When is a Sump Pump a Necessary Purchase?

Depending on your property, you might not even realise you have a sump pump in your building. Until it fails and needs to be repaired, you are unlikely to know where it is or when it is needed. But if you live in an area with lots of rainfall or own a property with a basement, you need to know about sump pumps. This article will help you work out if you need one, what type you need and which will benefit you most.

sump pump

What is a Sump Pump?

Sump pumps are a piece of equipment usually installed in a basement or cellar. They are used to remove any potential flooding issues. Sump pumps are the lowest point in a functioning drainage system.

What do they look like?

They are typically holes in the ground with a motor above it or inside them. The hole acts as the reservoir where the water is collected. They can be identified by a long discharge pipe that connects to them. The discharge pipe will then connect to either the ceiling or a wall of the room it is in. 

Sometimes they have an access cover, other times it will just be a hole in the ground. An access cover is highly recommended to stop any waste from clogging the unit.

How do they work?

If flooding occurs, it pumps out any water that is collected in the reservoir. They can be activated via a pressure sensor or by a flotation activator. Either way, once activated, they create a low-pressure environment by rotating the liquid at high speeds. This allows the water to travel through a pipe that deposits the waste away from your home. A check valve prevents the water from trickling back through the pipe, ensuring it only funnels away from the pump.

What property needs a sump pump?

Sometimes you can get away without installing any additional sewage pumps. For example, if you notice no build-up of liquid but have damp ground in your basement, you could use a dehumidifier. If the ground continues to stay damp even after using the dehumidifier, we recommend you install a unit.

Our best advice is to look further into sump pumps if you have a basement on your property. It is necessary to install one if floods are an issue in your area or your house deals with water accumulating.

Performing maintenance of a sump pump

Test your model every 4 months to make sure it is still functioning. If it is used frequently, we recommend testing it every other month. Here’s how you can handle maintenance on your own:

  1. Disconnect the power
  2. Remove the pump from the discharge pipe
  3. Lift the pump out of the reservoir if its motor is in the ground
  4. Remove the check valve
  5. Clean waste away from the pump with a slightly damp cloth
  6. Clean the inlet screen with a wire brush 
  7. Find or look up your owner’s manual for your unit
  8. Apply oil to the bearings or components detailed in your manual
  9. Place the pump back in the sump
  10. Connect the discharge pipe back to the unit

You can find a video below that shows this process in full.

We are aware that sump pumps aren’t simple to install or fix. So, we would recommend using a professional to fix any damage. At First Response Drainage, we do pump installation and maintenance at affordable prices.

Do all basements have sump pumps?

Not all basements have sump pumps, because not all basements need them. If you have never dealt with standing water and live in an area that’s dry and warm, you likely won’t need one.    

What’s a pedestal and submersible pump?

When talking about maintenance, we touched on the location of the pump. The location of the pump is what decides what type it is. There are two styles of sump pumps a pedestal unit and a submersible unit.

Pedestal sump pumps

Pedestal models are installed above ground. Their motor sits above the water as it cannot get wet. 

Advantages of pedestal models:

  • They are cheaper to install and cost less
  • They last longer
  • Easier to fix and maintain 

Disadvantages of pedestal models:

  • Cannot handle solids 
  • Deals with a reduced volume of water

Pedestal sump pumps are more beneficial if you have less standing water in your home.

Submersible sump pumps

Submersible units are installed within the ground. Their motor sits in the pit with the water.

Advantages of submersible units:

  • Can handle solid waste
  • Deals with a larger volume of water
  • Is quieter when in use

Disadvantages of submersible units:

  • More expensive than a pedestal model
  • Harder to maintain 

If you deal with high volumes of standing water you should choose a submersible sump pump.

With both models, we highly recommend having a backup-battery powered sump. This will help if the flooding damages your mains which power your unit. You can even install an alarm that can tell you when your model is down. 

First response drainage

If your sump pump is broken and needs replacement, you should contact a repair company. Leaving your unit damaged or broken can lead to further damage to your property.

​​We provide 24-hour support, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to London and home counties like Hertfordshire. You can get in contact with the drain repair specialists and First Response can be with you in under an hour. Just make sure you call us on 0800 043 4860.