In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics of sump pumps and whether you might want one in your home. Sump pumps are plumbing items that are placed at the very bottom of a given home, usually in the basement or a crawl space, with the purpose of pumping out water during heavy rain or snowfall and preventing flood risks from taking place in your home.
At Action Plumbing, our quality residential plumbers are here to help with a variety of fixtures and items, including a sump pump if you’re considering installing one in your home or are having issues with a current sump pump already installed. In today’s part two, we’ll go over some of the basic factors you should be considering when you choose a new sump pump, including the types available and your switch format – plus some simple maintenance areas we recommend for those who have installed sump pumps in their homes.
Qualities to Consider in a Sump Pump
If you have decided to install a sump pump in your home, or if your current sump pump has failed and must be replaced, you will have several options at your disposal as your search for the new pump. Here are some of the primary qualities you should be considering as you browse:
- Submersible vs pedestal: The more common format for a sump pump is submersible, which refers to an integrated design where both the motor and the pump itself are inside an enclosed container, which can get wet without damaging these components. A pedestal option, on the other hand, divides the unit into two pieces, with a standalone motor above the floor and then a hose fed down into the sump pit. Generally speaking, submersible pumps have fewer issues over time and should be your choice unless other specific factors dictate otherwise.
- Switch: Another potential fault area is with your pump switch, which should be a mechanical switch, not a pressurized one. The latter may fail over time, failures that are difficult to notice in many situations and may cause significant hassle.
- Material: You may have choices of either cast iron or plastic material for your sump pump, and we generally recommend cast iron for a longer lifespan.
- Secondary pump: For those with significant flood risks or a living space in the lower part of the home, a secondary or backup sump pump can be installed as a backup in case of failure.
Basic Sump Pump Maintenance
Sump pump maintenance is relatively easy, and only needs to be done every so often. You should clean the area at least once a month, including screens or inlet openings. Test your power cord and float capacity as well. In addition, we recommend a removal of the pump roughly once a year, a period where you can clean the pit and the pump to help remove grime that’s built up over the past year.
For more on sump pumps and whether your home might benefit from one, or for information on any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical today.