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Choosing A Sump Pump Setup

Sump pumps are designed to remove any groundwater that manages to make its way into your basement or lower level, and they are perfectly suited for areas of the country that experience higher than average rainfall amounts, or that have houses built on flat, low lying areas.  There are a number of different pumps available, and the one you choose will depend on your unique circumstances.

A sump pump set up consists of six basic components, a groundwater collection system that routes excess water to a sump basin, the basin itself that collects water for removal, the primary sump pump which is either pedestal or submersible, the discharge pipe or hose that carries water away from the home, the check valve that prevents backflow through the discharge outlet, and the backup sump pump system which allows the unit to continue to function in the event of a power failure or failure of the primary pump.

Backup sump pumps may be either battery powered or powered by water pressure. A good unit should have an alarm that alerts you when problems occur with the pump.

Operation of the pump may be controlled by switches, designed to be operated manually or triggered when water levels reach a certain point. Water sensing switches are preferred since there are no mechanical parts that can wear out as there are with other types of switches. Diaphragm switches may also be used with water pressure to turn a pump on and off, and the unit shuts down as water pressure falls below a certain point.

Sump pumps should be made of corrosion free materials such as bronze, stainless steel, and cast iron. They should also have adequate capacity to handle any water problems that are likely to occur in your home.

Always read the owners manual before beginning installation, and if there is any rewiring required, check with a qualified electrician.  Local code requirements  may dictate the level of water discharge that is allowed, and power should be disconnected before working on the unit. Do not use extension cords for any sort of sump pump setup.

Properly installed, sump pumps can be an excellent line of defense for your home against water intrusion and flood damage. Take the time necessary to determine the best model or models needed in your home, and then install them correctly as per manufacturer’s instructions.  Doing so will mean safety for your property and peace of mind for you as a homeowner.

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