Sump Systems

What do sump systems do?

In humid climates, moisture entry is a common problem in basements and other areas below ground level. In fact, excess moisture is a problem in more than 60 percent of households, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. This moisture is often difficult to detect until it pools and floods into crawlspaces or along the walls. These pumps are designed to remove excess moisture from areas below ground and direct it away from the building. Normally, this technology is installed in the lowest part of the building in particular areas that trap water.

How do sump systems protect basements and other below ground spaces?

Water collection can be a serious problem in homes, because it can foster the growth of mold and other microbes. These threats are difficult to detect and may cause serious health problems before a homeowner notices them. Mold is particularly dangerous and can infest huge areas behind walls and in crawlspaces. These pumps are effective at keeping a basement or other space below ground free of standing water. This keeps the area dry and safe from dangerous microbes. Eliminating moisture also protects sensitive electronics and textiles from deterioration.

How do sump systems work?

These pumps are built into a pit dug out of the lowest spot of the basement or crawlspace. The pit is normally around two feet deep and is covered in gravel. A pressure sensor or float activator arm is responsible for detecting the water and this switches the pump on. The pump is connected to a check valve that only allows the water to flow one way. Once on, an impeller spins and exerts centrifugal force on the water. This creates a low pressure zone inside the pump that forces water to rush in. The impeller then forces the water through a pipe that leads away from the home. These pumps run on electricity, but can function using the home’s basic current. No special wiring is usually required to power the device.

What decisions does a homeowner need to make when selecting a pump for their basement?

A homeowner should verify that there is, in fact, a moisture entry problem before installing a pump
. This can be done by taping plastic along the walls of the basement and checking a day or two later. If water has collected under the plastic, then a pump is required. Calling a professional to inspect the site is also highly recommended. They can help the homeowner determine which system will do the best job. When searching for the right fit there are a few things to keep in mind. A homeowner can choose to have a manual pump installed instead of an automatic one for a slightly lower cost, but automatic pumps are much more convenient. The technician will discuss which pump will provide enough horsepower and head pressure to flush the water out. They will also ensure that the pump runs on the proper voltage, as some models are industrial strength. Once installed, the tech will go over how the system operates, ensuring that the homeowner is confident in the process.

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