What a Sump Pump is and Why You Need One

What is a Sump Pump?

Many basements have the tendency to take on water during heavy rains or snow melts and this scenario often leads to the need to install a sump pump. So, what is a sump pump? A sump pump is essentially a pump that sits in your basement, either beneath or above the floor depending on what type of pump you have, and it pumps water out that collects in the sump basin.  

This is an illustration of a sump pump installation

How do you know if you need a sump pump?

Does your basement or crawl space experience moisture or wetness? If yes, it would be a good idea to invest in a sump pump. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, 60 percent of homes experience this and should have a sump pump. Failure to install a sump pump could lead to flooding in your home if you have an improper drainage system.

There are several different types of sump pumps that you can install in your home but the two most common are a submersible pump and a pedestal pump. With a submersible pump, the entire pump and motor fits under the cover and the pump is activated when the pump fills with water and the float rises. The pump will run until it drains out and the float falls to the side. Be sure to check that the float can move freely, if it were to get stuck, the pump would not turn on and off like it should. The pedestal pump also has a float which is attached to a rod that sticks up through the cover of the pump and is attached to a motor up above. If you have a pedestal pump, you should be able to move the rod up and down freely to turn the pump off and on. The down fall to the pedestal pump is that when it is being used during periods of heavy need, the motor has a tendency to get very hot and fail to work. The submersible pump avoids this issue because the motor is surrounded by the water that helps to cool it. If this is something you think you need, take a look at our Worcester Plumbing Services page.

Most sump pumps rely on electricity, therefore if you lose electricity you also lose your sump pump. A battery backup system is essential. Having a battery back up will help to ensure that you are able to get the water out of your home even when there is no power. Most battery backs ups will last between 8 and 12 hours, giving you plenty of time to pump the excess water out. Another back up option is a water powered backup system that is powered by the water pressure produced by your homes water lines. If you have running water, your pump will work. This is a good option as long as you do not have well water. 

A sump pump is your first line of defense against flooding. If your basement or crawlspace gets wet, make sure you are prepared by having a sump pump installed. Sump pump installation can be complicated, be sure to contact your certified plumber in Worcester MA to install the sump pump system safely and securely in your home for optimal performance.

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