What is a sump pump and how does it work?

sump pump

Why get a sump pump?

To answer the question, what is a sump pump, it is a device that is usually installed in a basement, or the lowest point possible. If there isn’t a low enough point, the sump pump installation will require a pit to be dug out for the unit. 

So, what is the purpose of a sump pump, and what is a sump pump used for? It pumps out excess water from the basement that could cause major flooding. Having sump pump installation can help thwart a build-up of water which would otherwise lead to water damage, flooding, and expensive structural damage. 

It depends on where you’re having water buildup problems. Sump pump installation is typical for homes and buildings built on a sloped property. Another reason that a sump pump installation may be needed is if the soil around your home or business is dense and water doesn’t flow away, but instead, floods under the structure or in the basement. The 4 most common reasons homeowners opt to have a sump pump installation done are: 

1. Keep the Basement or Crawlspace Dry

This is the most common reason that a sump pump installation is needed. The sump  pump fills up with excess water, and then the pump removes that water through a pipe, leading it outside. There is a float activator that tells the pump when to start pumping and a check valve installed between the pump and the pipe that keeps the water from back flowing. 

2. To Prevent Mildew and Mold 

With a sump pump installation, the basement or crawlspace is kept dry, which prevents mildew and mold, ,which are unsightly, and unhealthy. 

3. Water Level Is Reaching Height Warning

A sump pump installation does more than pump out excess water. If the sump pump isn’t working, example would be a power outage, t will alert the homeowner that imminent flooding is possible. if the basement or crawlspace is in danger of being flooded. This allows the homeowner a warning to call their plumber before a catastrophe happens. 

4. A Value Add 

A sump pump installation in proper working order will make a home attractive for a potential buyer. It could raise your property value as well if the area is known for having sump pump installations. It gives a potential buyer the knowledge the current owner has kept the basement dry, and the structure is sound. 

5. Soil Stabilized

For a commercial structure, a sump pump installation will stabilize the soil and that keeps the building stable. 

How long do sump pumps last on average?

There isn’t any appliance or equipment within your home that will last forever, and that includes the sump pump. On the average, after your sump pump installation, approximately around 10 years later, you may not notice that your sump pump has any malfunction … until it isn’t functioning at all. 

Once it quits, the water damage starts and everything in the area of the sump pump gets damaged. There are several factors that can impact the life of your sump pump. By knowing what signs are telling you that it is about to quit, you can save yourself some headache and a lot of money: 

  • The pump doesn’t engage. This could be cause the pump is clogged with debris and dirt, the float could be jammed or have an obstruction, all which could be caused by a loose-fitting lid.  
  • The age of the sump pump. If your sump pump installation was 7 years ago or more, it probably needs to be replaced. 
  • Visible rust around the base. When you notice corrosion and rust around the float or motor, that is from bacteria and chemical build-up, which it taking a toll on the sump pump system. 
  • The pump seldom turns on. If your sump pumps isn’t engaging regularly, it will shorten it’s lifespan. Keep a journal on your sump pumps operation times and maintenance performed. On a regular basis, give your sump pump a test run just to keep it moving. 
  • The pump runs continually. When a sump pump that is getting close to its end of life will often run non-stop because the float is the on/off switch and will begin to be mis-calibrated. 

Do sump pumps smell?

Yes, a sump pump will have an odor, it basically is part of the job. However, a  strong pungent odor could be an indication you to have it services. 

sump pump

Do sump pumps need maintenance?

Always consult the owner’s manual after your sump pump installation, and periodically afterward, for the manufacturer’s instructions. Here you’ll find their recommended standard maintenance and service schedule. The following maintenance is industry recommendation on frequency of sump pump maintenance:

  • Monthly: A monthly cleaning of the inlet opening, and screen should be one monthly, after you’ve unplugged it. 
  • Annually: Remove the sump pump once a year, clean the pump and the pit. Schedule a professional inspection, preferably by the same company that did your sump pump installation. 

When you buy a house, you’re making a big investment. So, if you are looking at houses with a sump pump, are houses with sump pumps bad investment? Absolutely not!  If anything, you can consider that a small insurance policy against flood damage. 

Over  60% of all houses in this country experience some type  flooding or moisture buildup  issue. A house with a sump pump installation will save you from that grief. You should certainly ask about the sump pump, like why was it installed and how long ago. Ask to see the sump pump record of run times and maintenance. One thing for sure having a sump pump installation already will far outweigh any negativity about the sump pump! Need sump pump installation in Marietta, GA? Call 404-475-3009 today!