Sump Pumps and Plumbing Tips for Your Home


Prevent Damage to your finished basement with the proper sump pump installation.

Several different styles of sump pumps are available on the market today. There is the traditional upright model that has been in existence for many years. There is also a completely submersible version that may not be as widely recognized.

Maybe the newest kid on the block is actually powered by water. Typically, the one utility that is least subject to down time, is your water system. It then makes sense that if you can use that energy to power your sump pump installation, your are most likely to have a working sump pump system during worst case conditions.

Common Sump Pump Components

A plastic or metal reservoir of 15 to 25 US gallons (60 to 100 L). Although sump reservoirs can be constructed from different materials, the most commonly used materials are: clay, tile, steel, concrete, fibreglass or polyethylene. The average sump reservoir is approximately eighteen inches in diameter and two to three feet in depth. Situated in the low point of a dwelling’ s basement, most reservoirs have holes on either side to accommodate incoming drainage tiles. These reservoirs should be covered for safety reasons. Depending on the size of your home, it might be necessary to have more than one sump tank installed.

Most sump pumps are rated at 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower and may be battery or electrically powered.
Plumbing that is typically 1.5 inch (38 mm) PVC, is routed from the pump, through a check valve, and out of the house to a storm drain or weeping system.
A check valve allows water to flow up and out through the pipes, so when the pump turns off, the water in the pipes doesn’t flow backwards back into your house.

Runoff water produced by rain is collects around the house foundation. New homes will have drainage tiles buried around the house perimeter. This water collection system will direct that excess water to a storm drain or sump pump installation. There may also be a bed of tile drainage beneath the basement floor that serves the same purpose.

This drainage system collects and channels water into the sump reservoir. This reservoir has been designed to collect any surface water from the floor and drainage system. It will be structured slightly lower than the main floor and water migrates to that area. When  water fills the reservoir to a pre-determined level, a float or switching device activates the pump and pumps the excess water to a storm drain or weeping system.

If the sump pump installation is connected to storm drains, it is essential that the system employ back up check valves. This will prevent a storm drain backing up into your house. Too many people have discovered the hard way that a check valve was not properly installed in their system.

Some homes also maintain a secondary battery-powered sump pump in case the first pump can not operate under various conditions. It’s main components might include – a battery-driven 12 V sump pump with its own water level sensor, piping, check valve, and a lead-acid car or marine deep cycle battery. A trickle-charge battery charger will maintain a constant charge to the battery.

Mechanics of a Water Powered sump pump installation (typically used for backup)

The Water Powered Sump Pump Installation

With the protection of a water powered sump pump, no electricity is required.

Electricity is not 100% reliable as many storms can cause power failures. You can feel safer with a backup protection device in place that runs without electric power? Water pressure backup pumps which run off municipal water will still operate when the lights go out and your electricity powered sump pump installation shuts down.

Even while experiencing the heaviest rainfalls and worst storm conditions, a properly installed water powered backup sump pump installation should be able to satisfy your requirements.

Your water pressure backup pump can be installed above your primary sump pump system, and will work simultaneously with it should the need present itself. To satisfy the wide variance in needs there are several models available to suit your particular needs.

Today we see much more effort to protect the environment. Because a water pressure backup sump pump installation is powered by water pressure, there is no need to be concerned about battery disposal, gas or other adverse environmental effects of generating electricity. This is another great side benefit to this type of sump pump installation.