Answers To 2 Common Questions About Sump Pumps

A sump pump can be a real life-saver for anyone with a flood-prone basement. Yet many people hesitate to invest in one simply because they don't understand as much as they would like. If you are considering a sump pump for your home, read on. This article will help you make a decision by providing answers to two commonly asked questions.

What different types of sump pumps are there?

There are two primary varieties of sump pumps: pedestal and submersible. Both systems require that a hole--known as the sump pit--be installed in the floor of your basement. Likewise, both systems consist of a pump that is responsible for displacing excess water from the sump pit to a point a safe distance from your home.

The difference between the two pump styles is that a pedestal pump sits above the sump pit, where as a submersible pump is located inside of the pit. Because their engineering does not have to be water-tight, pedestal pumps are the less expensive option, as well as the longer lasting. That said, they take up precious floor space and are often noisier.

Submersible pumps, on the other hand, are much less obtrusive and don't present a tripping hazard. Not only that but, because they are located directly in the water, they are able to generate much more speed and force when pumping water. This makes them the more reliable option for basements that are prone to heavy, rapid flooding.

What will I need to do to maintain my pump?

By and large, sump pumps are fairly sufficient. That said, they will require periodic testing and maintenance--especially in the spring, when flooding presents the greatest threat. Luckily, sump pump maintenance is fairly easy to perform.

The first step is to unplug the sump pump and then remove the lid of the sump pit. Take a good look to see if any silt or debris has built up in the pit, and remove as necessary. Then take a look at the pump's intake hole, to make sure that this is also free of any clogs.  

Now it's time to check that your pump behaves the way it should when the sump has water in it. Turn your pump back on and, using either a garden hose or a large bucket, empty several gallons of water into the pit. Watch the pump's float mechanism to make sure that it is moving smoothly as the water level comes up.

Talk to places like AA Plumbing for more information.

When the float reaches the top, the pump should switch on. Listen closely for any odd sounding squeaks or squeals, as these may be signs that your pump needs professional maintenance. Even if all goes well the first time, be sure to fill the pit again, just to make sure the pump can handle repeat flushes in a short period of time.