What Is a Sump Pump and What Does It Do?

Being a homeowner is rewarding, but it also comes with many responsibilities. More often than not, you’ll find yourself doing tasks you might not have envisioned yourself doing—unclogging sinks, trimming tree limbs, cleaning the gutter, and ensuring your basement does not flood.

A sump pump can come in handy if you’re dealing with basement flooding issues.

This lesser-known device might be all you need to keep your basement dry, comfortable, and flood-free. Understanding how it works is a critical first step to taking better care of it so you can avoid potential water issues in the basement.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to sump pumps and explain how they work. We’ll also discuss the various types of sump pumps on the market to help you make a more informed buying decision. Let’s dive in!

What Is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is an equipment that drains water from a basement or the crawl space to another location away from your home. A sump is a naturally constructed pit carved below your basement. This pit, also known as the basin, holds the sump pump.

Sump pumps prevent flooding in the basement by moving water to the outside of your home. When the water enters your basement, say due to leakage or heavy rain, the device will pump the water up and away via a discharge pipe connected to an external drainage area.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

Sump pumps are usually equipped with valves that sense escalating water levels. Using these valves, the pump automatically pumps the excess water into a special discharge pipe that transfers it to a designated drainage area.

Typically, sump pumps automatically turn on when water in the sump basin reaches a certain level. When the set water level is reached, the pump will start, and the water will be pumped out through the discharge pipe.

Sump pumps run on electricity, so they need to be installed near an outlet in your basement.

And because heavy rains often go hand in hand with power outages, it’s important to have backup power connected to the pump. This way, the sump pump will prevent your basement from flooding, even during power outages.

Types of Sump Pumps

There are four common types of sump pumps:

  • Submersible sump pumps
  • Pedestal sump pumps
  • Water-powered backup
  • Water-powered backup

Submersible Sump Pumps

Submersible pumps are usually mounted inside the pump and sealed. They sit submerged inside a basin in your basement. And since these pumps are completely submerged in the basin, they are usually quieter and save space in your basement.

Pedestal Sump Pumps

Pedestal sump pumps are a more economical option. These pumps are usually mounted above the sump, with an exposed motor, so they’re easier to repair. And since the motor is usually above the sump, pedestal sump pumps tend to be noisier than their submerged counterparts.

Battery-Operated Backup

Sump pumps run on electricity, which means they will stop working if there’s a power outage unless you have a backup. Having a battery backup pump with a float switch provides assurance that even when there’s no electricity, the pump will continue working uninterrupted.

These devices work in such a way that if the main pump doesn’t work for any reason, including power outages, the battery backup pump turns on the switch. The battery-operated backup will then start pumping water out of your basement immediately.

Water-Powered Backup

As the name implies, water-powered pumps are powered by water pressure. The advantage to using these pumps is that you don’t need to monitor or replace batteries. On the downside, these sump pumps can significantly raise your water bill and are not allowed in some states.

Why Do You Need a Sump Pump?

The main reason you need a sump pump is to keep your basement or crawl area dry, preventing it from flooding. This offers related benefits, such as.

  • Preventing mold and mildew growth
  • Protecting your property from water damage
  • Preventing electrical hazards

Keeping your basement dry can also facilitate the sale of your home.

During a home sale, a professional hired by the buyer will inspect the property for issues, including flooding and structural integrity of the building. Flooding issues might delay the sale or cause the deal to fall through.

Contact Doctor Drips

If you’re looking for a Nashville plumber or sump pump servicing company in Nashville, get in touch with us today. Our team will check your sump pump for leakages, worn-out parts, and broken components, so you can keep it running as it should and prevent flooding.

Doctor Drips is a full-service plumbing contractor, providing residential and commercial services in Nashville. Contact us today for any plumbing-related issues, and we’ll be happy to help!