If you have a basement in your home you likely have a sump pump, and if you don’t, you probably should. Sump pumps are used to keep the water table below your foundation at a safe level. Understanding how a sump pump works and what it can do for your home is important. A sump pump can be one of the most important components you install in your home, especially when it comes to protecting your home from water damage. Let’s dive a little deeper into what a sump pump can do for your home shall we?


What is a sump pump?

In simple terms a sump pump is a device that pumps the water out of your basement to avoid the basement from flooding. There are several different types of sump pumps that range in cost and effectiveness but the two most common types are submersible and pedestal.


Submersible Sump Pump

As the name suggests the submersible sump pumps are designed to sit directly in your sump pump pit and can be completely submerged by water. This type of sump pump is typically more expensive but it is much quieter than a pedestal pump because the motor is inside the pit. A submersible sump pump is usually able to pump larger volumes of water.


Pedestal Sump Pump

Pedestal sump pumps operate a little differently in that the pump itself still sits directly in the sump pump pit however the motor is not designed to get wet so it sits outside of the pit. This type of pump is less money and easier to repair because the motor is outside of the pit. However, the pedestal style pumps cannot handle pumping the same amount of volume that a submersible pump can.


How does a sump pump work?

So we know a sump pump is designed to pump the water out of our basement before it reaches a certain level but how does it actually work? As the water rises in your sump pump pit it raises a bobber. Once that bobber reaches a certain level it triggers the pump to kick on and force the water up through a pipe and outside your home. It is always a good idea to ensure the pipe flows to an area away from your home; either to a drainage ditch or sewer system to prevent your sump pump pit from refilling.


Any other tips and tricks for my sump pump?


Battery Backup

As you can imagine sump pumps can be quite useful but what happens if there is a storm that causes the power to go out? Without power a regular pump is not able to run and this could mean flooding in your basement. That is where the battery backup comes in. If the power goes out the battery backup unit will still provide the necessary power to your sump pump unit so that it continues working. Insurance companies recognize the benefit this provides and will typically offer a discount for having one installed, so make sure to notify your broker if you have one.

Please note: a combination sump pump would also render the same discount as it is a sump pump with a battery backup built directly in the unit.


Clean The Filter

Sump pump pits will get filled with sediment and particles from time to time that can stop the unit from working properly. It is advised to install a lid over your pit to help stop unwanted items form entering the pit and potentially harming the unit. You should check the filter on the pump and make sure it is clear of any unwanted debris or particles that may halt the flow of the unit. If you need assistance or are unsure of how to do this it is always a good idea to higher a license plumber.


Alert System

There are different types of alert systems but thanks to the advances in technology many of them are very effective and can even be linked to your smart phone. Essentially how the alert systems work is they mount separately from your sump pump and have their own bobber or float that sits slightly higher than the float that your pump uses. If the sump pump has stopped working for some reason and the water is now approaching the top of the pit the alert systems float will trigger an alarm notifying you that your pump is not working properly. This gives you an opportunity to try and fix the unit or mitigate the potential damage the rising water may cause.


If you have a basement, a sump pump can be a very valuable addition to help protect your home from flooding. For more tips on how to prevent your basement from flooding head to 5 Tips To Prevent Your Basement From Flooding. If you have any questions about your coverage or want to know if you have coverage in the event your home floods, contact your broker!

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