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How Does a Sump Pump Work?

Sump pit with water.

Sump pumps play a crucial role in protecting your home from water damage, particularly in areas prone to flooding or with high water tables. If you’re constantly finding water in your basement after a heavy storm, this handy system may be the answer to your prayers. Learn how sump pumps work, their various types, the importance of regular maintenance, and why choosing the right sump pump installation company is crucial for your home’s safety. 

The Basics of Sump Pumps

What Is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a device installed in the lowest part of a house, usually in the basement or crawl space. Its primary function is to pump out water that accumulates in a sump pit, a specially constructed hole with a gravel base. Sump pumps are essential in preventing basement flooding, managing dampness, and protecting the structural integrity of your home.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The operation of a sump pump is relatively straightforward. Water flows into the sump pit through drains or by natural water migration through the soil. The sump pump activates when the water reaches a pre-set level, typically controlled by a float switch. Once activated, the sump pump expels the water through a discharge pipe, leading it away from the home to a place where it won’t pose a risk of flooding.

Types of Sump Pumps

Submersible Sump Pump

Submersible sump pumps are designed to be fully submerged in water. They are generally more powerful and quieter than pedestal pumps. This type of pump is ideal for homes that require significant water management. The motor is sealed within the unit, which prevents electrical short circuits.

Pedestal Sump Pump

Pedestal sump pumps feature a motor mounted above the sump pit, making them easier to maintain and repair. They are generally less expensive than submersible pumps but can be noisier and less efficient. These pumps are suitable for smaller basements or crawl spaces with less intensive water drainage needs.

Key Components of a Sump Pump

  • Float Switch: The float switch is a crucial component that triggers the pump to start when the water level in the sump pit rises to a certain height. There are different types of float switches, including tethered and vertical models, each suitable for different sump pit sizes.
  • Discharge Pipe: The discharge pipe is responsible for moving water from the sump pit to the outside of your home. Proper installation of the discharge pipe is vital to prevent water from flowing back into the basement.
  • Check Valve: A check valve is installed on the discharge line to prevent backflow of water into the sump pit. This component is essential in ensuring the efficient operation of the sump pump system.

Sump Pump Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your sump pump. This includes checking the operation of the pump, ensuring the float switch is not hindered, and verifying that the discharge pipe is clear of obstructions. It’s also important to inspect the check valve and clean the sump pit periodically.

Backup Sump Pump Systems

The primary sump pump does the bulk of the work when heavy rain floods your basement. However, a power outage or lack of proper maintenance can cause the system to suddenly stop working. Most plumbers recommend installing a battery-operated backup to keep your home a flood-free zone in case the primary sump pump fails.  

Battery Backup Sump Pump

In areas prone to power outages, a battery backup sump pump can be a lifesaver. These systems operate independently of your home’s power supply and ensure continuous operation during outages.

Water Powered Backup Systems

Water-powered backup systems use your home’s water pressure to operate the pump. These systems are an excellent alternative in areas where installing a battery backup is not feasible.

Installation Considerations

Professional installation by a company like PGA Inc. ensures that your sump pump is correctly sized for your home and installed according to industry standards. Expert installers can also provide valuable advice on the best type of pump for your specific needs.

When installing a sump pump, it’s important to consider factors such as the size of your basement, the average water inflow, and the local climate. The installation process involves selecting the right location for the sump pit, choosing the appropriate pump type, and properly routing the discharge pipe.

Protect Your Home with the Right Sump Pump

Sump pumps are an essential component of home maintenance, especially in areas susceptible to flooding. Understanding the different types of pumps, their components, and the importance of regular maintenance is key to protecting your home from water damage. With the expertise of companies like PGA Inc., you can ensure that your sump pump is correctly installed and maintained, providing peace of mind and safeguarding your home against water-related issues.

Remember, investing in a quality sump pump system and ensuring regular maintenance is not just about protecting your basement — it’s about protecting your entire home. If you’re in need of a sump pump installation in Weston, WI, consider reaching out to PGA Inc. for professional and reliable services. Protect your home today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a properly functioning sump pump system.

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