What Is A Sump Pump & What does It Do

On this page we will be running through two main questions what is a sump pump & what does a sump pump do

What Is A Sump Pump?

A sump pump is basically a pump that is used in order to remove water that has accumulated within a water collecting sump basin, these are normally found in the basements of houses. There are a variety of ways that water can enter the basement such as via perimeter drains of a water proofing system, flooding from rain especially if the basement is below the water table level.

Sump Pumps are primarily used when basement flooding frequently occurs and help to solve dampness where the water table is positioned above the foundation of a household. Sump pumps work by sending water away from a household to a place which is no longer deemed problematic such as a storm drain or a well.

It was common with older pumps to discharge any excess water into sanitary sewers this was once considered an acceptable practice however this could now violate some plumbing codes or municipal bylaws because it can actually overwhelm the sewage system. Municipalities have urged all homeowners to actually disconnect and reroute their sump pump discharge away from all sanitary sewers. If you do not comply with these rules you may be issued a fine. However it is common for homeowners to actually inherit their sump pump and how its configured and therefore they don’t actually realise that their pump is discharging excess water into the sewer. So if your pump is fed to a laundry sink its most likely being discharged into the sewer.

The majority of sump pumps are hardwired directly into a households electrical system, however some of the more expensive ones may actually have a battery backup in place incase of a power outage. You can also power some pumps via the pressurised water supply which completely eliminates the necessity of electricity when powering yours instead replacing this with potable water (however this generally makes them much more expensive to operate as opposed to the electrical pumps not to mention the additional water created by this also needs to be dispersed) Sometimes if a sump basin is not consistently pumped they may begin to overflow and therefore it is important to have a backup system should your primary system fail.

While looking for sump pumps there are two main types that you will come across on your searches these are submersible and pedestal.

A pedestal pump has its motor mounted well above the sump itself which allows people to service it far easier than one that has been submerged. However because of this it is more obvious to the eye.

A submersible pump is completely mounted within the actual sump and is sealed to prevent any short circuits. There is a lot of debate to which sump pump is better and it generally comes down to preference however it has been said that a pedestal sump pump will last 25 – 30 years if installed properly and well looked after where as a submersible pump will only last around 5 to 15 years and are more expensive to purchase but they can take debris up with the water without clogging.

Sump Pump systems aren’t just used in residential properties, they can also be utilised in various industrial and commercial applications such as controlling water table problems in the surface soil. A artesian aquifer or periodic high water tale situation can actually cause the ground beneath it to become unusable due to it being completely saturated with water. So as long as the pump is functional then the soil will remain stable and usable. These sumps differ from residential ones as they are normally buried 10 feet deep or more and have been lined with a metal pipe that has been perforated and has drainage holes throughout. These tend to have electronic control systems with both visual and audible alarm notifications incase of a problem, they are normally covered in order to prevent any debris or animals from falling into the hole.

What Does A Sump Pump Do