Sump Pumps – What They Are and What They Do!

When wet basements become a problem, basement sump pumps can be a reliable solution to deal with it.

Basement sump pump systems are especially useful in circumstances where basement flooding is possible or when leaking due to foundation cracks is common.

While every situation is different and may require other types of intervention, basement sump pump solutions can be effective in place of other more expensive or invasive repairs to stop basement leaks or protect against flooding. 

How Do Sump Pumps Work in Basement?

Basement sump pumps work by detecting water collecting in a sump basin, then pumping it out through a discharge pipe.

Basement sump pump systems include a French drain system which collects water leaking through walls and floors, diverting it to the sump basin which is a pit that is dug out of the floor.

The pumps, set for a specific water level, sit inside the basin.

When enough water collects in the basin that it reaches the activation level, pumps turn on and siphon collected water out of the pit and out of the house through the discharge pipe. 

What Are the Types of Sump Pumps?

There are two types of sump pumps used in basement sump pump systems: pedestal pumps and submersible pumps.

  • Pedestal pumps are installed in the sump basin with a motor that sits on top where it cannot come in contact with the water in the basin.
  • Submersible pumps are installed within the basin and they can run while submerged in the water.

Due to these differences, submersible pumps tend to run more quietly than pedestal pumps, but they are also considerably more expensive to install.

Many homeowners choose the more affordable pedestal pump but must then tolerate its noisier operation when the pump is running. 

When Do Sump Pumps Work Best?

Basement sump pump solutions are a great option in situations where leaking is common or when flooding is possible due to high rainfall and other causes.

The one detail that homeowners must keep in mind is that basement sump pumps require electricity to run.

To avoid problems if the primary pump fails due to a power outage, every basement sump pump system should be equipped with a secondary battery backup pump as well.

Together, both pumps will keep a basement dry during storms and other conditions that result in water coming into the basement, even if the power goes out. 

Let's Get to Work!

Basement sump pump systems are recommended for properties with basements in low-lying areas and within flood planes or homes that deal with regular water leakage due to high water content in the ground.

While every wet basement problem should be diagnosed by a foundation specialist to determine which repair is most suitable, affordable basement sump pump solutions may be one of a few options.