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Problem: Sump Pump Installation

Sump pumps are your basement’s defensive lineup: if water gets into your basement, they shove it out. The name ‘sump pump’ is pretty self-explanatory – the word ‘sump’ simply means drainage pit. Sump pumps are a must for homes that are located in flood-prone areas or below the water table.

What is A Sump Pump?

Sump pumps are simple devices made up of a motor, pump, basin, float switch, and drain pipe. The basin is the largest part of the pump and is usually a hollow cylinder designed to let water in. This basin is placed into the sump in your basement’s floor. When it fills with water, the float switch senses the water and activates the pump. The motor then powers the pump, which pushes water through the drain pipe and out of the house.

Although low-grade sump pumps are available at home improvement stores, it is important to consult an expert for sump pump purchase and installation. Basin size and material, horsepower, and gallons per minute are all important factors, and all of the choices can be overwhelming. Basement waterproofing companies have access to higher-quality products for better prices and can base recommendations on your specific situation. They can also perform complicated sump pump installation perfectly, so you can get the most value out of your pump.

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Primary and Secondary Sump Pumps

There are two main types of sump pumps. For a complete sump pump system in your basement, you are going to need both.

Primary Sump Pumps

A primary sump pump is plugged into your home’s electrical system. It is your first and foremost safeguard against basement flooding and will activate whenever water gets in it (as long as it has an electrical supply).

There are two different kinds of primary sump pumps: pedestal sump pumps and submersible sump pumps. The only difference between these two pumps is the location of the motor. In a pedestal pump, the motor is located on top of the device; in a submersible pump, the motor is located in a waterproof capsule inside of the pit itself.

Submersible pumps look nicer and run quieter than pedestal sump pumps because the motor doesn’t stick up out of the floor. The submerged motor is also kept at a cooler temperature, which can lengthen the lifespan of the motor. However, if the waterproof capsule fails, the submersible pump will stop working. In a pedestal sump pump, the motor is better protected from water, but the submersible sump pump is more popular in general.

Backup Sump Pumps

A backup sump pump is designed to take over in case of a power outage, primary pump failure, or other disasters. There are several different kinds of backup sump pumps available.

Battery Backup Sump Pump: Also known as a DC backup sump pump, this pump is the cheapest type of backup pump and runs off of a rechargeable battery power supply. Battery backup sump pumps are triggered when your house loses power. They will not turn on if your primary sump pump stops working for another reason.

AC/DC Backup Sump Pump: An AC/DC backup sump pump is connected to both your home’s electrical system and a backup battery power supply. If your primary sump pump breaks down or is unable to handle a large volume of water, the AC/DC backup sump pump will join in using electricity from your home. If the power goes out, the pump will switch to backup battery power. This makes it far more versatile that the battery-only sump pump.

Dual Pump Backup Sump System: The dual pump system combines the primary and backup pump into one. It has two pumps, but under normal conditions, only one will operate. If one pump is not able to efficiently get the water out on its own, the other pump activates. The system also has a backup battery power supply, so it can continue to operate in the event of a power outage. This is the most modern of the three backup sump pump types.

Sump Pump Installation

The first step to sump pump installation is an inspection by a basement waterproofing expert. Your inspector will take into account your basement’s drainage situation and recommend the right primary and backup pumps for your situation.

Once you have chosen your sump pump system, your basement waterproofing company will get to work. If your basement does not already have sumps, workers will create them for you, measuring the right sizes, removing flooring, and digging holes several feet into the earth under your home.

Once the holes are prepared, the sump basins will be placed in the holes. A lining of gravel will separate the basins from the dirt around them, providing for better drainage. The basins will be secured in place with poured concrete.

The next step is to install piping if it is not already available. The piping will lead from the basins to outside of your home. The pumps themselves, along with smaller components like the float switches, will then be installed in the basins. One test run later, and your new sump pump system is good to go.

If you already have a sump pump and need to replace it, the system is a little different. Sump pump selection will take into account your current sump’s dimensions. During the digging phase, your current sump will be extracted and the new sump will be inserted and fixed into place. In certain cases, the sump may not have to be extracted at all – just fitted with a new pump with appropriate horsepower.