Every basement is going to be prone to leaks and flooding, and it is very important that you have a line of defense in place for your home or business in the event of just such a catastrophe occurring. Sump pump setups are the heart of any basement waterproofing setup, designed to kick in and drain water out and away from your home before it has the chance to develop into a significant flooding problem.
Sump pumps are installed in the lowest part of your basement, usually in specially designed pits called sump pits. Water flows into the pit through natural water migration or through drains, and the pump activates to pump the water out of the pit and away from the building, keeping the basement or the crawl space dry.
More than 60% of American homes suffer from some form of below ground wetness, and it doesn’t take a lot of water to cause serious damage (and correspondingly higher repair bills). Too much moisture in the basement also leads to mold and mildew growth, bringing along all of the related health hazards.
Sump pumps have been around for many years, mostly in low lying areas susceptible to flooding or even heavy snowfall, both of which can lead to a damaged basement. More recent legislation has made sump pumps a requirement even in homes not at immediate risk of flooding, and these units are quite common in most new home constructs going up today.
Sump pumps may be required if your home is located in an area prone to flooding, or even if you just notice that there is a damp, musty smell present within the home….a sure sign of recent or ongoing water damage.
When choosing a sump pump setup, there are a number of variables that must be considered:
Manual or automatic:
Although manually operated sump pumps are available and slightly less expensive, an automatic pump is far more convenient.
Sump pumps are commonly one-quarter to one-third horsepower. More powerful motors will pump more water, but you don’t need to go overboard if your moisture problem is minor.
Head pressure is the height a pump can raise water. For example, a pump with head pressure of 12 feet (3.7 meters) can raise water to that height, minus about 10 percent for physical limitations like bends in pipes. The pump you choose must be able to lift water out of the sump pit and up to the outlet pipe.
You need to be able to plug a sump pump directly into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet — you shouldn’t plug one into an extension cord.
Most sump pumps for use in U.S. homes operate on standard 110-volt circuits. Pumps with 220 or 4690 volts are available but are more commonly used in industrial applications.
Backup and alarm systems:
Choose the alarm notification and backup system that fits with your personal lifestyle.