Things You Didn’t Know About Sump Pumps

Things You Didn’t Know About Sump Pumps

Bob Villa, the king of DIY home repairs, says that you should never buy a buy a house with a water problem. That’s good advice, but it doesn’t help if you already own one. If you’re unlucky enough to have a significant water problem in your home, a good sump pump could help you a great deal.

Sump Pumps Have Been Around for a Long Time

The earliest known machine-driven sump pump was used to pump water from mine shafts in 1679. Prior to the steam-powered pump, miners dug pits called “sump shafts” to drain water from the mines and could only work as deep as the local water table.

What Sump Pumps Do

If it can pump water up out of a mine, then it can certainly pump water out of your basement, right? A typical sump reservoir is two feet wide and three feet deep. The sump collects water that would otherwise seep into your basement, and the pump removes that water. Pumps are typically 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower and come in two basic designs.

Pedestal pumps sit at the bottom of a pedestal inside an open sump. The motor for the pump is at the top of the pedestal and must remain dry. Submersible pumps sit down in the water in a closed sump with a sealed motor. Both types start automatically when the water in the sump rises to a certain level. Submersible pumps are usually preferable because they allow the sump to be covered, but both designs work if properly installed and maintained.

Sumps also drain the areas under the footing of the house. When ground water rises, or when storm flooding occurs, the sump prevents damage to concrete basement floors and keeps the footers structurally sound.

Who Buys the Most Sump Pumps?

The Windy City buys more sump pumps than any other U.S. location. Chicago is largely built on wet prairie marshland. Although Carmel, Indiana is located only 180 miles from Chicago, we’re lucky enough to not be situated on marshland, so basement sump pumps are not as common here as they are in Chicago. Still, many homeowners find themselves ankle-deep in water problems that only a sump pump can solve.

Do you have a damp basement or split-level home that a dehumidifier can’t keep up with? Has water already damaged your home’s foundation? The experts at Ram Jack of Indiana can help. Check out our homepage for information on foundation repair and contact us.

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