A sump pump is a pump that is used to remove water that has been collected in water-collecting sump basin (sump pit), found in the basement of homes. The sump pit also has a cover to prevent debris going in. Sump pumps often work together with an interior waterproofing system, and waterproofing companies will recommend having both inside your basement to have a full waterproofing system. Failure of the sump pump can quickly lead to floods and a wet basement, so it is good to have a waterproofing contractor come check the health of your sump pump and make sure there are no mechanical failures that could happen.
There are two types of sump pumps, submersible, and pedestal. A pedestal sump pump is mounted above the sump pit and is more visible and loud. A submersible sump pump itself is completely submerged in the sump pit and produces less noise. ABS piping is fitted with the sump pump, outside. In commercial buildings, sump pits are commonly found in the boiler room. Water gets accumulated in the sump pit by natural underground water or from a drain of a waterproofing system that is connected to the pit. The sump pump system is used when the water table is fairly higher than the footing of a home or to divert basement foundation leaks by installing an internal waterproofing system or connecting the external weeping tiles into the sump pit.
The sump pump is like a reverse toilet tank. When the water level in the pit rises to a specific level, the leaver/float attached to the pump will activate and discharge the water outside via ABS piping. There are different horsepower pumps for different pits. The bigger the pit, the more horsepower a sump pump should be. The more powerful the pump the faster the water will discharge from the sump pit. Some sump pumps are also battery activated using a marine deep cycle battery and a secondary sump pump. A Battery backup sump pump provides uninterrupted pumping in the event of power outage or main pump failure; the sump pit will not overflow and flood the basement.
A sump pump is a mechanical device and does require maintenance to keep it running healthy to prevent a wet basement. The typical recommendation is to visually examine the sump pump twice a year. If the sump pump is quite active due to a high water table or lots of rainwater traveling through the waterproofing system, it should be examined more frequently. In colder climate areas with harsh winters, the ABS discharge pipe should be examined outside. If the pipe is full of ice have it immediately replaced because the pump will not be able to discharge the water and eventually burn out. To prevent a frozen pipe, one can install a heat cable inside the ABS pipe similar to heat cables used on roofs to de-ice the shingles. In warmer climate areas examine the ABS discharge pipe outside, at the same time when examining the sump pump inside, and make sure that the pipe is slightly sloped downwards to allow smooth water discharge.
A 2 feet diameter and 2-3 feet deep pit is dug out in a specific part of the basement authorized by the homeowner.
Sump pump pit is installed to collect water either from the ground or perforated pipes connected to it. The lid of the pit is installed flush with the floor.
When water is at a specific level in the pit, the sump pump will discharge the water through an ABS pipe that is connected outside.
Some sump pumps are battery activated and will continue to work during a blackout.
Once sump pump system is installed, all broken concrete around sump pit is re-poured.
Annual maintenance is required by the homeowner to make sure sump pump is in working order.