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Do You Need a Sump Pump?

The Importance of a Sump Pump for Rainy Days

If the rainy season is upon them and they've heard the term' sump pump' popping up with more and more regularity, homeowners may be wondering what that is - and if their home needs one. Well, if they head down to their basement the morning after a storm and find themselves standing in a few inches of water, they probably need a sump pump. 

Hopefully, they never experience such an extreme example, but in reality, any amount of water collecting in their basement or crawlspace can cause big problems - and that's where sump pumps come in.

Reasons Homes May Need a Sump Pump

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A sump pump is an electric pump that removes water from the ground underneath a basement or crawlspace floor. The pump is installed inside or directly above a shallow hole in the basement floor known as a sump pit. As water accumulates in the sump pit, the pump activates and carries it up out of the basement through a discharge pipe, spitting it out somewhere safely away from the house. 

Many new homes are built with sump pumps included, particularly in areas that experience heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt, as the likelihood of household flooding in these climates is very high. If a homeowner ever experiences even a small amount of flooding in their basement, it's probably time to install a sump pump. 

If a home doesn't flood but has signs that the basement is retaining more moisture than normal, such as damp carpet or a musty odor, water may be collecting under the foundation. This kind of moist environment can foster harmful mold and mildew over time, so a sump pump may be necessary to keep it dry.

Different Kinds of Sump Pumps

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Two types of sump pumps are most often employed in residential use - pedestal pumps and submersible pumps. Pedestal pumps are installed above the sump pit, with a pipe extending down through a grate or lid on the floor to collect the water from the pit. These are less expensive and easier to work on than their counterparts, but they are noisier and tend to have a shorter lifespan.

Submersible pumps are installed inside the sump pit, beneath the floor, making them quieter (and less unsightly) than pedestal pumps. This makes them more difficult to service if there's a problem, and they're usually a little pricier, but their durability and staying power over time may be worth it.

Choosing the Right Sump Pump

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Though there are only two main types of residential sump pumps, some other variables are considered. Automatic pumps are activated either by a mechanical floater arm or a water pressure sensor. Both turn the pump on when the water in the sump pit reaches a certain level, but the floater's arm is somewhat less susceptible to malfunction. Homeowners can also purchase a manually-operated pump, but this won't do much good if a flood occurs while they're away from home and can't switch it on.

Homeowners also want to be sure their pump is powerful enough to move water the entire distance it needs to travel through the discharge pipe. If their basement is especially deep or the sump's location necessitates a more complex pipe system, not every pump will be able to handle the load. 

It's always best to consult with a professional plumber to determine the best option.

About Lambert Plumbing & Heating, LTD

Lambert Plumbing & Heating has been providing top-quality sump pump services in Vancouver, BC, with pride for over 40 years. Their friendly, expert technicians arrive on time and leave no mess. They offer up-front pricing and 24/7 emergency service along with their excellent customer service.