How Does a Sump Pump Function?

A basement serves many roles in a family's home; it can be an art studio, playroom, home theater or just a place for extra storage. Imagine all of your belongings being lost in a flash due to flooding. For many people, the reality of a natural disaster hits far too late and they suffer major losses that can't be replaced. Thousands of dollars in water damage from basement flooding can leave people in debt, but the good news is that it can be prevented.

A sump pump is a special plumbing device designed to collect excess water underground, prevent flooding and preserve your home.

How Does A Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump is installed in the lowest part of your basement. The pump protects your home from flooding by drying up excess water that accumulates beneath the foundation.

After a flood, the structural integrity of a house is significantly damaged. Foundation is likely to become weak and soggy, which can lead to rot. A sump pump ensures that any water that arrives is properly redirected.

Even if you don't suffer a major flood, your home may still be at risk of water damage. The American Society of Home Inspectors reports that 60-percent of all American homes have excessive water under their exteriors.

When water levels rise higher than necessary, a sump pump activates a small fan called an impeller, which draws water into a special venting pipe that transfers water away from the building and to natural sources.

Generally speaking, rain that falls off your roof travels through your gutter and is funneled into your lawn through a downspout. Half of the water will become runoff, but the other half will soak into the ground. This is where problems can arise.

Do I Need A Sump Pump?

If groundwater rises too high, your home is at risk. Heavy storms, hurricanes and other natural disasters can lead to basement flooding without a sump pump to redirect the excess water.

Cracks in your foundation and leaky underground pipes can cause basement dampness and moisture. This dampness can cause mold to grow, leading to health problems and property damage.

If your basement suffers from excess moisture, leaky pipes or runoff, a sump pump can help stop water from entering your home. It won't fully waterproof your house, so it shouldn't be considered your only defense against natural disasters and floods. However, a sump pump can serve as a protective barrier.

People who live in flat areas or locations with heavy snow or rain benefit most from owning a sump pump.

Sump Pump Installation

If you've decided to invest in a sump pump to protect your basement, you'll first have to choose a style. There are two main types of sump pumps to choose from:

  • Pedestal sump pump: The motor is above the pump and is easier to operate.

  • Submersible sump pump: This pump's motor is sealed inside the device; it's harder to reach when it needs servicing, but submersible pumps tend to last longer and are a safer option for families.

Sump pumps run off electricity, so if the power goes out during a storm, you won't be protected. For this reason, it's a good idea to invest in a battery-operated backup sump pump. You can also buy emergency sump pumps that are able to be used in a pinch, staving off rising groundwater and protecting your home from flooding.

During a professional sump pump installation, a technician will use a jackhammer to dig a hole in the floor for the device — this is called a sump pit. They will also create the drainage channel for excess water and install all the necessary plumbing. Once the floor is patched up, the technician will connect the drain line to the sump pump and install a check valve to make sure that the device is working properly.

At Prestige Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, you are always our top priority. Our phone lines are available 24-hours a day, so you can call anytime to schedule a service and get the help you deserve. Learn more about sump pumps, flood protection and plumbing maintenance today by calling us at (630) 557-1517.

You can also schedule a service call on our website using the form on our Contact page.