Everything You Need To Know About Sump Pump


At general, sump pump is a pump installed in the lowest part of your basement to prevent your building from flooding. What it actually is? and How it works?

If you are living in low-lying areas or places where rĀ­apid melting of heavy snow can lead to flooded basements, you obviously need sump pump. However, legislation including amendments to the U.S. Federal Clean Water Act in 1987, has made sump pumps a requirement in homes that aren’t necessarily at a high risk for flooding. Today, sump pumps are common in new construction homes

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What Is Sump Pump?

Sump Pump at General. Source: plumbingbycovenant.com

As mentioned above, sump pump is a small pump that usually constructor put it in the lowest elevation point of your building (it can be a basement or crawl space). Sump pump keeps your basement dry and far away from flooding. Problems started to occur when the water entering the building through drainage or even soil water flow to the sump pit. This is where the sump pump comes to pump the water away from sump pit. Usually the engineers directing the pumped water to any area which will not make any impact if we do so.

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What Types Of Sump Pump?

Before we go to the explanation about how the entire instalation system work, we need to know that there are two common types of sump pump used. Both of them are about 2,5 to 3 feet high. They are divided by its pump, wether it is submerged into the water or it keeps away on the top of water surface.

  • The first one is the one with submersible pump rest in the water. Since the pump it self as the bottom of the entire installation, a flat screen or grate covers the bottom of the pump from any debris. When it switched on, water sucked out from the grate then pumped through the outlet pipe and out from your home.
Submersible Sump Pump. Source: http://thorandmaylee.info
  • The second type of the sump pump design is where the pump is placed on the top of the highest water elevation point. Which in other word, the pump is never touched by water even when the pit is full. It is called the pedestal pump system. A long stick drown into the bottom of the pit to suck the water up then pumped out by the sump pump to the outlet pipe.
Pedestal Pump. Source: http://mohamad.co

How Sump Pump Works?

Sump Pump Working Diagram / Image via Slideshare.net/Nitendra Kumar Singh

A sump pump is installed near the sump pit, the pump is drowned to the water or just placed on top of the sump pit. What is sump pit? It is a hole with 2 feet deep and 18 inches diameter which is dugged in the lowest point of basement or crawl space. At the bottom of the pit, you will find a layer of gravel. The whole system are switched on by a sensor (usually pressure sensor) when the water meet a specific elevation. A buoyant ball floats on top of the water, manually moving the arm as the water level rises.

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While the majority of sump pump is equiped with an automatic sensor, there are also people who likes to have a manually switched system. It sounds too risky to use a manual pump because sometimes there is some occasion when we can’t turn the pump at the right time. For example is when all of the family members go on vacation. However, an automatic system also have a downside because we can’t predict when the sensor is broken or stop working.

Most sump pump uses a centrifugal pump. When the system is on, it makes an impeller (fanlike device) to spin. The spinning impeler will lift the water up through the outlet pipe by a centrifugal forces. Since the pump is always in or near water, it’s a good idea to have a ground fault circuit interrupter on the outlet to prevent accidental electrocution.

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