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To protect your belongings and keep your basement dry, it’s important to have a sump pump that you can rely on to pump water efficiently and effectively out of your home. To help you choose the right sump pump, know when to replace it, and how to add an emergency backup, here’s a quick crash course.
Types of Sump Pumps
- Submersible — A submersible sump pump sits inside the sump pit and when the water in the pit rises, the motor is triggered and the pumping begins until the water level is lowered and the float disengages. Submersible sump pumps have strong motors and are best for frequently flooded basements. They are also quieter than pedestal pumps and are not as prone to clogging.
- Pedestal — A pedestal sump pump sits outside of the sump pit and has a hose that goes down into the pit and draws the water out. These types of pumps work best in homes where flooding is minor, as they typically have less powerful motors than submersible sump pumps. Pedestal pumps are easier to service than submersibles, but they also take up space on the basement floor.
When to Replace Your Sump Pump
Like other equipment in your home, your sump pump needs to be monitored to ensure it is in good working order. Common conditions to watch for that may indicate that it’s time to service or replace your sump pump include:
- Makes strange noises. Strange noises can indicate the pump has worn or damaged parts that may eventually cause the pump to fail.
- Runs all the time. Constant operation may mean the switch is malfunctioning or that the pump has shifted in the pit and the position is preventing the switch from properly engaging. Movement in the pit is easily corrected by repositioning the pump, but a faulty switch means it’s time for replacement.
- Cycles irregularly. Irregular pumping cycles are often an indication that the pump motor is not strong enough to handle the volume of water or that the motor is failing.
- Visible rust or damage. Observable signs of damage or deterioration are clear indications that your sump pump should be replaced.
Adding an Emergency Backup
Homeowner’s insurance typically doesn’t cover sump pump failure, which is why many people opt to add a sump pump backup. Two popular backup options for sump pumps are the water-powered backup and the battery-powered backup.
- Water-Powered — This type takes water from your home’s water supply line and forces it through a constricted area to create a pressure reduction that sucks water from the sump pit. To use this type of backup, your home must meet specific plumbing criteria, and it cannot be used in homes with wells. These pumps work best in homes where minimal flooding occurs, as they typically have lower pump rates than battery-powered backups.
- Battery-Powered — A battery-powered backup automatically starts working if the primary pump fails. This type of backup can be used in virtually any home. It is simple to install and it provides good pumping power, but it has a limited runtime based on battery life.
Questions or concerns about your sump pump? Call us.
Sump pumps are a critical piece of equipment in homes that experience flooding, as they protect your home and belongings from damage and destruction. If you have questions or concerns about your home’s sump pump, call us. Our expert plumbers can help you troubleshoot sump pump problems and identify which type of sump pump will best suit your needs.