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Well and Sump Pumps

Sump pumps re-route water away from your home to protect your basement and crawl space, sending the water to someplace where it won’t cause damage. Your main sump pump is often hardwired into your residential electrical system or plugged into a wall outlet. Ideally, sump pumps are equipped with a battery backup to make sure the pump works when it is most needed, like during a severe rain storm when the power goes out, to keep pumping water away from your house. The battery backup also kicks in to work alongside the main sump pump. For example, if the main pump’s sump pit overflows or can’t keep up with the water flow, the batter helps the pump work.

Types of Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are available in pedestal or submersible models. A pedestal sump pump is mounted above the sump pit, providing convenient access for service and periodic testing. A submersible sump pump sits in a sump pit (or well) and is basically out of sight. The well and sump pump and sump pit together serve as the collection basin and water eliminator. The plastic well is installed inside the sump pit, which is dug into the basement floor at the lowest point. The sump pit typically extends to a depth of about two feet or more and acts as a catch basin for the excess water prior to pumping.

Sump Pumps in Action

  • During a rainstorm, ground water from around your home's foundation is guided into a bordering drain system. The water flow is directed into perforated pipes and diverted into the sump pit, well and sump pumps.
  • The sump pump(s) is/are triggered by a float switch when the water reaches a pre-set level. The sump pump then removes the water by pumping it to a nearby storm drain, dry well or other outdoor area.
  • Most sump pumps are equipped with battery powered water level alarms to warn you of potential flooding if the pump is malfunctioning or overwhelmed.
  • Test your sump pump regularly to make sure it’s ready for the next downpour. Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit and make sure it removes the water and shuts off. The sump pump should be cleaned and inspected annually.
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