What is a Sump Pump?

Sump PumpRain has been pouring down in sheets all day. You’re inside and tucked under a warm, snuggly blanket, safe from the storm. This weather doesn’t bother you at all! You don’t live in an area prone to flooding, but you’ve heard from your neighbors that water can seep through tiny crevices in poured cement walls. Aren’t you afraid that your basement will flood from all of this rainwater runoff? NO – because you have a sump pump!

Sump pumps are small pumps installed in basements and crawl spaces. Their job is to keep your basement dry by pumping out excess water that accumulates through various means. They are usually installed in a pit area, and the water is directed towards the pump by a drain or through natural water drainage patterns in the soil.

Water can enter your home through large cracks in poured walls or through tiny crevices that naturally occur in the walls. Heavy rainfall or melting snow can cause the soil around your foundation to accumulate excess water that has nowhere to go. This is a particularly bad situation if your gutters are clogged or broken, or if your downspouts are directing runoff towards your foundation. Wet basements can cause a number of problems, including property damage and mold-related health concerns. It doesn’t take a lot of water to ruin carpeting, drywall or priceless personal belongings. And the health problems associated with mold and mildew are enough to convince anyone to install a sump pump immediately.

How do these pumps work? It’s very simple. Sump pumps sit in a sump pit, which is a hole approximately two feet deep that’s located in the lowest part of your basement. The sump pump has a buoyant ball attached to an arm, which is attached to a switch. When water fills the pit, it causes the buoy to rise. When the water reaches a certain height, the buoy arm flips the pump switch and turns on the pump. When the motor is on, it causes a fan-like impeller to turn. This device draws water in, and the water is sucked up into a pipe and deposited outside the home.

This post was written by a guest contributor for StayDry Basement Waterproofing.


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