What does a sump pump do?

Jason Markey

A flooded basement is never met with a smiling face. Being the nightmare that it is, most homeowners would prefer to avoid it and the associated cost. A sump pump protects your home from such occurrences by removing excess rainwater and flood. If you’ve called a plumber who has diagnosed your home with a sump pump problem, you may wonder what a sump pump does and why a Sump Pump Installation, London, is recommended.

Find all the information you need about sump pumps and which to choose for your home below.

What is a sump pump?

A sump pump is a device that channels water from your basement to the outside of your home. A functional sump pump can help prevent basement water damage and flooding. It is naturally constructed and installed in a pit – known as a basin- below the basement floor.

Sump pumps are fitted with valves that sense rising water levels or increased water pressure. Once high water pressure or the rising water level is felt, the sump pump kicks into action and pumps excess water out of the basement and away from your property.

How sump pumps work 

The sump pump’s operational mechanism is simple. The device is equipped to detect rising water levels or water pressure. When the switch is activated due to rising water levels or pressure, the sump pump directs excess water into the discharge pipe, which is channelled away from the home’s foundation.

Depending on preference, homeowners can choose different sump pumps based on their power requirements. Standard options include battery-powered sump pumps, electrically powered sump pumps, or water-powered sump pumps. While most sump pumps are electrically powered, some come with a backup battery or water-powered system triggered when the original power source fails.

Types of Sump Pumps

If your home has been diagnosed with a recurrent sump pump problem, chances are high that you may need to buy a new one. Before buying, you need to know the types of sump pumps available and which one works best for your needs.

There are four common types of sump pumps;

Submersible sump pumps

Submersible sump pumps are designed to be submerged and closed inside the basin under the basement. They come with a pump and a motor fitted inside one unit. This type of sump pump is usually quieter because they are submerged under the basement and inside the basin. They are great for their low noise and space-saving, and it reduces maintenance requirements.

One major disadvantage of this sump pump type is its longevity. They often do not last as long as other types because they are constantly submerged. However, they are the preferred option for most homes.

Pedestal sump pumps

Pedestal pumps have their motors located above the basin. They have the pump and motor unit in different units and are fitted with a hose that connects the pump and motor. Once the water level rises, the pump sends the water up the hose and out through the designated channel.

This sump pump often lasts longer and is easier to access for maintenance because it isn’t submerged. However, its disadvantages include loud noises during operation, and it takes up space in the basement.

Battery-powered backup

A battery-operated sump pump is an excellent backup for homeowners looking to avoid flooding and other water-related issues. The backup battery kicks in when the primary power source fails. For this type of sump pump, a float switch is installed to kick start the sump pump’s operation in instances of power failure during heavy storms.

Water-powered backup

A water-operated sump pump leverages increasing water volume and pressure to drain the basin. One of the major advantages of this system is that it is automatically triggered when water pressure or volume builds to a level.

With water-powered backups, homeowners do not need to manually change batteries or activate the system. This can significantly cut their energy cost and improve wastewater management.

Cost of Buying a Sump Pump

Sump pumps can be expensive, costing between $100 and $900, depending on the type. An average basement submersible sump pump costs between $100 and $400, while commercial use sump pumps may cost between $500 and $1,000, depending on the horsepower and flow rate.

If you’re planning to buy a sump pump, below are some factors that can influence your cost;

  • Type of sump pump purchased
  • Basement material
  • Drainage type
  • Permits required
  • Cost of labor

It is important for you to hire a professional plumber for such complex plumbing needs, especially as it gives you peace of mind and saves you from spending more money on water damage restoration.

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