As much as we loved the business that all the rain in Frederick County brought us last week, we’re hoping for our customers’ sake that it stays dry for a while. Many of the wet basements we encountered were due to faulty sump pumps, so if you were a victim of a flooded basement, now is a good time to ask a few questions.
How do I know when to replace my sump pump?
Obviously if we were pumping water from your basement last week, you know your sump pump wasn’t working well. But a few other ways you can tell are by:
- Age – Most sump pumps have a typical lifespan of 10 years, so if yours is close to that, start looking into a new one before you have problems.
- Sound – If you don’t hear the pump kicking on when it’s raining a lot, it’s probably not doing its job.
- Wetness – Overflowing water around your sump pit usually means your pump isn’t pumping out water fast enough.
Which type of sump pump do I need?
If it worked well, you’ll probably want the same kind of model you had before. Here is a breakdown of the different types available:
- Submersible – This type of pump sits in a hole cut into the floor of your basement or crawlspace. The motor sealed and waterproofed. When water around the pump rises to a certain level, it kicks on and flushes water through piping that runs outside and away from the house.
- Pedestal – This type of pump has a motor that stands about two feet above the water, and only the part that pushes water out is inside the pit.
There is a theory that pedestal pumps last longer since they motor stays dry, but quality submersible pumps made of cast iron often outlast their plastic counterpart.
What can I expect to pay for a sump pump?
A standard 1/3 horsepower sump pump costs between $100 and $200 and removes around 2,000 gallons of water per hour, which is the amount that builds up in a decent flood.
Live in a major flood zone? A 1/2 horsepower can handle 3,000 gallons an hour and costs between $150 and $350.
If there’s a possibility of enduring 5,000 gallons in an hour, your sump pump needs to be 3/4 horsepower which costs from $175-$350.
What if the power goes out?
There are a few options to keep your sump pump working without electricity.
- A rechargeable battery pack can keep your sump pump running. Some new models come standard with a battery back-up.
- A second, battery-powered, sump pump isalmost as powerful as the main pump, and it kicks on not just when the power goes out, but any time the primary pump stops working.
- Water-powered backup is plumbed to a water line in the basement and uses pressure in the pipe to suck water from the pit like a vacuum. This type of backup pump is not an option if you have well water since there’s no water pressure during blackouts.
Why do I need a plumber to install a sump pump?
A wet basement can cause all kinds of problems, from the headache of sopping belongings to the health hazards of mold. A plumber can recommend the right model as well as examine the rest of the components such as the sump pit liner and electric wiring. You’ll rest assured knowing that it will do its job the next time a big rain comes.
Don’t wait until you have to call a plumber in the middle of a storm. Call Putman Plumbing now and let us help.