The Importance of Sump Pumps: What They Are and How They Work
As a homeowner, you want to do everything you can to protect your home from
potential damage. One important tool in that effort is a sump pump. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or an old pro, we want to make sure you have everything you need to keep your plumbing system running smoothly. In this post, we’ll cover what sump pumps are, how they work, and why they’re important for homeowners.
What is a Sump Pump?
A sump pump is a device installed in the basement or crawl space of a home that is designed to remove excess water. The pump sits in a pit, known as a sump basin, which collects water that enters the basement or crawl space. When the water reaches a certain level in the basin, the sump pump automatically turns on and pumps the water out and away from the home.
How Does a Sump Pump Work?
There are two types of sump pumps: pedestal and submersible. Pedestal pumps sit outside the sump basin and use a motor to turn the impeller, which pumps the water out of the basin.
Submersible pumps, on the other hand, sit inside the sump basin and are designed to be submerged in water. They use a motor to turn the impeller, which pumps the water out of the basin. Both types of pumps are typically powered by electricity, although there are battery-powered backup options available for added security in case of power outages.
Why are Sump Pumps Important?
Sump pumps are important for several reasons. For one thing, they protect your home from water damage. If you live in an area prone to heavy rain, snowmelt, or flooding, excess water can easily seep into your basement or crawl space and cause significant damage to your foundation, walls, flooring, and possessions.
A sump pump helps to prevent this by removing the water before it has a chance to cause damage. They can also help to prevent mold and mildew growth in your home. Excess moisture in your basement or crawl space can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. A sump pump helps to remove this excess moisture, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.
Types of Sump Pumps
1. Submersible sump pumps: These pumps are designed to be installed in the sump pit, which is a hole in the basement or crawl space floor where water collects. Submersible pumps are designed to be completely submerged in water and are more powerful than pedestal pumps. They are also quieter and less visible than pedestal pumps.
2. Pedestal sump pumps: These pumps are installed above the sump pit and have a long, narrow base that keeps them upright. Pedestal pumps are less expensive than submersible pumps, but they are also less powerful and louder. They are easier to maintain because they are not submerged in water.
3. Battery backup sump pumps: These pumps are designed to operate during power outages or when the primary sump pump fails. Battery backup sump pumps typically have a battery that can last between 6 and 12 hours. They are essential for homeowners who live in areas prone to power outages or for those who want extra protection against flooding.
4. Combination sump pumps: These pumps have a primary submersible pump and a backup pedestal pump. They provide the benefits of both types of pumps and are ideal for homeowners who want extra protection against flooding.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sump Pump
When choosing a sump pump for your home, it’s important to consider a few key
factors. These include the type of pump (pedestal or submersible), the size of the sump basin, the amount of water you expect to be pumping, and any backup power options.
Here are some things to think about when choosing a sump pump:
● Type of pump: Battery-powered or AC-powered uni? If your home is wired with
a generator, then an AC model might be the way to go. If not, then a battery
model might be better for you.
● Pumping capacity: The pumping capacity of a sump pump is measured in
gallons per minute (GPM) or gallons per hour (GPH). Choose a pump with a
pumping capacity that matches your needs. If you have a larger basement or live
in an area with heavy rainfall, you may need a pump with a higher pumping
● Durability: Sump pumps are an investment, so you want to make sure you
choose one that is built to last. Look for pumps with durable housing and a long
By considering these factors, you can choose a sump pump that is right for your home and your needs. It’s also important to have your sump pump professionally installed and regularly maintained to ensure that it is working properly and effectively.
How to Maintain Your Sump Pump
As with any mechanical device, a sump pump requires regular maintenance to ensure it works properly when you need it most. Here are some tips on how to maintain your sump pump:
1. Check the power source: Make sure the power source for your sump pump is working correctly. Check the power cord for any fraying or damage, and make sure the outlet is functioning correctly. If the pump is hard-wired, ensure that the electrical connection is secure.
2. Test the pump: Test your sump pump regularly to ensure it’s working correctly. Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit to see if the pump turns on and drains the water quickly. If the pump fails to activate or doesn’t drain the water, it may need servicing or replacement.
3. Clean the pump and pit: Sump pumps are designed to pump water, but they can also accumulate debris such as gravel, dirt, and other sediments. Periodically clean out the sump pit and remove any debris that may impede the pump’s operation.
4. Check the float switch: The float switch is a critical component of a sump pump, as it controls when the pump turns on and off. Ensure the float switch is moving freely and isn’t impeded by any debris in the sump pit.
5. Inspect the discharge line: The discharge line is the pipe that carries water away from your home. Make sure the discharge line is free of obstructions and that it’s properly attached to the pump.
6. Test the backup system: If your sump pump has a backup system, such as a battery or water-powered backup, test it regularly to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
By following these simple steps, you can help ensure your sump pump works properly and effectively when you need it most. Don’t wait until it’s too late – make sump pump maintenance a priority in your home. If you’re not sure about doing this task yourself, you can always hire a plumber to do maintenance checks for you.
When to Call a Professional Plumber for Sump Pump Services
When your sump pump is acting up, you might be tempted to fix it yourself. But while sump pumps are simple in concept, they can be complicated in execution.
If your basement is flooded, you should call a professional plumber right away. If the water is coming from a broken pipe or leaky faucet, then you can probably handle this on your own—just turn off the water supply and call in a plumber after everything dries out.
Atlanta Plumbing Professionals
R.S. Andrews is the best place to go for all your sump pump servicing and any other plumbing-related issues. We’re a family-owned business that has been serving customers in Atlanta since 1968, and we’ve been the first choice for many homeowners in the area.
If you’re looking for a new sump pump, we can help you choose the perfect one for your home. Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to answer any questions you have about our products or their installation. The last thing you want is an obsolete pump that doesn’t meet current standards or needs to be replaced every few years—or worse, floods your basement!
Contact us to schedule an appointment!