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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Your Sump Pump

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It is important to have a basic understanding of your home's mechanical systems. These mechanical systems are the components that make up the electrical, heating, cooling, and plumbing systems in your house, including the sump pump.

What is a sump pump?

A sump pump is a permanently installed, below-ground pump. It is located in a hole, sometimes called a crock or a pit, in a corner of your basement. The pump is usually in a little-accessed corner or in a utility or furnace room. 

How does a sump pump work?

When heavy rain or snowmelt occurs, it can seep into any below-ground living space through the foundation walls. While there are ways to waterproof the foundation walls, it is also imperative to have a sump pump. A sump pump is designed to pump water away from your foundation before it seeps into the basement and potentially causes damage to the flooring, walls, and any items you have stored in your basement. 

Does every house have a sump pump?

While older homes may or may not have a sump pump, building codes today require that all new homes be built with a sump pump. If you have an older home with a basement that gets wet when it rains, you may want to consider having a new sump pump installed. 

What does it mean when a sump pump fails?

If there is water in your basement after a storm or in the spring after the snow melts, your sump pump has probably failed. This could mean one of a few things. Your sump pump may be broken and in need of repair. It also may not have been powerful enough to handle the amount of rain that came down in a short period of time, in which case you will want to consider getting a replacement.

Additionally, sump pumps cannot work without electricity. If your pump failure is due to a power outage, you may want to talk to a local repair professional about a generator or other solution for the future. 

Do you need a sump pump if you don't have a basement?

Sump pumps are designed to remove water from outside your home and move it away from your foundation so that the water does not seep into your basement. If your house was built on a cement slab and you do not have a basement, you do not need a sump pump.

Do you need a sump pump if you live on a hill?

During a heavy rainstorm, water will seep into the ground. While some will run down the hill, some will also try to seep into your basement. Living on a hill does not protect your house and you will still need a sump pump.

Owning a home comes with many responsibilities. Understanding how and why a sump pump works is helpful in ensuring a dry basement for your home. Contact a sump pump repair service to learn more.