With lovely spring weather comes the rain – and with the rain comes the possibility of a flooded basement.
It can be quite disheartening to have your basement flood with water after a storm. Water damage can be a costly repair. Having a sump pump in your basement can help you combat the floods. Before you rush out and purchase the first sump pump you can find, you need to understand the sump pump basics.
A sump pump sits in an area known as a sump pit. This area is usually about two feet deep and eighteen inches wide. When the sump pit fills with water, the sump pump will activate and pump the water out of your basement and away from your foundation. Most sump pumps have an automatic activation feature to ensure that they turn on automatically. Automatic sump pumps are more popular because the homeowner does not have to worry about turning the pump on each time it rains – the pump does everything on its own. Read more
Have you survived the drenching rains this past week here across the Denver Metro area? While its great to get the occasional rain shower, adding several inches of rain this past week to already saturated soil is starting to be concerning to many neighborhoods.
It seems once a year the monsoons set in, and the rain comes down. While its not the norm, it is something we have to prepare for. The last thing you want is a wet basement, even if it is once per year.
Have you thought about a sump pump? Or if you have a sump pump, is it working? Read more
A sump pump is a mechanical device used for removing water. You can use sump pumps in a variety of locations, including basements and crawl spaces. Anywhere standing water is a problem is a good spot for a sump pump. A sump pump will remove any water that invades these areas. Simply put, a sump pump has a float. When water makes the float rise to a certain level, the sump pump turns on and starts pumping the water out.
Sump pumps are designed to last for a long time. However, no mechanical device is perfect and they all need proper maintenance and testing to ensure they work right. If you have a sump pump in your home, make sure you test it on a regular basis and provide simple maintenance. By testing your pump regularly, you will be able to fix any problems before the pump is needed. Regular maintenance will help keep your pump working right for many years. Read more
Some things in your home are easy to ignore – until you have a problem. And at the top of the list its easy to find a sump pump.
“What is it?” and “Why do I need one?” are only the beginning of the most commonly asked questions about sump pumps. Especially in Colorado, where we know we live in a predominantly dry area, do we really need to worry about flooding in our home’s basement or crawl space?
Yes. Even though we live in a dry climate, our local communities are filled with underground water tables and rivers. If communities are built too close to a water table, you could be living with moisture in your basement every year, especially in the years we do have higher than average snow and rainfall.
What exactly is a sump pump and what is its purpose? Sump pumps are electrical pumps that are usually located in basements to drain water out in case of flooding. In areas where flooding is common, the pump is generally located below the water line or may be placed below the sewer line. The main goal is to eliminate the possibility of water overflowing into your living areas, and prevent damage to your personal property and assets. Even an inch of standing water can be detrimental in a finished basement with furniture and carpeting.
How should I maintain my sump pump? Typically sump pumps will operate up to a period of five years maintenance free. Yet it’s important to check them yearly, especially before rainy seasons, or times of the year when you are more susceptible to flooding. Cleaning the sump pit (the hole dug into the ground to collect water) from debris will keep the pump working in most cases. Dirt, sand, and gravel may accumulate within the pump itself, clogging the pump to the point of making it inoperable. A routine check by a plumber can give you piece of mind.
What choices do I have in sump pumps? Generally speaking, there are two types of sump pumps. The pedestal style pump sits in an upright position on top of the sump pit. The advantage of a pedestal sump pump is it can be easily seen and maintained. The second type of sump pump is called a submersible sump pump, which is located down inside the sump pit. It’s usually enclosed in a sealed housing unit to prevent electrical short circuits when water collects in the pit. Ask your plumber what’s the right choice for you.
Did you install a sump pump years ago, and have recently started wondering if its working? Or maybe you’ve recently purchased a home with a sump pump, and want to understand more about it. As spring and summer draw near, and Colorado is starting to see more rain than snow, its time to do a springtime cleaning and test your sump pump before you actually need it.
Sump pumps are mechanical. As a rule, anything mechanical is subject to failure, and should have routine inspection and maintenance to keep it up to par. Here in Colorado, because we have a small amount of heavy moisture every year, once a year may work, but check with your local plumber. It all depends on the age and use of your sump pump.
Testing is easy. Using a bucket of water, pour water through the sump hole. The pump is equipped with an automatic switch that senses when water reaches a certain level. At that point, the sump pump will turn on and begin clearing out most of the water from the pit, shutting off once the water drops below the acceptable level.
If the sump pump doesn’t automatically turn on as the water rises, start by checking your power source. If the power is on and functioning, the float switch may have failed and in need of replacement. If the pump works properly, allow it to run its cycle.
Once the water has cleared, unplug the sump pump and feel the bottom of the pump to make sure there isn’t and foreign material or sludge. Clear any blockage, and consider investing in a new sump pump to meet your needs. Your plumber can help you replace and upgrade, depending on your requirements.
It’s springtime in Colorado. Is your basement safe from moisture and flooding?
If not, it may be time to think about installing a basement sump pump.
Because the majority of homes here in the Denver metro area have basements, many are subjected to the risks of water damage as we thaw from the winter months, and begin watering our landscape and gardens.
Basement flooding is most often caused by water buildup in the soil. Especially with Colorado’s clay-like soil, it can only take so much before it makes your way into your basement. While there are many ways to work with your foundation and landscaping to prevent flooding, you may still be at risk. Some homes are in natural flood plains, or are located where the water table is equal or above the foundation of the home. In either case, a sump pump can be your last resort at preventing damage, and eliminate hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage to your home and property.
Sump pumps are usually hardwired directly into the home’s electrical system, and run on a continual basis. In most cases they have a battery backup, to prevent flooding during emergency situations when the electricity may also be out. While you can choose from several different types of sump pumps, the important factor is to choose the right one to protect your property from damage. A plumber who works regularly with sump pumps can offer you the best suggestions, help you install it, and put you on a regular maintenance routine to keep your sump pump in good working condition.
There are three types of sump pumps available for you to use within your home basement. Two are electric models, one is water powered.
Pedestal – A pedestal sump pump is an electric pump that stands upright with the motor at the top. The motor itself is not meant to get wet. The pump has a float-activated switch that turns on when the water rises and reaches a certain level. This type of sump pump is common in home basements where flooding and water drainage is an issue. They are usually less expensive than other models, and are noisier than submersibles.
Submersible – Submersibles are electric pumps that are installed directly into the ground, and are designed to work underwater. They use the same float-activated switch technology as the pedestal pumps, though because they are underwater, they tend to be quieter. They also tend to have a longer life because theirs motors are sealed and protected from moisture and dust.
Water-Powered – A water-powered pump runs off the water pressure from your home plumbing system using the same float-activated switch design. These pumps handle water drainage at a comparable rate to the electric styles, yet require no electricity for operation. This makes them ideal backup systems to their electric counterparts.
Benefits of having a sump pump:
· Keeps the water out of your basement, lowers the humidity level in your home, and gives you a dryer basement.
· Keeps fungus, mold and mildew at bay.
· Gives you a cleaner, healthier home.
· Keeps your foundation safe and intact.
· Prevents warping of floors, floorboards, wallboards, paint and wall coverings.
1. Basements are most often flooded by water building up in the soil, and overflowing into the basement. A sump pump is placed at the lowest level of the basement, and pumps the water out and away from the home before the water level reaches the basement floor level.
2. Sump pumps are usually installed for two reasons. One, the basement is located in an area where frequent flooding may be a problem. Two, the water table is equal or above the foundation of the home.
3. Sump pumps are usually hardwired into a home’s electrical system, and may have a battery backup. Some may use the home’s pressurized water supply as its power source, eliminating the need for electricity.
4. It’s important to maintain a normal sump cycle. In order to make sure that a sump pump is in proper working condition, its important to check it periodically, especially before heading into a wet season. Remove the sump pump cover and slowly pour water into the tank. The float should begin to rise, triggering the pump to start. Once the pump starts, the water level should quickly disperse. The pump should turn off once the water has been cleared.
5. Most problems associated with sump pumps stem from the float. If the pump does not start, the float may be stuck within the tank. Start by repositioning the float. If this fails, the float may need to be replaced. If the pump fails to shut off after the water has drained, that also signifies the need for a new float.
You’ve just moved in to your new home. You’re excited about finishing the basement, and adding more living space for your family. A new home theater. A games room. A bedroom.
Are you also protecting it from flooding?
In Colorado, most homes have basements. And a growing number of homeowners are also expanding their living area into the basement. But it can be frustrating completing your new addition, only to have it flooded a few short months later.
Instead of waiting for the inevitable to happen, make plans to avoid it by installing a sump pump.
A sump pump is usually installed where basement flooding is known to have occurred and is seen as a problem. But it can also be used to remove dampness that may occur because of ordinary and extraordinary events, such as large amounts of snow/rain fall. Sump pumps pump the water away from the home’s foundation, and send it to a place where it won’t pose a problem to the home itself, such as to a municipal storm drain or a dry well.
Sump pumps are usually hardwired into a home’s electrical system, and may on occasion have a battery backup. In homes with finished basements, a homeowner may also decide to have a second sump pump as a backup. Since water may begin to overflow if not constantly pumped, a backup system should be considered for prolonged power outages.
Once your sump pump system is installed, it is a good idea to schedule regular maintenance. A plumber can check its condition once per year to assure it’s functioning properly. A good cleaning will remove dirt, gravel, sand and other debris, increasing its efficiency and extending the life of the pump.