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How Does a Sump Pump Work?


Sump pumps are an essential component in many homes, particularly those in areas prone to heavy rains or in low-lying regions where basements are susceptible to flooding. Understanding how sump pumps work is crucial to maintaining a dry and safe home environment. In this blog, we will explore the intricacies of sump pump operation and why they are so vital in preventing water damage.

Understanding the Basics: What Is a Sump Pump?

Since they’re usually installed out of sight, sump pumps are often the unsung heroes of our homes. However, that doesn’t diminish the importance of having one installed in your basement or crawlspace. So, how does a sump pump work?

Before delving into the mechanics of how sump pumps work, it’s essential to understand what a sump pump is. Essentially, a sump pump is a small pump installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace. Its primary job is to help keep the area under the building dry and to prevent it from flooding.

Sump pumps are installed in specially constructed sump pits. Water flows into the sump pit through drains or by natural water migration through the soil. The sump pump’s job is to pump the water out of the pit and away from the building so the basement or crawlspace stays dry.

The Mechanics: How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The operation of sump pumps may seem complex, but the concept is relatively straightforward. When water fills the sump pit to a certain level, a float switch or a pressure switch activates the sump pump. Most sump pumps are equipped with a float switch; as the water level rises, so does the float, and when it reaches a set height, the pump turns on. This system is similar to the one found in your toilet tank.

Once activated, the pump starts to pump water out of the pit through pipes that lead outside your home. The discharge pipe typically includes a check valve to prevent the backflow of water, ensuring that once the water is pumped out, it doesn’t flow back into the pit.

Types of Sump Pumps: Submersible and Pedestal Pumps

Sump pump systems primarily consist of two types: submersible pumps and pedestal pumps. Submersible pumps are placed underwater in the sump pit and are designed to be water-tight to prevent electrical short circuits. In contrast, pedestal pumps have their motors located above the water level, mounted on a pedestal. While submersible pumps are quieter and typically more efficient, pedestal pumps are easier to maintain because the motor is more accessible.

The Role of a Battery Backup Sump Pump

In many situations, especially during heavy storms or power outages, the primary sump pump fails. This is where a battery backup sump pump becomes invaluable. A battery backup sump pump is a secondary pump that can operate independently of your primary electrical power. It kicks in if the primary sump pump fails, whether due to a power outage, mechanical failure, or if the water inflow is too great for the primary pump to handle alone.

The Importance of Sump Pump Maintenance

Regular sump pump maintenance is crucial to ensure that our primary sump pumps continue to function correctly. This includes periodically checking the operation of the pump by pouring water into the pit to make sure it starts and stops as it should, cleaning the grate on the submersible pump, and checking the discharge line for clogs or freezing. Regular maintenance can greatly extend the life expectancy of your sump pump.

Why Choose Us for Your Sump Pump Services?

If you’re in Northeast Ohio and need sump pump services, Apollo Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing offers expert solutions. Whether you require sump pump installation, maintenance, or emergency repairs, our team of skilled plumbers in Kent, OH, is equipped to handle your needs efficiently and professionally.

Contact Us Today to Schedule an Appointment!

So, how does a sump pump work? As you can see, these devices work hard to keep water out of our homes. As such, understanding how sump pumps work and ensuring they are adequately maintained is key to protecting your home from water damage. A well-functioning sump pump is your first line of defense against a flooded basement, and knowing when to call in professionals for help is just as important.

If you’re considering installing a new sump pump or require service on your existing system, don’t hesitate to reach out to Apollo Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. Our experienced team is ready to provide top-notch sump pump installation, repair, and maintenance services to keep your home safe and dry.
Now that you know what a sump pump is, why wait? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

A sump pump with some water in it.