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Sump Pumps: The Best Bet for Flood Prevention

What Is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a motorized pump designed to prevent flooding and other water-related issues by removing excess water that collects near a home’s foundation. They are usually installed in basements or crawlspaces, as these tend to be the lowest points of a house, where water accumulates.

Sump pumps are best for those homes at risk of flooding due to rainstorms, heavy snowmelt, or a water table higher than the home’s foundation. However, many homeowners who may need a sump pump often don’t realize they do – until it’s too late. So this article will discuss how sump pumps work, the different types available, and why installing one is beneficial!

How a Sump Pump Works

pumpA sump pump is typically installed in a small cylindrical pit called a sump pump basin in the basement. Water from the home’s perimeter drains or foundation drainage system (which collects water from the soil beneath the foundation) is siphoned into this basin. When it reaches a certain level, it triggers the sump pump float switch, activating the pump. 

Water from the basin is then pumped up and out through a discharge pipe, which relocates the water safely away from the foundation – usually into the municipal storm drain. A check valve in the discharge pipe prevents water from flowing back into the basin once it’s been pumped out (in case of a pump failure). This is the basic process of how sump pumps work, but there are slight differences in installation and operation depending on the type of sump pump.

What Kind of Sump Pump Is Best?

Sump pumps come in various forms, and which is best for a given home will depend on various factors, including budget, space, noise, and flooding risk. The two main types are pedestal sump pumps and submersible sump pumps. A local plumber can help homeowners determine which would work best for their home. 

Pedestal sump pumps are upright devices, usually a little under 3 feet tall, that almost resemble lampposts. A motor sits on the top while the intake tube (called an impeller) sits at the bottom, inside the sump basin. These tend to be less expensive and easier to maintain, but they can be noisy and unsightly since the motor and most of the device protrude above the basin.

Submersible sump pumps feature a motor and impeller in one compact housing that sits entirely inside the sump basin. These are a bit more expensive and more difficult to access for maintenance, but they are generally quieter and more discreet since they’re tucked away inside the basin.

A home’s primary sump pump can be plugged into an ordinary (GFCI-protected) outlet, but if the power goes out or the pump fails for any reason, it’s good to have a battery backup sump pump. As the name suggests, these draw power from a large battery to prevent flooding in an emergency when the power goes out. There are also combination sump pumps, which contain a primary and backup pump in one package.

The Advantages of Installing a Sump Pump 

benefitsHaving a sump pump (or, even better, both a primary and backup sump pump) is the best way to prevent flooding in a basement or crawlspace, but it also has other benefits. By preventing water damage and removing excess groundwater from the soil beneath the house, sump pumps can help prevent foundation damage, mold and mildew growth, and the associated costs. Sump pumps also prevent damage to the home, personal property, and those costs. 

A sump pump can also raise the home’s property value and reduce the insurance premium. In this way, sump pumps save homeowners money on potential repair and restoration services in the wake of flooding and actively save them money on bills in fair weather! Of course, every home is different, so homeowners should consult a trusted plumber to determine whether their home needs a sump pump and what type is best for them.

About Guardian Plumbing and Drain

Guardian Plumbing and Drain is a local plumbing company serving Cobourg, ON, and the surrounding communities. They provide fast, same-day service, free estimates, and personal attention. Call them today for sump pump installation and repair services in Cobourg, ON.


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