Sump Pump: What We Look For
Sump pump plays an important role in keeping a basement dry. To do this, a sump pump needs to be properly installed and should work in conjunction with an interior perimeter drain and a dehumidifier.
When inspecting sump pumps, we look for the following:
A pump basin that is perforated to allow water to flow in a while keeping debris, stones, and silt out.
A properly sealed cover to prevent trip hazards and to keep sub-slab gases out of the home.
A backflow preventer at the interior pump to keep water that has pumped out of the basin from flowing back into the basin when the pump shuts off.
A vacuum breaker at the exterior pipe to keep groundwater from siphoning into the dwelling through the pipe.
A discharge point at least 6 feet away from the dwelling, preferably into a dry well or catch basin.
A single dedicated outlet for the pump.
Battery backup so the pump can function when the power is out
When sump pumps are installed by the homeowner or a handyman, we frequently see incomplete or improper installations. Frequently these installations can make situations worse.
The most common conditions we find are:
Missing or improperly installed covers.
No battery backup.
The discharge point is next to the foundation creating a cycle of water being pumped out and returning to the pump basin.
No backflow preventer or vacuum breaker.
The pump is plugged into an electrical outlet halfway across the basement using an extension cord.
The sump pump discharging into the waste pipe. This creates a situation where a sewer or septic system backup can enter the basement through the sump basin.
Sometimes even the best sump pumps will stop operating. We suggest you purchase an emergency backup pump so you can use it should the primary pump fail. Being prepared will help prevent significant water damage down the road.
Having a sump pump is an important part of moisture control in your basement. Make sure yours is professionally installed and properly maintained.
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