When you have a serious water problem in your basement, sump pumps can help. These pumps remove groundwater from around the foundation of your home. This is necessary when water tables rise quickly after a heavy rain or when large quantities of snow melt.
Looking at sump pumps is an overwhelming task. There are countless models and materials. However, there are some time and money-savings tips that can help you get the right unit at the right price.
Types of Sump Pumps
There are two basic types of sump pumps – submersible (underwater) or pedestal (above ground). Of the two, the submersible is the most effective as the pit that accumulates water comes with a cover so that it does not fill with debris. As well, the pump sounds are muffled by the cover and moisture trapped, rather than released into your home. While they are more expensive, they also have a longer usable life.
Make sure that the pump that you choose has a head pressure rating that will lift the water at least 10 feet. This is usually enough push to get the water out of your basement or crawlspace. The horsepower of the motor of the sump determines how fast the water moves out of your home. Some people opt for a larger motor, but these use more electricity and cost more to operate. However, the also minimize the chance of damage to your home. Most people find that a ½ HP pump is sufficient to do the job.
A good sump pump has a corrosion-free housing such as bronze, stainless steel or coated cast iron. The core should also be cast iron. Many economy pumps have plastic cores, but these do not dissipate heat and as a result the life of the pump is usually shorter.
What Switch To Use
There is some debate on what type of switch is the best for a sump pump. Many claim that a mechanical switch is superior as it is less likely to fail and burn out the pump. Others suggest that capacitive switches are better as there are no mechanical parts to wear out. Regardless of what type of switch the unit has, most water control specialists also suggest a secondary, or backup system in case of failure.
If you have a finished basement or you store valuable goods in the lower areas of your home, a backup system can give you peace of mind. A backup system will turn on if the power or your primary pump fails. Usually the backup is battery-powered however some depend on high municipal water pressure (75 – 150 psi) to run the pump. These pumps are an automatic, independent system from the primary sump pump. If water rises above normal for any reason, a valve activates that draws the sump water up and ejects it to the outdoors. When the float drops, the pump stops after a pre-set time.
For those of you that feel that the do-it-yourself path is not for you, Nusite Group has experts that can help. We offer a free inspection and estimate for all your water control needs. Investing in a sump pump could save you thousands in property damage, but it is important that you choice the right one for the job. Our qualified technicians will explain which pump is best and why.
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