A sump pump is often your first and best line of defense against basement water problems. It defends your home against problems like seepage, drainage, flooding, storm surges, or seasonal thawing that can wreak havoc in your basement. You’ll want to make sure you have a good sump pump before you need one.

A sump pump will solve a lot—but not all—of your basement water problems. Learn more about what a sump pump can and cannot do and why you need one in good working order in your basement.

What Does a Sump Pump Do?
A sump pump’s main job is to remove water that builds up in your basement and send it away from your home. Water can build up in your basement for any number of reasons—it seeps through cracks in the foundation and leaky pipes or accumulates during heavy rains.

A sump pump is a submersible device located in a sump pit located at the lowest point in your house—often the basement. It’s connected to a drainpipe, and when it fills to a certain point, a pressure sensor or float activator arm turns on the sump pump and removes the water. This keeps your basement dry and free from flooding and damage such as mold growth or foundation issues.

What Does a Sump Pump NOT Do?
Sump pumps aren’t designed to keep water from entering your home—instead, its job is to remove the water once it gets inside. It can’t remove moisture buildup or high humidity in your basement. It also can’t replace proper waterproofing like a vapor barrier or sealant. A sump pump can’t do anything about mold that’s already growing, but it can remove the standing water that encourages additional mold growth.

How to Choose a Sump Pump
If you’re considering a sump pump to help remove water from your basement, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • Should you get a submersible pump or a pedestal pump? Submersible sump pumps are placed below the water at the base of your sump pit. The noise level is reduced since it operates under water, and the water helps cool the motor. Pedestal pumps are on a platform above the water and generally don’t take up much space. They are easy to install because they don’t require any construction work, but the noise level is much higher than with a submersible pump. Also, a submersible pump is more effective.
  • Should you invest in an automatic sump pump or a manual one? An automatic sump pump will start working whenever water reaches a certain level, while you must turn on a manual sump pump yourself. This can be inconvenient, but manual sump pumps are cheaper than automatic ones.
  • How much horsepower do you need? The amount of horsepower depends on the amount of water you need to remove.
  • What about head pressure? This is the pressure the sump pump uses to pump the water into a drainage pipe and move it away from your house. It’s determined by the length from the pump area to the drainage pipe.

Sump Pump Servicing and Repair
At Ideal Basement Waterproofing, we know all about leaky basements and what causes them. We offer a wide range of basement waterproofing services, foundation repairs, and sump pump installation and repairs, and we can offer advice on the best type of sump pump for your home. Contact us today for a free quote!