Following a rainstorm, your home’s crawl space or basement might be filled with excess water. That’s water that you need to remove as quickly as possible. That’s what a sump pump is for, so your home’s lowest level can go back to being dry as quickly as possible. Having a sump pump helps prevent the possibility of mold growth in the underground areas of your home. However, they can also prevent water damage to your home’s structural components and furniture or possessions you store down there.
What Is a Sump Pump?
“Sump pump” is the name of a device that will move water from your home’s basement and get it outside where it belongs. The “sump” is a pit constructed naturally. It’s typically a hole carved out below your basement floor’s primary surface. This pit is also called a basin and serves as the home for the sump pump device.
The pump comes with valves that are able to detect increasing water pressure or levels. If the water gets to be too high, then a sump pump will automatically start pumping the excess water out of your basement. Using what is known as a discharge line, the water will be pumped away from your home. The line is also sometimes called an “effluent,” and it’s the connection between your sump pump and the chosen drainage area.
How Do Sump Pumps Work?
A sump pump has a switch that will detect water levels present in the basin where the device is installed. If it detects that water pressure and levels are elevating, it will activate and start pumping water out of the home to keep levels from getting too high. Pumps can be powered by a battery or electricity connection, and they can even be powered by the water itself.
The water pumped out is sent through a discharge pipe to move it away from the foundation of the home. Primary pumps are usually installed with wired connections to the home’s electricity, but a lot of sump pump systems might feature a backup pump powered by water or battery in the event of a power outage. This can be advantageous considering how power outages might be more likely in inclement weather, which is also known to flood basements.
Where Does a Sump Pump Drain Water To?
A sump pump needs a designated area where it can discharge the water it pumps out. Common examples include neighborhood drains, a dry well, or a pond or creek. When establishing your drain point, you need to be sure that the water isn’t going to get back to the home. In ideal cases, your pump point needs to be anywhere from 10 to 20 feet away from your home’s foundation.
Municipal building codes might even dictate the proper placement for your sump pump drain. You can increase the range with an extended drainage hose; however, your sump pump would need additional horsepower in order to compensate for the extra pumping required to do this.
The Advantages of Having a Sump Pump
The right sump pump can do wonders for your home’s basement or crawl space, provided that you choose a high-caliber sump pump installed by a qualified plumbing professional. Proper skills and the right installation are necessary for a sump pump to give you benefits, but there are many you might enjoy.
For starters, a sump pump will get excess water out of your basement and might even prevent that level of your home from being flooded in the first place. In fact, a sump pump might be superior to waterproofing. Exterior waterproofing does help, but it’s not as effective against flooding as a sump pump is. Waterproofing can crack and break down over time whereas a sump pump is a very active system. A water-powered sump pump, in particular, is always going to function whether there is electricity or not.
Potential Disadvantages to a Sump Pump
Sump pumps have plenty of benefits if your basement is prone to flooding. However, if you get an electric model, it won’t run during a power outage without a backup. Water-powered sump pumps can, but they might need to be connected to municipal water supplies that might not be available for rural or even some suburban homes.
Whatever sump pump you get will need a pit in the open earth underneath your home; that’s risky enough as it is, but it can also present a radon risk. A sump pump might also be unappealing in a visual sense. You’ll have a hole exposed in your foundation, and that might not be something you’re comfortable with.
When Should You Install a Sump Pump?
The best time for a sump pump installation is really just up to the weather where you live. Fall can be a good time to do it if your ground freezes during winter. You should certainly get it done before any periods of heavy rain. Think about the water issues you’ve had in the past, and take note of what times of the year your basement got flooded.
Also, take your home’s location into account. If you have low-lying land under a water table, a flat plot that doesn’t drain well, or just soil that drains poorly, then groundwater is more prone to rising up in your basement. A sump pump can help protect your finished basement or any storage you have down there.
The cost of a sump pump will be influenced by a number of factors. To start with, the kind of sump pump that you pick for your house will impact the price because of the materials, size, horsepower, switch type, backup battery, and extra features that it has. The materials that your basement is made of will also influence the cost as concrete or cement flooring needs removal at the basement’s lowest point for installation.
Drainage requires lines or hoses to get the water pumped far enough from your home, but these can be yard hazards and might even freeze during the winter. Permits might be necessary based on where you live, and the costs of those will vary from one location to the next. You’ll also need licensed professionals to handle the installation process.
Keeping Your Basement Dry Is a Professional Job
Keeping your basement free of water isn’t just a matter of staying comfortable in your home’s lowest level as you also need to make sure your home maintains its structural integrity and remains free of mold. If you live in the area of Springfield, Illinois, then you can count on TR Miller Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing to help you out. We help you choose the right sump pump for your home and install it, and we can also do repairs and maintenance on anything you already have installed. In addition to plumbing matters, we also handle heating and cooling needs, too. To find out how we can help keep your basement dry after a rainstorm, contact TR Miller Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing right away.