Sump Pump Installation Guide
If we asked you what the most important appliance in your home is, what would you say? Our guess might be your cooker, your kettle (hey, some people can’t make it through the day without coffee!), or even your TV. But what if we added a new appliance into the mix: a sump pump.
This appliance might not be up there as one of the most recognised in the home (you might not have heard of it, until now) it’s as, if not more, important than your cooker, kettle and TV. It might, in fact, be more vital than all of the above combined.
Go straight to our infographic & visual guide to installing a sump pump.
So, What Exactly is a Sump Pump?
By now we’ve probably piqued your interest a bit: what on earth is this vital home appliance that trumps even your beloved kettle, TV or cooker? We’ll tell you…
In short, a sump pump is used to help keep your cellar or crawl space dry. We’ve all been a victim of damp in the home – and once it’s set in, there’s often little you can do to get rid of it. A sump pump gives you all the assurance you need that your new home will be free of damp, with the best bit being that it doesn’t take up much room.
Often hidden deep in a corner, sump pumps can be virtually invisible. That said, they’re undoubtedly one of the most important appliances in your home. Working by removing ground water from beneath your house, a sump pump sends it somewhere else to ensure it no longer poses a problem.
So, how does the water enter your home in the first place? It might enter via the perimeter drains of your cellar’s waterproofing system, funnelling into the basin. It could even make its way into your house as a result of excess rain or natural ground water, particularly if your cellar is below the water table level.
Used where flooding of your cellar occurs regularly, sump pumps also solve dampness where the water table is above the foundation of your home. It works by sending water away from your property to any place where it is no longer an issue, such as a dry well or municipal storm drain.
Avoid Damp, Mould & Flooding: The Sump Pump Explained
We don’t need to tell you that a build-up of water in your cellar or crawl space can lead to long-term problems, including large-scale flooding of your property.
No one wants to think their home is at risk of flooding – an issue which can prove costly – but a bout of heavy rain could be all that’s needed to tip water levels over the edge.
With a sump pump, though, you won’t need to worry. Risk of flooding, damp and mould will no longer be an issue, thanks to the timely installation of one of these essential appliances.
Of course, as with all appliances like this, for a sump pump to be at its most effective, it must be maintained and thoroughly inspected at least once a year. Such checks should occur particularly during the damp seasons of the year; if you want to make sure the sump pump proves a great investment, you really shouldn’t get complacent when it comes to maintenance.
We’ll talk more about how to maintain your sump pump later on in this guide, but for now we’ll say this: look after your sump pump and it’ll look after your home
The Effects of Excess Water on Your Home
Ah, water! It’s easy to forget how much damage it can actually do – and we’re not talking about the havoc it can wreak on your perfectly-coiffured hair when you step out without a brolly.
We’re instead talking about your home. You spend the best part of your life in the comfort of your home, so what happens when something goes wrong? It costs money, and that’s when the worries set in.
But you can avoid that feeling of dread as a result of something going wrong by simply having a sump pump installed.
We’ve touched on why it’s important to maintain your sump pump and now we’re about to go into a little more detail about some of the issues that may arise should you decide not to opt for one.
Excess water can not only cause serious structural damage to your home, it could lead to health problems, including infections of the respiratory tract. And when you have elderly or young children in your house, this is an even more significant problem.
But apart from that, mould as a result of excess water is really not attractive. It’ll make your home look cheap and dated in an instant, giving a kind of water-splattered look to gorgeously painted or wall-papered walls. This is, of course, not what you want when you’ve invested time and money on ensuring your home looks just so.
But it’s worth noting that whether you’re prepared for it or not, the rainiest month of the year is November (with an annual average of rainfall being 128mm) – and this is just in London! What this means for you, of course, is there really is no better time to have a sump pump installed.
Sump Pumps: Pedestal Vs Submersible
When it comes to sump pumps, there are generally two types: pedestal and submersible. The former has a pump whose motor is mounted above the sump, where it can be more easily serviced. It is worth noting, though, that this kind of sump pump is more conspicuous.
The submersible pump, on the other hand, is entirely mounted inside the sump. It’s also specially sealed to prevent electrical circuits, giving you added confidence. While pedestal sump pumps tend to last longer (up to 30 years), submersible pumps can take up debris without clogging. It’s worth, then, considering exactly what you’re looking for before having a sump pump installed. But before that, you should probably ask yourself the following question…
Do You Need a Sump Pump?
Most cellar water problems might not be cellar problems at all; they could be exterior drainage problems. It’s why we any specialist will tell you that before homeowners consider the installation of a sump pump, they should first take a look (while it’s raining, if possible) at the current drainage system around their property. Is it working effectively, or could it be performing better?
Start by making sure that gutters aren’t clogged, before checking if downspout extensions move roof water runoff at least 4 ft. beyond the foundation. Also check that the soil within 3.ft of the foundation slopes away from the house.
Have you identified a problem? It’s at this stage you might want to give a sump pump specialist a call to see how having one of these appliances installed might just save your home – and your sanity.
How to Maintain a Sump Pump
Like most – if not all – of your home’s appliances, sump pumps must be effectively maintained. We’ve touched on the fact that they need to be checked at least every year and there’s good reason for this; having a sump pump installed and then leaving it to do its job is all well and good – but is it working effectively?
If, for example, your pump runs more frequently, due to a higher water table or as a result of your area’s weather conditions, it will need examining more frequently. A sump pump is a mechanical device after all, and it might fail eventually. What this means for you is the worry of a flooded cellar, home and ultimately, costly repairs.
Keep on top of general maintenance – and ensure your sump pump proves a great investment – by examining it and cleaning it as and when required. Gravel, sand, dirt and other debris should be removed to ensure your sump pump is as effective as possible; any obstructions like this can decrease the appliance’s ability to drain properly, allowing it to overflow.
Begin by checking the sump pump to ensure its valve isn’t jammed with debris. Don’t forget to also examine the discharge line opening, when needed, to ensure there are no obstructions in the line.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to inspecting or keeping on top of the general maintenance of your sump pump, it’s always worth hiring a professional to carry out necessary checks.
How is a Sump Pump Installed?
By now you might be nodding your head in agreement that a sump pump would represent a great investment for your cellar – and your home! But how is one installed?
Specialist engineers can install a wide variety of sump pumps and their corresponding sump chambers on domestic and commercial properties, in London and elsewhere here in the UK.
With years of experience in the draining industry, your chosen sump pump company will ensure a specialist first checks out your cellar or crawl space drainage. They’ll locate any potential problems before they consider the very best plan of action for your home.
They can then do everything from install a new sump pump, maintain an existing or new sump pump, check your discharge line and check for problems. On top of this, they’ll also suggest and install upgrades to ensure your home is thoroughly protected at all times.
Protect Your Home the Easy Way
Protect your home from mould, damp, flooding and even electrical hazards by having a sump pump installed. And let us ask you for the second and final time: ‘what’s the most important appliance in your home’? We bet it won’t be that kettle for too much longer…
Visual Guide to Installing a Sump Pump
To help visualise how you can install a sump pump we have painstakingly produced this infographic to document the process step by step, enjoy.