Understanding How Sump Pumps Work

sump pumps in linthicum heights mdMost homes should be equipped with sump pumps in Linthicum Heights MD. A sump pump is an essential component of any basement waterproofing system, since it protects your basement from flooding even if water does get in. This is especially important if you have a finished basement that you use as a family room or guest room, since water damage will require costly repairs. To learn how sump pumps works, read below.

The Sump Pit

All sump pump designs requires a sump pit to be dug beneath your house. The pit should extend about two feet below the lowest point of the basement floor. During heavy rains, the sump pit will begin to fill with water before any other part of the house. Even if you have a mostly waterproof basement, sudden increases in the volume of groundwater can threaten it from below, which is why it is important to have the sump pit sit below ground.

Sump Pump Activation

The sump pump will activate when the water in the sump pit rises past a certain level. Some types of sump pump are equipped with a sensor, which will activate the pump when a certain volume of water is creating a certain level of pressure against it. Other types have a float activator arm, much like the ballcock mechanism in your toilet. An air-filled ball attached to the arm floats on top of the water, and when the water reaches a certain height the angle of the arm will trigger the pump.

Submersible vs. Pedestal Pumps

There are two basic designs for sump pumps. Submersible pumps, as the name suggests, sit directly inside the pit. They have a waterproof casing with a grate at the bottom to keep debris from clogging the mechanism and an outlet pipe near the top. Pedestal pumps sit above the level of the sump pit, with an inlet pipe extending down to siphon water off. Pedestal pumps are noisier than submersible pumps, but they are also less expensive. Both types require routine sump pump maintenance from a professional at least once a year to make sure they are working properly.

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