From “What Are Sump Pumps?” to the best “Sump Pump Tips” – here is all you need to know about sump pumps!
What are Sump Pumps?
Let’s be honest – if you are asking “What is a sump pump?” You don’t, or never have needed one. For those of us with wet basements, or who live in flood-prone areas, you already know. This article is for those who are just starting out and have discovered a need for sump pumps in their home. This is also for those who are just plain curious about sump pumps!
Sump pumps can be positioned above the floor or under it, usually in the basement of your home or on the very lowest lying floor. Pumps that lie below the floor are called submersible pumps. Sump pumps work to pump out collected water from a leak, flood, or drainage. They usually transfer the collect liquid from the sump basin outside.
Top 10 Sump Pump Tips:
1. Solve the Problem!
Where is your water coming from? Is this a one-time water pipe or (eek!) sewage pipe break? If so, you will probably not need a sump pump, and can repair the source of the leak, clear the water from your basement, and move on! You may also want to consider alternative to clear the water away from your home, like diverting it to a pond. Gutters may also help drain water away from your house’s foundation. Check that patios, walk ways, and pool or hot tub decks slope away from your house instead of towards it! If the problem is from flooding or living in a generally wet or marshy low-lying area and cannot be solved any other way, you may need to install a sump pump!
2. Consider an Alarm!
Even with a sump pump correctly installed in your home, just one may not be enough. If more water is coming in or has accumulated than the sump pump can handle, it will not be effective. Consider pushing a pump with an alarm to alert you if the water level in your area gets too high or if your pump fails. That alarm can help you get to the problem before it is too late, causing a huge mess and a potentially dangerous situation!
3. Battery Backup
If your need for a sump pump is due to heavy rains or flooding, you need to have battery backup. If the power goes out and you are using an electric sump pump, you will be out of luck. Battery backup features keep your sump pumps running even in a power outage. Definitely worth the extra money (if there is a price difference).
4. Check Your Check Valve
One of the most important things in using a sump pump is being sure the water that is coming out of your house isn’t coming back in! Check your check valve regularly and test your pump to be sure everything is good to go and functioning properly.
5. Submersible Pumps vs. Pedestal Pumps
Submersible sump pumps take up more space than pedestal sump pumps, but they can often be covered with an air tight lid that will help keep excess moist air from seeping into your home (hello, mold!). Submersible pump lids also reduce the amount of noise in your home, especially when you have an echoing basement! That lid will also keep debris out of the sump pit – a huge advantage!
6. Switch your Switch
Be sure that the switch on your sump pump is mechanical. A pressure switch can fail to turn on or off. Also, check the float to be sure it is solid. If the float is solid, it won’t ever become filled with water. A waterlogged float might not switch off, burning out your pump. $$$
7. Clogs . . . Gross.
If your sump pump clogs, it is useless. Be sure your pump won’t clog by purchasing a pump with a “no-screen intake” and an impeller. This will allow up to 1/2-inch clogs come into the pump with no problems!
8. Cast Iron Core Pumps vs. Plastic Sump Pumps
Plastic pumps will not last as long as cast iron core pumps. In over-heated situations, a cast iron core pump will help to redistribute the heat from the pump to the surrounding water. Less heat in your pump means a healthier, better working pump!
9. House Hunting Considerations
If you are looking at homes to purchase or are hoping to one day be a home owner, there are countless things to consider. First, if you have a flood that never floods, you won’t ever need to buy a sump pump. Ask your realtor to start all house tours in the basement. If you see a working sump pump with a pit, or wet marks on the walls (water marks), move on! Also take a look for bad air (odors), rot, rust or mold.
10. Choose the Right Company
Having a company that offers professional sump pump installation and products will insure your home is comfortable and your floors are dry. Click here for more information about the sump pumps we offer at C & C Air and Heat!