Sump Pumps Can Prevent Basement Flood Damage
If you live in a flood-prone area, a sump pump will likely be an essential tool for safeguarding your home. A professional at Spring Plumbing can install a sump pump in your basement, preventing flood damage during storms.
A sump pump moves water from a basin to a drainage area outdoors. It’s commonly installed in homes with basements or crawl spaces to prevent flooding.
A submersible sump pump sits in your basement or in a pit beneath your home, completely immersed in the materials it pumps. This type of pump is generally a bit more expensive than pedestal models, but it runs on a regular power source and operates independently of user input. Some models also include a battery backup, which kicks in when electricity fails. We recommend choosing a model that is equipped with a battery that can pump thousands of gallons on a charge.
The pump works by capturing water through an intake screen and pushing it through a diffuser. This liquid is then forced through a discharge pipe and out of the pump, where it flows to the nearest drainage point or out into a drain field below your home.
To determine the right pump for your needs, consider its flow rate and head. Flow rate measures the volume of liquid that the pump can transport within a certain timeframe, usually measured in gallons per hour (GPH). Head is a measure of how high up or down the pump will push fluid; if you live on a hill, you’ll want to opt for a higher head rating.
The best submersible sump pumps have a built-in check valve to prevent backflow and are constructed of stainless steel. This material is highly durable and operates quietly. They also have a vent hole that’s out of the water and drains into the pit to prevent air lock, which can damage the pump.
The most important factor in determining the right pump is how easy it is to install and maintain. Most models come with a kit of parts, including a drain line, which you can connect to a discharge line. To install the line, simply measure and cut pieces of PVC pipe to fit inside the rim header protruding from your basement wall, dry fit them, and then cement them in place. You’ll also need a sump pit with a diameter of at least 11 inches. Make sure the pump is easily accessible so you can perform routine inspections and maintenance.
A pedestal sump pump sits above ground, so the motor doesn’t spend its entire life underwater like a submersible pump does. This makes it less likely to be damaged by water or rust. The downside is that it’s not as quiet as a submersible pump and doesn’t pump as fast.
Whether you choose a pedestal or submersible pump, it’s best to use one with a built-in check valve to prevent backflow. This helps keep the discharge line from clogging and stops the pump from running too frequently, which can overwork the motor. Also, make sure the discharge line is properly sized to avoid overflow. If the pump isn’t large enough to remove all of the excess water, it won’t be able to stop your basement from flooding.
If you’re installing a new pump, put on rubber boots and gloves before you start working. Unplug the old pump from the electrical outlet and remove the discharge pipe if necessary. If there’s a threaded union or a valve, you can remove it with a wrench or cut off the fitting with a saw. Make sure the discharge pipe is clean and that the new outlet line fits.
Connect the new pump to the discharge line and the float switch. Plug the power cord into an electrical outlet that’s protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Test the pump by pouring water into the pit and adjusting the float switch to ensure it works.
Then add the new discharge pipe to the pump. If the discharge pipe has a hose connected to it, make sure to disconnect it before removing the hose. If the hose is left attached, it will freeze during cold weather and prevent the pump from operating correctly.
A common problem that can cause your sump pump to stop working is iron bacteria, which feed on the iron in the water and cause discoloration and, in extreme cases, a gel-like substance that can clog plumbing and damage the pump. You can avoid this problem by regularly cleaning your pump. This will remove any discoloration and prevent the buildup of iron bacteria.
Float switches are perhaps the most important element of any sump pump. They’re what enable the pumps to automatically turn on when water levels rise and then turn off again as the water recedes, thereby keeping your basement dry without any additional effort on your part.
They’re also what make the pumps so efficient in terms of how quickly they can empty your basement and prevent any flooding. The switches are designed with a built-in sensor that triggers the pump when it reaches a designated level, which is usually just above the floor of your basement. The sensors are able to detect a specific water level in your basement with amazing accuracy. This is why so many homeowners trust them to be the primary source of their home’s flood protection and why they’re so often used in conjunction with a backup battery system.
There are several different types of float switches on the market today. Some are tethered, some are vertical, and others use a pressure-gauged diaphragm system. The latter is by far the most reliable option because it doesn’t contain any moving parts, so there’s less of a chance of them getting snagged or jammed within your sump pit.
When deciding on which type of switch you want to purchase, it’s important to consider the pump connector style as well. The most popular type is the piggyback float switch, which allows you to connect your pump to it using a standard power outlet. This type of float switch is also more convenient than some of the other options, as it eliminates the need for splicing cords in wet environments, which can be a serious safety risk.
When assembling the switches, it’s important to note that the float on the longer wire controls the level at which the pump turns on, and the float on the shorter wire controls the level at which the pump turns off. To ensure they work properly, it’s essential to flip the floats so that their “rings” face each other. If you don’t do this, the switch won’t activate correctly and will not turn off when the grant is full.
A battery-backed sump pump is a great solution for homeowners who live in areas where power outages are common. By reducing the risk of basement flooding by automatically pumping water out of your home into the sewer or a drainage system, you can prevent expensive damage to important items in your home, such as valuable furniture, clothing, and priceless mementos.
A battery-powered pump also helps protect your home in times when power lines may be down due to severe weather conditions such as high winds or a hurricane. If your basement is finished or if you store items in it such as expensive furniture, appliances, and priceless family mementos, a battery backup can save you money by protecting them from flooding during storms.
Backup pumps can be powered by DC battery power or by a standard vehicle lead-acid battery. Both have benefits, depending on your needs and the type of sump pump you have in your home. Battery power is less expensive upfront, but you will need to replace the batteries every few years, which can add up over time if your pump works regularly. Water-powered pumps use city water to run, which can increase your water bill if they frequently move a significant amount of water.
Most battery backup sump pumps have alarms that let you know the pump is activated and is working. This lets you know if your basement is at risk of flooding so that you can remove items from the area or take steps to protect them. Some systems are more sophisticated and can monitor battery levels, alert you to float switch problems, or even test the backup pump.
Most backup pump battery systems have a maximum ampere-hour (AH) rating that indicates how many hours the battery will provide protection for your home. Typically, this is listed on the label on top of the case of the battery. When the battery is new, it can run continuously for several hours. As the battery ages, however, its ability to hold a charge decreases. Many homeowners don’t notice this and only find out the pump isn’t working when their basement is already flooded. To prolong the life of your battery backup sump pump, check it regularly with a multimeter or volt-ohm meter to see if it is losing its charge.