What Is A Sump Pump & When Do I Need One?

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If you live in an area where flooding is frequent, the task of draining water out of the basement is a chore. However, it doesn’t have to be. Investing in a sump pump is a great way to get rid of floodwater in places below ground level. 

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How Does It Work & When Is It Used?

But what is a sump pump? It is a submersible device that helps remove water accumulated in a sump pit or tank. The sump is a constructed pit below the basement’s main surface floor. Its purpose is to collect water coming from drains or groundwater in the earth. 

This device commonly sits on a sump pit, a hole about 2 feet deep and 18 inches wide located in the basement. When water starts filling the space, this machine pumps the water out. It removes water by pumping it through pipes away from the basement to a place where it would not cause a problem. A centrifugal pump is responsible for moving water to another location. When turned on, the sump pump activates an impeller. This component spins and forces the water towards the sides of the pipe, which creates a low-pressure area at the centre. Its spinning action causes the water to out through the pipe. To prevent backflow, sump pumps have a check valve, a one-way valve that prevents water from coming back into the basement. 

Sump pumps found in residential spaces use electricity and standard household current. It is best to have a ground fault circuit interrupter on the outlet as the pump is always or near water.

Selecting the Perfect Sump Pump 

If flooding is a problem and your home has a basement, then you need a sump pump. However, the question now is which type of sump pump fits the needs of your property. In Australia, there are two types available, automatic and manual. An automatic sump pump comes with a float switch that activates the device once flood water has reached a certain level. This switch also turns off the pump once the basement is fully drained of water. On the other hand, a manual sump pump needs human intervention to start draining water out of the basement. 

The following are considerations when deciding on which sump pump type is best for your home:

  • Can I operate a sump pump? – Given that automatic sump pumps come with pressure switches and float switches, it is best for homes where it is difficult to check whether water is filling up the basement. Always contact your local plumber for any advice regarding sump pump functionality.
  • How much horsepower/kilowatts does the property need? – Homeowners need to identify the severity of flooding in the area and their desired time for getting water out of their property.
  • How much head pressure is demanded? – Head pressure is the maximum height to which the pump has to remove the water. For example, a pump with a 15-metre shutoff head can pump water out up to 15 metres before completely losing the flow. Homeowners should consult an experienced emergency plumbing service professional on other factors that need consideration concerning head pressure.
  • How long is the distance between the sump pump and wall socket? – Sump pumps in homes run by electricity. Homeowners and their emergency plumbers need to determine where to best position the sump pump and where it will be connected to power. The pump’s cable length plays a crucial factor when deciding the pump’s location.
  • Do I need an alarm or a backup system? – This option depends on the needs of the homeowner and those at home. If redundancy and an alert system is a must, they must go with a sump pump that comes with a backup system and an alarm.

Maintenance, Life Expectancy and Other Essentials Details

Sump pumps need maintenance, too. This machine usually lasts for an average of ten years. However, constant upkeep is needed to achieve this lifespan. But how can homeowners clean this pump by themselves? First, they need to have a large bucket, a garden hose, a tarp or plastic sheeting, tools for scraping debris and a wet/dry vacuum.

After assembling all the needed tools, here are some tips from our expert 24 hour plumbers:

  1. Ensure that the sump pump is disconnected from the power supply. 
  2. Wrap the bottom part of the pump in plastic sheeting. It saves time and effort from cleaning up dirt that came from removing debris from the pump.
  3. Use a garden hose to clean the pump. A hose is a great tool in removing debris and other things from the pump.
  4. After ensuring that there is no more dirt or debris, rinse the sump pump using a garden hose. 
  5. Drain the check valve.
  6. Using a dry/wet vacuum, remove the remaining water from the sump pit.
  7. Reconnect the pump to power.

We also advise keeping track of the dates when the pump was cleaned. It helps in the regular upkeep of the pump and ensure that it gets proper maintenance every year. As always, contacting a plumber to perform maintenance on your sump pump will ensure longevity and will minimise the chances of unsuspecting issues arising.

Sydney Sump Pump Installation

For every plumbing need, we at Optimised Plumbing Services are ready to help. Our team is composed of fully qualified emergency plumbers. All possess the experience and knowledge to determine whether the property needs a sump pump and if yes, which type and where is the best place to install it. We carry out all sump pump installation under the requirements set by NSW Fair Trading. Contact Optimised Plumbing Services now to have an expert emergency plumber help in installing and maintaining your sump pump on your property today!

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