- February 18, 2022
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If you are searching for information about sump pumps, you have probably had a sump pump failure or you have noticed water in your basement or crawl space, and you are investigating your options. Good for you! It’s important to be informed before you spend money on your home.
Below, we have pulled together some of the most frequently asked questions we receive along with some easy-to-understand answers. We hope this helps you.
What Is a Sump Pump?
A sump pump is the heart of a foundation drainage system. The water collected from the drainage system drains into a sump pit where the sump pump resides, and then the sump pump pumps the water up and out of your home via a discharge pipe.
How Does a Sump Pump Work?
In a professional drainage system, water flows to the lowest point, where the sump pit is strategically located. As the water rises in the sump pit it floats a switch on the pump. Once this float switch reaches a certain level it engages the pump turning it on so it can pump the water out of the home via a discharge pipe. Larger homes or homes with different foundation levels can require multiple pump pits and pumps.
Do I Need a Sump Pump?
Maybe. If you’ve noticed signs of water intrusion in your basement, such as puddling, standing water, or water coming through your foundation walls, a sump pump as part of a larger system may be needed to manage this water intrusion. Most homes more than 10 years old will need professional waterproofing at some point, to manage this water seepage. When homes are built the exterior of the foundation is often coated with a damp proofing coating but it is exposed to mother nature. Freeze-thaw cycles, soil decay, and other factors deteriorate and break down these coatings over time allowing foundation seepage.
How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?
Sump pumps will last a varying number of years, based on how often they pump and how hard they work when they are pumping, as well as several other factors. Typically, a quality sump pump will last 7-10 years but could fail sooner. It’s a good idea to test your sump pump regularly, especially if you don’t hear it running after heavy rain. Professionals recommend that you clean out your sump pit and test your sump pumps yearly at a minimum.
How Do You Test a Sump Pump?
For most sump pumps, you can pour about 5 gallons of water into the sump pit. This should be enough to raise the float on the pump and cause it to start pumping. If nothing happens, your pump may be dead. Try unplugging it and plugging it back in. If you still don’t hear anything, call a professional to come out for service. You can also reach into the sump pit and lift the float switch to see if the pump engages and pumps out water. If you don’t feel comfortable with this you should contact a professional to service and check your sump pit and pump.
Battery Back-Up pumps have controllers with a Test button or indicator lights that tell you the pump is in standby mode, actively running, has a low or battery in need of replacement, or is in danger of failing. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing these newer pumps or look at the indicator lights.
There are also SMART sump pumps that alert you if they are in need of attention, repair, or replacement. These pumps and systems are evolving and they are becoming more reliable and affordable with time.
Who Installs Sump Pumps?
We do. We service existing sump pumps and offer sump pumps, battery backup sump pumps, and smart pump installation and replacement services. Our team also performs sump pump installation as a part of custom basement waterproofing and crawl space encapsulation solutions. Note; many people and companies claim to be sump pump professionals like many people claim to be able to paint or lay tile. Basement Waterproofing companies and professionals specialize in working with sump pumps.
Do I Need a Battery Backup Sump Pump?
In a word, yes. We recommend all our homeowners get a battery backup sump pump. This is an additional pump powered by a marine battery that recharges via a trickle charger when the power comes back on. In the event your power goes out, this pump will start pumping from your sump pit as needed, just like your primary pump would do. This also means that if for some reason your primary pump fails, the backup pump will take over. When battery backup pumps engage, an audible alarm sounds so you are alerted and can jump into action if needed.
In either situation, having a backup sump pump can save the day. If your backup pump comes on because of the failure of your primary pump, please call us right away to arrange a sump pump replacement. Timeliness is important because the battery-powered pump can only run for a certain length of time before it needs to recharge.
We also offer wifi-enabled SMART battery backup sump pumps. These pumps alert your phone if there is a power loss, problem with your primary sump pump, or issue with your marine battery. These SMART battery backup pumps are ideal for second homes, traveling customers, vacant or for-sale homes, and we have even installed them for deaf customers that can’t hear the audible alarms of a standard battery backup sump pump.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Sump Pump Failure?
In most situations, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover anything related to flooding, and that includes sump pump failure. However, you may be able to contact your insurance company to ask if they offer what’s called a sump pump rider/drain overflow insurance. This is additional insurance that will cover damage to your basement as well as damage to or loss of your belongings that occurs from either a sewage backup or sump pump failure. The small additional cost is well worth the peace of mind. Some homeowner’s policies require proof of a battery backup pump before allowing for the rider.
Schedule a FREE Crawlspace or Basement Inspection
If you’ve noticed signs of water intrusion in your crawlspace or basement, you could benefit from sump pump installation as well as crawlspace encapsulation or basement waterproofing. When you schedule an inspection with us, one of our experienced inspectors will thoroughly evaluate your crawl space or basement and develop recommendations for your specific situation.
You are under no obligation, and you may wish to seek more than one opinion. However, we feel confident that the recommendations we make will help you protect your home from water intrusion and make your home healthier as well.
To schedule an inspection, use the contact form or call (888) 768-2583. We serve homeowners in Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, northern Virginia, the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.