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Sump pump – Q&A


What is a sump pump and how do sump pumps work?


Sump pumps are unique tools designed to get the water surplus out of your basement. Otherwise, the water cumulated underneath your house can affect the entire building’s structure.


What a sump pump does is evacuate residual water and move it far enough for it to be drained. There are two types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. The submersible one is placed in the water pit dug out in a corner of your basement. The water protruding underneath your house gathers in that pit, from which the sump pump removes it and casts it at a safe distance from your house. When heavy rains occur, the pump is automatically activated by its switch, and starts taking out water to avoid flooding. While the pedestal pumps operate more or less in the same manner, they are not placed in the hole, but next to it, and use a pipe that connects the pump to the bottom of the pit to collect water.Though submersible pumps are more efficient, they also come with a shorter lifespan, as the water has damaging effects on them. You can expect a submersible sump pump to perform well for 10 or 15 years, if it is built with good quality materials, while a pedestal pump can last up to 25 years.


What size sump pump do I need?

Of course, sump pumps come in various dimensions and with different capacities. There are smaller pumps, that can remove a more reduced water volume and more powerful pumps that can handle increased water levels. Smaller pumps are able to remove at least 1000 GPH (gallons per hour) and move the water at a 5-foot distance from its position, but capacious products can discharge 2500-3000 GPH at the same or at a bigger distance. Of course, these are more expensive too, but you should first be aware of the severity of the flooding issue before buying a larger size pump that you do not really need.


Do all houses have sump pumps?

As mentioned, sump pumps are useful for people owning a house with ground water problems. However, it is required to have one even if your house is not exposed to flooding risks because in areas with heavy rains or in early spring when the snow melts, wetness problems appear in most houses. Even if your house was fine when you bought it or built it, that doesn’t mean you won’t be dealing with basement flooding in the coming years. To know if your house is in need of one, you should regularly check for moist traces in your basement. If these do appear, they most probably worsen in time and will affect the interior of your house as well by creating humidity, which facilitates mold appearance which means disease risk and, a possible visit to the hospital. As a general rule, the law does require houses from some regions to be equipped with a sump pump to avoid accidents and dangerous situations, but they are not mandatory for all houses.


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