After heavy rainfall it’s not uncommon to hear the sound of a running pump in the basement. While most know what the sump pump is, they don’t however know how it works to prevent basement flooding.

What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is an electric pumping device used to remove excess water from your home. Most sump pumps are installed in a pit or basin in the basement or crawl space of the home. The sump pump keeps the basement or crawl space dry by moving the water out of the pit and through a pipe and away from your home.

You can have a pedestal pump (motor above floor) or submersible pump (bottom of sump pit).

What happens with the water during heavy rainfall?

Lots of rain brings built up water that needs to drain through the soil surrounding the house. If the soil has high moisture content the water will not drain quickly at all and will build up around the foundation of the house and eventually go through the floors and walls. Houses on a flat surface are more at risk of water buildup as there is no where else for the water to drain but through the floors.

How does the Sump Pump remove water during heavy rainfall?

Without a sump pump hydrostatic pressure will push the excess water through the floors and water creating flooding. With a sump pit the water starts filling it resulting in the sump pump turning on and starting the process of removing the water. The sump will eventually turn off when all the excess rainwater has drained through the soil below your house’s foundation.

Things to consider with Sump Pumps.

  • Flooding can still occur even with a sump pump if the capacity of the pump is reached.
  • Occasionally test out the pump making sure it works, as mechanically failure could always occur.