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Have you heard a lot about sump pumps and wonder if you need one? Many people ask the same question. This is a crucial question to ask because a sump pump keeps a basement and crawl space healthy. A house is a big investment so needs protection from water and moisture.
To answer your common questions we discuss the following.
Do I Need A Sump Pump? Answer 13 Questions To Find Out!
1) Do you live in a flood plain area?
2) Has the city or township indicated the elevation of the area where you live is low?
3) Are there any hills close to the house slopping down toward the house?
4) Is the water table level high in your area?
5) Have your neighbors complained about water seepage in their basement?
6) Does your house sit lower than the houses around you?
7) Does the ground around your house slope down toward the house?
8) Is there an underground spring close to the house?
9) Do you have a paved area close to the house that slops downward to the house?
10) Is there an irrigation system discharging too much water next to the house?
11) Is the basement damp?
12) Have you noticed any damp areas along the walls?
13) Is there any seepage anywhere in the basement?
What Does Water Damage Do?
Water entering where not wanted can cover large areas quickly. Floors, walls, furniture, and anything porous absorbs water and drying such materials out is not easy. Unwater water can lead to structural damage, mold, and cosmetic issues if not treated quickly.
The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 60 percent of U.S. homes have wet basements, and 38 percent run the risk of basement mold.
Once water finds its way into a basement, the problem gets worse with time. Moisture, water and humidity cause materials to fail and crumble. Damaged flooring, drywall and framing damage are costly to repair.
Mold grows easily in wet areas. Mold spores filter through the air and become a serious health issue especially for those who have allergies.
A water damaged house loses its market value and can be difficult to sell.
Why Water Builds Up?
Water and moisture can build up due to the following conditions.
♦ Leaking pipes and faucets, or appliances such as water heaters.
♦ Failing rain gutters.
♦ Deep foundation cracks.
♦ Sinking soil around the foundation. The ground around the foundation should slope away from the house.
♦ Lawn sprinkler systems too close to the house or a broken under ground pipe.
Whatever the cause of the leakage, it is important to fix the issue early because it will not go away by itself.
How To Fix A Wet Basement
When it rains, a house with a 1,500-square-foot roof sheds 1,000 gallons of water for every inch of falling rain. That is a lot of water running down close to the foundation.
Here are some ideas to fix a wet basement.
♦ Slope the soil around the foundation so the water runs away from the foundation.
♦ Use long downspouts causing the water from the roof to run at least ten feet from the house.
♦ Install a sump pump drainage system around the foundation. Water will seep through the ground into the drain tile and run into the sump pit. The sump pump will push the water from the pit out and away from the house. The discharge hose outside the house through which the sump pit water is pumped should be at least twenty feet from the foundation. Further is better.
♦ Dig through the basement floor around the perimeter and place drainage title and a sump basin. Cover it with cement so the basement floor will not have seepage through it. Then water around the foundation will seep into the title and flow into the pit and get pumped away from the basement.
What Is A Sump Pump And How Does It Work?
A sump pump is a mechanical device installed in a catch basin often called a sump pump pit or basin to catch water running into it from underground drainage title installed around the perimeter of the house.
The Key Elements Of A Sump Pump
♦ The motor which runs on electricity. Its power is measured by horse power. Then greater the horse power the msot water it can pump. But too much horse power causes the motor to short cycle and leads to motor failure over time. So a right sized sump pump is important. The motor's horse power determines its pumping capability (GPH). So it is very important to get the right size.
♦ The pump housing is important because some materials keep the motor cooler than others during continuous pumping. Cast iron is a great choice; though some pump manufacturers use stainless steel. Thermoplastic traps heat rather than disperses it. Therefore thermoplastic should only be used for horse power such as one-fourth.
♦ The float switch is the mechanism that triggers the motor to run and stop running. There are many styles of float switches. Electronic float switches are very popular because they run electronically and do not fail as quickly. The tether switch has a tether with a float at the end and takes the most space in a pit during operation. The vertical float takes much less space and is not free flowing so does not get caught as easily during operation. Learn more about sump pump float switch types.
♦ The weight of a sump pump matters. The heavier the pump, the less likely it is to move during operation. Movement can cause a float switch to get caught on the side of the basin. Cast Iron is the heaviest material and the more used the more stationary the pump in the basin during heavy continuous pumping.
♦ Sump pump dimensions become very important when desiring to install a battery backup sump pump with the primary pump. Some battery backup sump pumps can be installed in the discharge pipe above the primary pump, like the Zoeller 507 and 508, but many must be installed on the bottom of the basin.
♦ The length of the motor cord varies by pump brand and model. Therefore it is important to know what length is needed because an extension cord cannot be used with a sump pump. Using an extension cord causes circuit overload, blowing the fuse and causing the sump pump to fail.
How Does A Sump Pump Work?
♦ When it rains water seeps through the ground into the drain tile and through its extended pipe into the sump basin.
♦ As the water rises in the sump basin, it raises the float. When the float reaches its predefined ON point the switch closes the electrical circuit. The electrical current runs the motor. The motor continues to run while the float is at its ON point. When the water recedes in the basin, the float lowers. When it reaches the OFF point the switches electric current opens and electricity stops flowing causing the motor to shut off.
♦ This process repeats itself each time the water rises and recedes in the basin.
Each sump pump type works differently. The best way to see how the sump pump works is to watch a video. Here are some videos to see how each sump pump type works.
Take Action If Your Basement Is Wet
♦ Check your downspout extensions. Add more length.
♦ Add more soil around the foundation to slope the flow of rain away from the house. Do it before water causes more damage to your basement.
♦ If your basement does not have a sump pump drainage system, call three local plumbing companies today and get some quotes on installation. Ask your neighbors for references. Select a local plumbing company to install a drainage system.
Fixing the problem is cheaper than repairing the foundation and overcoming health problems because of mold.
If you need a sump pump, check out the pump reviews by comparison below. Find the pump most suited for your needs at lowest prices. Buy an extra pump. And by all means install a backup sump pump.
How To Buy A Sump Pump
Key things to consider when buying a sump pump.
♦ Measure the dimater and depth of the sump basin. Sump pumps come in different heights and sidths.
♦ Meansure how much rain is pumped from the sump pit during heavy rain storms. Check the manufacturers specs to discover the ON and OFF height oft he float switch. One inch equals one gallon of water in an eighteen inch wide basin. Use your watch to see how many times the pump goes ON and OFF during a heavy rainstor in 60 minutes. If the pump goes ON and OFF 120 times in one hour and the distance between the ON and OFF point is 5 inches, the sump pump will push out six hunmdred gallons in one hour. Check the manufacturers pumping performance chart for right size. Also check the vertical height the water will be pumped because hte higher the vertical push less lower the gallons pumped per hour.