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Sump Pump from A to Z

Everything about sump pump - Intro

If you have a flooded basement, you’re in big trouble since common plumbing tips won’t work in this situation. When cases like flooding and water rise push you toward higher repair costs, there’s still a solution to prevent all of them. That something is called the sump pump. This equipment does vary in terms of types and applications. This article will walk you through anything related to sump pumps from top to bottom.

What exactly is a sump pump?

Everything about sump pump - Definition

Usually, your basement contains a pit (or a basin) used to shelter a sump pump. This device is in charge of getting excess water out of your property. A discharge line (or the fluent) goes along with the sump pump. Water will be pumped out of your property through this very pipe.

How a sump pump works

When the water level reaches an alarming level, the pump will automatically detect what happens and send water away from your house. The fluent is usually set somewhere far from your household or commercial buildings to avoid water running back in.

Everything about sump pump - How it works

Sump pumps can be powered up by electricity, battery, or even water. In usual cases, they are electrically fueled. However, they still have backup sources of power like batteries or water for instances such as blackouts.

Where the discharge line is headed

Ideally, water going out from the discharge line should reside at least 10 to 20 feet away from your place. It’s best to check with the local government to see how far you can extend your sump pump fluently since each region has a different construct code.

Everything about sump pump - Where the discharge line goes

Some of the best locations to send your excess water to are a well, pond or creek, or even a concentrated discharge area.

One thing to remember, however, is the longer the discharge pipe, the more horsepower the sump pump needs.

Various types of sump pumps

Sump pumps are categorized into 4 different types. The price for each kind also varies because of that.

a. Pedestal sump pump

This type of sump pump has a motor and a pump. The motor resides on the top of the basin, which means it stays away from rising water. A pedestal sump pump has a longer lifespan and is easier to fix or maintain than the following type.

Everything about sump pump - Pedestal sump pump

The only downside to a pedestal sump pump is that it can be louder and take up more space than other types of pumps.

b. Submersible pump

Everything about sump pump - Submersible sump pump

Unlike pedestal ones, submersible sump pumps keep their entire setup inside the basin. As a result, it saves space, creates fewer clogs, and runs much more quietly than its pedestal counterpart. That’s why it can handle serious flooding issues in your home.

However, since it’s underwater all the time, its lifespan is considerably less compared to other sump pumps.

c. Water-fueled sump pump

This type of sump pump (a.k.a water-powered sump pump) utilizes the increased water pressure to power itself up. You don’t need any backup power source or battery if you buy one of these pumps. However, it does increase your water bill slightly, thus it being banned in several cities from being installed.

d.Battery-operated sump pump

Everything about sump pump - Water-operated and battery-operated sump pumps

This kind of sump pump is usually used as a backup in case of a power outage during flooding. Blackouts usually happen when there is a storm. A battery backup sump pump is equipped with a float switch. When the water rises and the power is out, your battery operation will be kickstarted.

Which sump pump is suitable for you?

Choosing the right sump pump depends on multiple factors. Knowing about the types mentioned above is just one-third of the way.

a. Horsepower does matter

Horsepower is also an important aspect when it comes to picking a sump pump. On one hand, using a low horsepower pump in a property with severe flooding issues won’t solve the problem. On the other hand, too much horsepower can trigger sporadic turning on and off, which will eventually wear down the pump.

Everything about sump pump - Horse power
You need to make sure the sump pump has enough power to get the job done

Normal houses in areas with average rainfall and not built deep into the water table will do well with a pedestal sump pump. Homes with medium water problems for being built even closer to the water table will be fine with a submersible pump with one-half horsepower. A sump pump with a high horsepower of up to 13,000 gallons per hour is for houses with severe and frequent flooding.

b. Sump pump’s core

Another factor that affects your buying decision is the pump’s core. Plastic or stainless steel cores don’t tend to last as long as cast iron ones due to the fact that they dissipate heat less efficiently.

c. An alarm might come in handy

Everything about sump pump - Sump pump's alarm

Sump pumps that come with an alarm are useful since they can alert you whenever the water reaches a worrying level due to plumbing problems or pump failures.

How much is a sump pump?

The price of a sump pump can range from just 100 to a whopping 1000 dollars. However, the real expense comes from installation, which is between $600 and $3,000. That might sound expensive, but it can indeed save you a great deal of money later on. It’s better to have a well-installed but costly pumping system than a sloppy one long-term.

What exactly affects your sump pump’s price

Everything about sump pump - Price

The final cost of your sump pump is based on various factors such as:

  • The type of your sump pump

  • The thickness of your basement’s floor since it directly adds to the labor cost.

  • How far from your place to the drainage point? Longer pipes mean more expense and danger of cold weather exposure. The fee for getting the permits from your local government.

  • A professional in setting up your entire sump pump system. Having a highly-skilled plumber install your sump pump might prove expensive, but it will ensure your system’s stability in the long run. You can give us a call if you want to install a sump pump in San Jose.

How important is a sump pump to your plumbing?

Everything about sump pump - Its importance

A sump pump is in fact, the only solution when it comes to flooding. Rising water in your basement can be harmful to your house and your health. Molds can be formed in your basement if the flooding is left unchecked for a long time, which will directly cause multiple issues such as respiratory infections, allergic reactions, and asthma complications. Getting excess water out of your property with a sump pump can help you avoid such consequences effectively.

Is a backup sump pump necessary?

As useful as they can be to your plumbing, sump pumps aren’t immune to wear and tear. They can fail right at a heated moment due to some reasons. To keep the pumping process going, a backup sump pump operated by water or battery is essential. It will keep your house away from being flooded even when the power is out.

Factors leading to a sump pump fail.

Errors in installation, machine, or lifespan can be a leading cause of a sump pump failure. If you DIY the installation of the sump pump, be sure to know the process through and through. Remember that water damage due to installation errors will be far more expensive compared to hiring a professional to set your pump in place.

Everything about sump pump - Why a sump pump fails

Sump pumps used for a long time are subjected to breaking down more easily than brand-new ones. Lastly, constant usage cycles can create minor malfunctions like stuck switches when turning the pump on and off.

Signs that indicate changing your sump pump

Everything about sump pump - When to replace your sump pump

If you notice these symptoms in your pump, you should consider replacing or fixing it:

  • Irregular cycling: If your pump takes too long to remove water from the basin during the average rainfall season can be worrying. It’s either the pump not having enough horsepower or it being strained due to the float valve being placed too low.

  • It just keeps running: It’s unusual for a sump pump to recycle constantly. That’s a sign your pump is at the end of its lifespan or quickly approaching that point. Even worse, the pump is set to do a job way out of its capability. Another reason for this is the float switch being jammed or stuck, which signals the pump to keep emptying the water.

  • Obsolete sump pump: Ideally, a sump pump should be replaced every 10 years. If you’re using your pump for way longer than that, consider changing it to reduce future water damage and an insurmountable amount of repair cost.

  • The pump is too loud: If your pump is making incompressible loud noises, something troubling is clearly at play. It can range from faulty motors to incorrect installation, improper placement of the discharge pipe, damaged impeller, and many more. You should take the pump apart to look for causes when it’s not in use.

Those are things about sump pumps you need to understand from top to bottom. This device is not easy to install or even operate. We hope this article will help you handle sump pumps better. If you’re in San Jose and you’re having trouble setting your pump up or getting it to work, give us a call. We’ll be right over to assist you.

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