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Pouring Some Knowledge About Sump Pumps


Something that homeowners know very little about is -- you guessed it! -- sump pumps.

If you've ever sat and asked yourself, "what is a sump pump?" then you've never had to deal with issues that require one. You're lucky! For those unlucky ones that have experienced a wet basement/crawl, this is water under the bridge (and pumped out of the pit).

We're turning on the knowledge faucet and giving you some advice on how to keep it out of your basement or crawl.

  1. You'll want a cast iron core, rather than plastic. Cast iron cores helps to dissipate heat to the surrounding water and in turn making sure your pump lifespan is longer.

  2. You should look for one with an alarm. The main function is to alert you when water reaches a certain level.

  3. You want a pump with a no-screen intake design coupled with an impellor that can handle solids up to ½-inch in diameter.

  4. The switch should be mechanical, not a pressure switch, and the float should be solid so it can’t become waterlogged, fail to switch off, and burn out the pump.

  5. You should always think about a secondary pump. Have it installed next to first in case the primary pump malfunctions or is overwhelmed by a large amount of water. If you're thinking about a secondary pump, you should seriously consider a batter backup pump. If you lose power during a heavy rain storm, you have no way to pump that water out, however, the battery powered one will kick in and save the day (and your finished basement)!

  6. You want a submersible pump instead of a pedestal if the basin has the space. Submersibles allow the pit to be covered with a lid, which cuts down on the noise, and stops debris from entering the pit. Consider an airtight lid to keep out moist air as it will try to enter your living space.

Test your pumps regularly, you don't want to find out that the pumps aren't working during a flash flood or heavy rain storm like a few years ago here in Bloomington. You're also making sure that the check valve is working so that water doesn't flow back into the basin.

We hope you never need one, but if you do, now you're better prepared to make that purchase decision. Go with the flow and shed that water!

Don't take just our word for it, This Old House has some great information too.


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