7 Things to Know About Your Sump Pump

Do you own a home with a sump pump? Maybe you’re in the housing market and looking at a home that comes with a sump pump? Many homeowners don’t know what a sump pump is. What its purpose is or where to even find it in the home? Perhaps you have a sump pump at your home and didn’t even realize it. Today we’ll be breaking down 7 of the most important things about a sump pump. 

#1 – What does your sump pump do?

Your sump pump is meant to pump water from your home out into another area, typically a storm drain. Sump pumps are great for areas that suffer from frequent flooding or heavy rains. We suggest asking your realtor, previous homeowner, or plumber to identify your home’s specific kind of sump pump. This will better inform you on how it works, where it is, and what it explicitly helps with. 

#2 – Where is a sump pump typically located? 

You can typically find your sump pump located in the basement of your home. You may also find it in a crawl space. They are typically in a corner or against an outside wall. Even if you live in a  drier area, most new homes have a sump pump as a result of the 1987 US Federal Clean Water Act. 

#3 – How does your sump pump work? 

Your sump pump is typically hardwired into your home’s electrical system; however, some are powered by the city water system. Sump pumps powered by the water system are a great pick for homes with many storms. Sump pumps powered by electricity can go out during power outages, so be mindful of this fact. 

#4 – What are the two kinds of sump pumps? 

The two kinds of sump pumps are submersible and pedestal pumps. Submersible pumps are much sleeker and quieter. Therefore, they are typically installed in homes with close neighbors to avoid being too noisy. These sump pumps are more expensive than pedestal pumps and don’t last as long. Pedestal pumps work quicker and are cheaper to install but can be noisy. 

#5 – Your sump pump needs maintenance too 

Like anything else in your home, your sump pump requires maintenance or the minimum yearly check-ins. Most plumbers should be able to assist you in checking your sump pump and you may even be able to ask them to check it quickly during a regular plumbing call. If you’d like to check it yourself, you can do so pretty easily by grabbing a 5-gallon bucket of water. Slowly dump the water until the sump pump activates, let it drain the water making sure everything is working correctly. Once the water is gone, the sump pump should promptly turn off; if it continues running, you may need to consider professional assistance. 

#6 Your sump pump lines can freeze 

Like your other plumbing, your sump pump lines can freeze when the weather drops. Be sure that you’re maintaining the sump pump properly to avoid having frozen pipes. This typically only happens if lines aren’t buried correctly, which is a bigger problem to fix. 

#7 Sump pumps can last a while 

The kind of sump pump you have will determine how long it lasts for you. Most often, pedestal pumps outlast submersible pumps. Pedestal pumps take up more space but are easier to maintain and can last up to 30 years if well cared for. Submersible pumps are sleeker but prone to more issues and last about 10 years. 

We hope that these 7 facts have helped you better understand a sump pump and how to care for it. If you have any questions or would like to have maintenance done on your sump pump call (804) 758-4314. Our team is ready to assist you with your needs. 

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