Sump Pump

One of the best ways to protect a building from the extensive damage caused by flooding is to install a sump pump in the basement. When there is heavy rainfall, gutters and drains are often not large enough to carry away the huge volume of water. Sandbags offer some protection against water entering the building, but they have a tendency to leak and require a lot of time to install. A sump pump is needed to remove any water that gets past these barriers and ends up in the basement. It is the last line defense in protecting a building from water damage.

Flooding often causes extensive damage to a building and can be so severe that it renders the building uninhabitable. In the worst cases, it can even lead to the building being demolished. To prevent this disaster from happening, every building with a basement should have a sump pump installed. A sump pump automatically removes water as it accumulates, pumping it away from the building so that it can drain normally. A sump pump can also be used to empty a large swimming pool or reservoir.

Gravity forces water to flow towards the lowest point in a building, which is usually a sump pit in the floor of the basement. This large hole lined with concrete allows water to accumulate until there is enough for the sump pump to remove. When the water reaches a certain level, it triggers a switch that turns on the sump pump. The switch also turns off the sump pump when the water drops below another level. The water is pumped out of the sump through a long pipe which feeds into a drain outside the building. Even in places where there is an underground drain below the basement, a sump pump is sometimes required to get the water out of the sump and into the drain.

Another place where water accumulates is in the bilge of a boat. A small leak from a cracked valve or pipe can quickly fill the bilge with enough water to sink the boat. A bilge pump is a smaller version of a sump pump that has been designed to withstand the corrosive effects of salt water. Boats are often left unattended for a long time so the bilge pump needs to be especially resistant to failure. It also needs a power supply that can keep it operating for a long time. Solar panels and wind generators are often used to keep the batteries fully charged so they are ready to power the bilge pump at any time.

The main components of a sump pump are its case, motor, impeller, filter, and switch. As the motor turns the impeller, water is drawn into the base and past a filter that removes most of the solid particles from it. A sump pump should not be operated without a filter because large particles can damage the soft rubber fins of the impeller. The fins bend against the wall of the chamber to form a tight seal, which eliminates the need for valves to stop the water flowing back. The switch that activates a sump pump can be either mechanical or electronic. A mechanical switch has a float that rises and falls with the water level, while an electronic switch has a water sensor instead of a float.

Regular maintenance is required to keep a sump pump in working condition. The longer the sump pump goes without maintenance, the greater the risk of it failing and the building suffering water damage. This may be as simple as checking that the inlet filter is clean but it could also involve oiling the bearings and cleaning the outlet pipe. A battery that powers a sump pump needs to be check regularly to ensure that it is fully charged and that there are no broken wires or corroded terminals. To be absolutely sure that the sump pump is working normally, fill the sump with a large bucket of water and monitor how fast the water is removed.

This Sump Pump Review is Written/Updated on Dec 1st, 2010 and filed under Home Improvement. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Sump Pump”

  1. KL Nothers says:

    The problem with relying on a single sump pump is that disaster always strikes when the power goes out or when the pump malfunctions.

    Those cheap battery backup pumps don’t have the pumping capacity to handle what the main pump can. Same goes for the water pressure backups.

    After our second flood, the insurance company made us buy a Nexpump. Expensive, but that solved the problem.

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