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How Do Sump Pump Systems Work? – Simple Guide for Homeowners

What is a sump pump and how do sump pump systems work? The main function of a sump pump is to drain the accumulated water in the sump pit. A sump pit is constructed in the basement or directly under the house.

When water accumulates in the sump pit, the sump pump redirects the water away from the house, thus keeping the area dry. Water accumulation in the pit happens from the building’s drains, heavy rains, or flood.

In the previous models, sump pumps could also drain sewers. However, over time this has been stopped such that the only function of the pump is to drain water and nothing else.

You may be wondering how sump pump systems work. We will give a simple guide on how the pumps work. We will look at the types of sump pumps, their system functionality, and their best use. At some point, you may have to deal with a flooded basement. Knowing how pumps work will help you know how to solve this problem.

Additionally, you will learn how to keep your basement or crawlway dry at all times. We all know excess moisture in your basement will cause molds to grow. The place becomes a dump and unpleasant to stay.

The innovation of pumps has saved so many homes from embarrassment and irreversible damage. Let us get right into it then.

How Do Sump Pump Systems Work?

There are four key parts of the sump pump that allow it to perform its job well. The collection system, sump tank, pump, and an outlet drain. The system has a simple working mechanism.

The pit has a unique construction that allows the draining of water through its walls. There are drain rocks embedded in the foundation of the pit. The base is made of gravel to make it strong.

First, water gathers in the pit. The pit has holes on all its sides that allow water to flow in. Upon reaching a certain point or limit, the water’s pressure turns on the floating switch or valve, hence activating the pump.

The second step is pumping the water using the centrifugal pump. The sump pump draws water through a filter trap. This happens in the water collection system. The motor in the pump turns the impeller, which in turn moves water within the pit. The water is then pumped out through a hose pipe. As the water moves out of the pit, it creates room for more, and as a result, pressure in the pit increases. Water is continuously pumped out until it is below a certain level. This happens in the outlet drain.

Finally, when the water is below the specified level, the pump automatically switches off. As the water escapes the pit, there is a check pipe that prevents backflow. This means once the water is out, it cannot come back in through the same pipe. The cycle continues every time water accumulates in the pit.

What Are the Types of Sump PumpsAnd How They Work?

Before we learn how the pump systems work, let’s understand their types. Different types function a bit differently. It is, therefore, necessary to know them.

Submersible sump pumps- Just like the name suggests submersible pumps are completely submerged in water. They contain the motor and pump in a single unit. This kind of pump is known for its space-saving feature.

You do not have to create extra space specifically for it since it goes in the pit. It is also quieter as it is far from the owner’s hearing range. As they are deep in the pit, there are fewer chances of this pump clogging.

Pedestal pumps – This pump has the motor and pump as separate units. Above the basin, there is a pedestal where the motor stays. The pump goes in the pit. A hose collects the two units, and it is where the pump sends water out. The pedestal pump occupies more space and thus rather noisy.

Battery- back up sump pump – The name gives out all you need to know about this pump. It’s a dependable pump when the power goes out. It has a floating switch. In the case of a power outage, the main source of power to the pump goes out. The water will then rise and triggers the floating switch, and it is back in business.

Water-powered sump pump- Entirely depends on water to function. It works when there is high pressure from the water. With this sump pump, therefore, you will not need to have back up batteries. It, however, causes the water bill to rise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which sump pump is best for you?

A: If you live in a place that frequently floods, look for a pump with a strong horsepower to keep draining the tank. If you live in an average house, you need a pump with medium horsepower. Also, look at the depth of your pit. If it is deep, get a pump with a code long enough to fit. The prices of the pumps also differ. Purchase what you can afford.

Q: How do I install the sump pump?

A: You may need the help of a professional. If you are a do it yourself person, follow the steps on the manual. The critical thing to remember is the pit should be at the lowest point possible in the basement.

Q: How should you maintain a sump pump?

A: First, ensure you clean the filter trap frequently. If you have a pedestal pump, check for any debris that may clog the motor. For submerged pumps, maintenance will not be as frequent, but you still have to do it regularly.

Final Words

While most people think sump pumps are best in flooding areas, they are also necessary for areas that do not flood. Wet basements are a common problem in many homes. You need sump pumps to solve this problem.

The sump pump may look small to you, but it works way better than you think. Now that the question of how do sump pump systems work has been answered, you should handle it better. Before you purchase that pump, consider your pit’s size and the amount of water it collects on an average day. This knowledge will help you buy the correct pump for your home.

Atif Mallo

Atif Mallo is a freelance blogger with huge interest in technology, science, life hacks and health. He loves coffee, cheesecake and chess. Drop a line in comments to leave feedback for him.

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