Sump Pumps: Protect Your Basement from Flooding

Basement Sump Pump

If your Indiana home has a basement, it’s almost guaranteed your basement will flood at some point – an estimated 98 percent of U.S. homes with basements experience flooding at least once. Flooding and water damage to this underground area is typically quite costly to remedy, and lingering issues (such as mold and moisture problems) can persist if the job isn’t done correctly.

As a homeowner, one of the best ways to protect against this common threat is to use a sump pump. Hays + Sons explains more about sump pump systems, caring for them, and what to do should you find standing water in your home’s basement. If you’re in need of professional water restoration services due to basement flooding, contact us today.

Sump Pump Systems

Water can make its way into a home’s basement via many different sources, from a busted washing machine hose, plumbing pipe leak, or groundwater infiltration. A sump pump is a piece of equipment that is designed to remove moisture from the basement and direct it away from the home to safeguard against flooding and water damage.

How Sump Pumps Work

Basement Sump Pump Diagram

When a sump pump is installed, a sump pit is created at the basement’s low point. This creates a collection area for any water that has come into the space, as water will naturally move to the lowest point available. The sump pump either sits within the sump pit or is positioned above, depending on the model, and drains water from the sump pit as needed.

Sump pump systems typically use a float switch, similar to the one inside a toilet’s tank, to monitor water levels within the sump pit. When water levels rise to a set point, the float is triggered to activate the sump pump. The sump pump extracts water from the basement, expelling it through drain lines that run out of the home and empty to a storm drain or a nearby retention area.

Battery Backup Sump Pumps

Many sump pumps run off electricity and are plugged into a nearby outlet. In the event of a utility outage, the pump will not be able to run, leaving you without a means to remove excess water from the basement. To fully protect your basement, battery backup sump pumps are also recommended.

A battery backup sump pump is a secondary pump that runs off a dedicated battery power supply, separate from the primary pump. If the primary pump does not have power or malfunctions in some other way, the backup sump pump will be activated to remove water from the pit.

Sump Pump Maintenance

To ensure your home’s sump pump works properly when needed, routine maintenance is required.

  • Each month, inspect the sump pump and sump pit. Make sure there are no debris or items that have fallen into the pit which could potentially clog the float, pump, or drain lines. Verify the sump pump is plugged in and has power, and that the pump is positioned upright. Outside your home, inspect the drainage pipes and ensure there are no clogs blocking the discharge line.
  • Quarterly, clean the screen or inlet opening of the sump pump to remove debris. If your home’s washing machine empties into the sump pit, it may be necessary to perform this step monthly to remove lint and fibers that have gathered on the screen.
  • Each year, clean the sump pump and the sump pit to remove grime and debris. Check your owner’s manual to determine if the pump’s bearings require lubrication and perform this task if necessary. Inspect the pump for damage, such as cracked housings, which indicate the need for repair or replacement.

Testing Your Sump Pump

Sump pumps must be working properly in order to protect your basement from rising water levels – a malfunctioning sump pump leaves your home vulnerable to flooding. On a quarterly basis, test the pump’s function. Unplug the sump pump and pour water into the sump pit to increase water level to the point where the pump will be triggered. Plug the pump back in, allow it to turn on and cycle to remove the excess water.

Water in the Basement – Now What?

If you find standing water in your basement and your sump pump has failed, it is important to act quickly to mitigate damage. If there is only a small amount of water, remove all items from wet areas and remove water with a pump or by soaking it up with towels. Run fans and a dehumidifier in the area to remove moisture, and have your sump pump inspected, repaired, or replaced.

If flooding in your basement is significant, call for professional assistance immediately. Hays + Sons provides quick service to extract water and mitigate damage to your home. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year to assist you when you need it most. For Indiana water damage restoration services, contact us anytime.

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