ABOUT SUMP PUMPS
It is critical for all homeowners to maintain their sump pumps annually to ensure that it is in working order, especially before the winter weather sets in. Strangely, even those that own a sump pump are often unsure of what they do exactly, or how important they truly are to keep your home safe from flooding. Just Foundations Ottawa wants you and your loved ones to have a dry and safe winter, so we’ve decided to provide the following information so that you are informed.
WHERE IS A SUMP PUMP?
A sump pump is located in the basement of homes, and in commercial buildings it is generally found in the boiler room. Simply constructed, a 3 foot pit is dug out and the lid of the pit is installed flush with the floor. Its primary function is to remove excess water that has collected in its basin (also known as a ‘sump pit’), and basically acts like a toilet tank in reverse. Water accumulates in the sump pit by natural underground water or from perforated pipes that are connected to the pit (also known as ‘weeping tile’). When the water level in the pit rises higher than what is known as the ‘water table’, its lever attached to the pump will kick in and redirect the water outside by ABS piping attached to the pump.
There are two types of sump pumps: Pedestal and Submersible. A pedestal sump pump can be found mounted above the sump pit and can be louder at times. A submersible sump pump is submerged in the sump pit and is much quieter. There are different horsepower pumps for different pits. The bigger the pit, the more horsepower a sump pump should have – the more horsepower a pump has the faster the water will drain from its pit. Some sump pumps are battery activated; these are something to consider as they will ensure uninterrupted pumping during power outages or should the main pump fail for some reason. These can be more costly but will save the cost of a flooded basement in the long run – really worth looking at.
SUMP PUMP MAINTENANCE
Part of maintaining your sump pump is as easy as going down to take a look at it. Checking it out twice a year should be sufficient, again one of these times should be before winter arrives – but it all depends in what kind of climate you live in. If your sump pump is often active due to a high water table or heavy rainwater it should be examined more frequently. In areas such as Ottawa that comes with harsh inclement weather, the ABS discharge pipe outside should also be monitored. To prevent your pump from burning out, replace a frozen pipe right away as it will disable the pump from discharging water properly.
To prevent the pipes from freezing to begin with, one can install a heat cable inside the ABS pipe to keep them de-iced. Another reason to examine the ABS discharge pipe outside is to ensure that the pipe is sloping slightly downwards to allow the water to run smoothly and away from your home.
If you have any further questions about sump pumps in general, or are concerned that your sump pump may not be operating at an optimal level, give us a call at Just Foundations Ottawa and we will be pleased to assist you!