pumps are and how they work.
What is a Sump Pump?
Your home may already have a sump pump, and you don’t even know it! These appliances are easy to miss since they are very inconspicuous.
You will probably find them at or near the lowest point in your home. They often look like a small circular motor secured to the floor or a small pump machine linked to a pipe running into a hole in the ground.
A sump pump will always be accompanied by a pipe running up to the ceiling and outside.
These pumps are meant to keep water from building up under your foundation. If too much water saturates the soil under a home, this can cause flooding and moisture issues in your basement and lead to health hazards and property damage.
How Sump Pumps Work
Draining water out from beneath the house requires access below the house. A sump pump needs a hole below the lowest point in the foundation where water from highly saturated soil can pool.
The sump pump isn’t running all the time. Water levels ebb and flow according to weather, soil composition, or proximity to water. Some periods will see more water moving through the soil than others.
A sump pit acts as a collection location for water beneath the house. It is constructed out of materials that allow water to seep through the ground and closer to the interior of your home.
Sump pits – also known as sump basins – are slightly more complicated than your regular hole in the ground. A sump pit is designed to siphon water from the surrounding earth without collapsing or eroding. These are made using various techniques involving:
- plastic cylinders
- mesh cloth
- loose gravel
- PVC pipe
Sump pumps remove water from the pit and expel it outside.
Types of Sump Pumps
There are two types of sump pumps you can have installed in your sump basin. They are:
- Submersible Sump Pumps
- Pedestal Sump Pumps
Submersible sump pumps can operate in your sump basin. They usually rest on a bed of gravel or paver. Since the system is submersible, you can easily cover it. Submersible pumps are a less bulky setup that may look better in your basement.
Pedestal sump pumps have their mechanical parts out of the water. They will typically be on a stilt anchored in the sump pit, where a float switch can monitor the water level. While this setup may seem more unsightly than a submersible sump pump, a pedestal sump pump keeps its operating components free and clear of the water.
How Sump Pumps are Powered
Most sump pumps rely on an external power source to keep them operational. Under normal operating conditions, this is ideal. Unfortunately, there are some circumstances where the power to your home may be disrupted. Power outages are common during big storms and other natural disasters.
What happens when your power goes out, but your basement starts to flood? Homeowners in this situation would benefit from having a hybrid or fully battery-operated sump pump. These range in price and functionality but can be very nifty, especially in areas prone to weather-related flooding and power outages.
A hybrid sump pump has an electric battery to power the pump when no electrical input from your wall outlet is detected. Battery-operated sump pumps do not need a wall outlet at all. These pumps are meant to be more portable than your typical sump pump and are probably not practical for continued use.
How a Sump Pump Protects Your Home
How bad is water for the typical home? Just an inch of standing water is enough to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Having more than an inch of water can cause a total loss of everything in your basement!
When water is pumped out, the real danger of water damage remains. Mold and mildew thrive in dark and damp environments. A flooded basement provides these the perfect opportunity to grow and spread.
Mold is a severe health hazard. Cleaning up mold is much more complex and expensive than preventing it. Mold is so challenging to clean. The safest and surest option for cleaning it out of your home is completely removing any mold-afflicted areas. This can mean completely removing and replacing:
Without proper attention or replacement, mold can continue to rot away parts of your house until it is either killed using fire or chemicals or replaced.
When is a Sump Pump the Most Useful?
If you are wondering if you should get a sump pump installed for your home, you should consider a few things:
- Is your home located near a body of water?
- Do you experience frequent problems with basement flooding?
- Is there a lot of water retained in the soil surrounding your home?
Sump pumps are the most useful for homes that are susceptible to flooding. The fact is, not every home needs a sump pump. If you live on the top of a hill and your foundation is built on soil that doesn’t retain water, you will likely throw away your money.
Although some homes might not need a sump pump, it may save you money to consult with one of our professionals to see if your home is flood-prone.
Invest In Your Future With Quick Quality Plumbing
If you think your home could benefit from a sump pump installed in your basement, there’s no better way to confirm this than by talking to a professional. Here at Quick Quality Plumbing, we strive to give our customers the best value and information they need to keep a clean and dry home.
Contact us today to see if having a sump pump installed is beneficial for your home!