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7 Common Questions about Sump Pumps

Water in the basement can be an expensive headache. Not only can it destroy irreplaceable documents and belongings, it can cause structural damage that can weaken the foundation of your building. Sump pump installation can go a long way to prevent the problems of water damage. Following are some commonly asked questions that can help you determine if one is right for you If you can’t find the answers here, feel free to contact one of our Roto-Rooter reps.

What is a sump pump?

This is a system that consists of a holding tank and a pump. The tank is placed beneath the ground at the lowest point in your basement or below ground building level. Water flows into the tank, which usually holds between 15 and 25 gallons. The water is stored until it reaches a certain level when the pump kicks in and moves the water to a safe distance away from your house.

Where does the water go?

The water is pumped into pipes that transport it to a safe place, such as the local storm drains or a dry well.

Is it always running?

Yes and no. The tank is always collecting water, but, the motor only operates when it is needed. If you have an electric system, when the water reaches a certain level, it triggers a switch that turns on the motor. When the water is below that level, the motor is resting. If you have a manual system, you need to physically turn on the motor when you need it.

How does water get into the basement?

There are three main methods by which water gets into a basement:

  • Seepage through cracks and joints from high water tables or flood plains
  • Flooding through the cracks and joints due to heavy storms
  • Broken pipes

What buildings could benefit from a system?

All buildings that have a level beneath the ground should have a sump pump. This includes cellars, crawl spaces, and basements. While we don’t have as many basements around here as they do in other parts of the country, there are some around that would benefit from a sump system.

What types of systems are available?

There are two common setups:

  • Pedestal: This type mounts the motor on top of the tank. It is easy to service but is visible to anyone who walks past it.
  • Submersible: This type mounts the motor inside the tank. It is sealed to protect the wiring and parts from water damage. It is harder to service, but not as readily noticeable.

How can I get one?

Talk to a Roto-Rooter plumber who can help you with sump pump installation in any home or business.

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