What is a Sump Pump?
Sump pumps are a special type of pump made specifically to remove water from a sump pump basin. Sump pumps are most often used in basements, especially those where the basement is below the water table.
A sump pump consists of two components the pump and the basin. The basin is normally plastic, metal or concrete. They are two feet across and two or three feet deep. The pump itself is either 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower. Some are battery powered, some are electric and others are electric with a battery back-up. The battery back-up will kick in during a power outage when water still needs to be pumped.
What Does a Sump Pump Do?
A sump pump helps to prevent water damage from basement flooding and will also help with general basement dampness, which prevents mold. Excess water, either from rain or just groundwater, is routed into the basin and then the collected water is sent away from the house and into storm drains or dry wells, where it will not be a problem.
Types of Sump Pumps
There are two varieties of sump pump. They are pedestal and submersible. A pedestal sump pump has a motor which is mounted above the basin so it can be more easily accessed and serviced. In a submersible pump the motor is protected by a waterproof case and is mounted to the pump under the water. This latter variety is more inconspicuous.
There are also two basic types of controls for a sump pump and choosing one depends largely upon how it will be used and what it will be used for. There are automatic as well as manual sump pumps. An automatic sump pump detects water levels and turns on when appropriate, while a manual has a switch to turn it on.
The head pressure or shutoff head of a sump pump also varies. Head pressure is the maximum height that the sump pump will move water. A pump with a maximum head pressure of ten feet can move water up until ten feet at which point it will lose flow. A higher head pressure is needed for deeper basements.
Sump Pump Installation
The most simple and efficient way to solve basement water problems is with a sump pump. They are a great investment that can save you from devastating foundation damage and will free up your basement for actual use. A lot of new homes have sump pits, but if your home does not you will need one to insert the sump pump basin. This is the most troublesome part of installation because you need to be aware of what is under your basement floor, including sewer lines.
Putting the actual sump pump into the sump pit is fairly straight forward. Beneath the basin you need about twelve inches of gravel and you also need gravel around the basin. The sump pump system is then inserted into the basin and connected to a power source. Contact a professional plumber for the best results. Most plumbers offer sump pump installation services. They will select the best location for the pump as well as the best place to redirect the water.