what does a sump pump do

Don’t Let Water Damage Wreck Your Home: Why Sump Pumps Are a Must-Have?

Imagine having to cope with water damage in your house or waking up to a wet basement following a particularly severe downpour. Having safeguards in place to protect your property is essential since water incursion can result in significant damage and financial burden. In this thorough article, we’ll go through the significance of owning a sump pump, a crucial device for protecting your house from flood damage.

Understanding the Sump Pump Basics

sump pumpThe sump pump is a brilliant invention that has proven to be an effective tool in the fight against basement flooding by controlling the steady flow of excess water. Located in a specially dug hole known as the sump pit, this engineering marvel kicks into high gear whenever the water level in your home rises above a certain point, engaging in a true aquatic tug of war to remove the liquid intruders from the very foundations of your home. If you take the time to learn about the various types of sump pumps and the complex mechanisms that make them work, you’ll be in a much better position to choose the one that’s best for your needs.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

To comprehend the functionality of a sump pump, it is essential to understand its core components and working mechanism. Typically, a sump pump consists of the following elements:

  1. Sump Basin: A sump basin, also known as a sump pit, is a specially constructed pit or reservoir located at the lowest point of the basement floor. It collects and holds the water that seeps into the basement.
  2. Float Switch: The float switch is a buoyant device attached to the sump pump. It senses the water level in the sump basin and activates the pump when the water reaches a certain predetermined level.
  3. Motor: The motor is the powerhouse of the sump pump, responsible for driving the pump’s impeller.
  4. Impeller: The impeller is a rotating component that generates the necessary force to pump the water out of the sump basin and away from the building.
  5. Discharge Pipe: The discharge pipe is connected to the sump pump and carries the water away from the basement, typically to a safe location away from the foundation.

When water enters the sump basin and reaches a specific height, the float switch triggers the sump pump’s motor, activating the impeller. The impeller then pushes the water out of the basin and through the discharge pipe, effectively diverting it away from your home.

The Dangers of Standing Water

Crawl Space Sump PumpThe threats that stagnant water brings to your home and health are not immediately obvious. Homeowners need to be aware of the dangers involved with standing water since it may cause everything from structural damage to the growth of dangerous bacteria and mildew. Here, we’ll talk about the perils of stagnant water and why you need a sump pump to deal with it:

  1. The Risk of Structural Damage: Standing water is bad for your home’s foundation and overall stability. Standing water around your home puts hydrostatic pressure on the foundation walls, which eventually causes them to weaken and crack. These fissures are a sign of structural weakness and might result in expensive repairs. Sump pumps are inexpensive and can save you a lot of headaches and potential foundation damage by removing water from your property quickly and efficiently.
  2. Mold and Mildew Growth: Stagnant water provides an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. These fungi not only cause unpleasant odors and unsightly stains but also pose serious health risks. Mold spores can trigger allergies and respiratory issues, especially in individuals with pre-existing conditions. A sump pump removes standing water, ensuring that moisture levels are kept in check and reducing the likelihood of mold and mildew growth in your home.
  3. Pest Infestation: Mosquitoes, flies, and rats are all attracted to stagnant water. In addition to being an annoyance, these pests pose health risks and can damage your home. Diseases like West Nile virus and the Zika virus are spread primarily by mosquitoes. A sump pump can reduce the likelihood of an infestation and safeguard your family’s health by removing standing water from the home.
  4. Contamination and Waterborne Illnesses: Bacteria and other infectious organisms thrive in stagnant water. You shouldn’t drink it or let it come in contact with any cuts or scrapes since it could be contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and other toxins. You can protect your family and home from water-related illnesses by using a sump pump to quickly remove standing water.
  5. Foundation Shifting and Sinkholes: Standing water causes soil erosion and destabilizes the ground beneath your property in high water table situations. In the worst circumstances, this can cause sinkholes and shifting of the foundation. Extremely high repair costs may result from such occurrences’ effects on your property. A sump pump is an excellent investment since it prevents soil erosion and keeps your home’s foundation from settling.

The Importance of a Sump Pump in Your Basement

The basement is an essential aspect of your home’s structure but is also extremely susceptible to water damage. A sump pump is necessary in this situation. A sump pump is essential to the security, longevity, and comfort of your house because of its ability to remove excess water and avoid basement flooding. Listed below are the four main justifications for investing in a sump pump:

i) Protection against Flooding

The prevention of basement flooding is a fundamental benefit of installing a sump pump. Substantial precipitation, groundwater seepage, and melting snow can all cause flooding in your basement. The risk of flooding and property damage can be greatly reduced with the help of a reliable sump pump that removes this surplus water quickly.

ii) Preventing Mold and Mildew Growth

Excess moisture in your basement provides an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. These fungal growths not only compromise the structural integrity of your home but also pose health risks to you and your family. By keeping your basement dry, a sump pump effectively mitigates the growth of mold and mildew, ensuring a healthy living environment.

iii) Preserving Property Value

Water damage can have a significant impact on the value of your property. A basement prone to flooding or water-related issues is a red flag for potential buyers. By installing a sump pump, you demonstrate your commitment to maintaining a safe and protected home, thereby preserving its value in the long run.

iv) Peace of Mind

Having a dependable sump pump installed in your basement gives you a priceless piece of mind. You won’t need to worry about potential water damage as much because your basement will be dry and safe even during the worst storms.

Other Benefits of Sump Pumps

Sump pumps offer numerous advantages for homeowners. They protect against basement flooding during heavy rainfalls, ensuring that water does not seep into the foundation and cause damage. Additionally, sump pumps act as a barrier against sewer backups and pipe bursts, preventing contaminated water from entering your home. By keeping your basement dry, sump pumps also inhibit the growth of mold and mildew, which can have detrimental effects on your health. Moreover, having a functional sump pump can increase your property value, providing peace of mind to potential buyers.

Choosing the Right Sump Pump

Selecting the appropriate sump pump requires consideration of factors such as horsepower, capacity, and type. The horsepower determines the pump’s ability to move water efficiently, while the capacity refers to the amount of water the pump can handle in a given period. Understanding the different types of sump pumps available, including submersible and pedestal models, allows you to choose the most suitable option for your specific circumstances.

Installation and Maintenance

The best functioning of a sump pump depends on its proper installation. We give you detailed instructions to help you through the installation procedure and make sure your sump pump is installed properly. Additionally, to keep your sump pump operating efficiently, routine maintenance is required. We provide helpful hints and industry-recognized best practices to assist you in maintaining your sump pump, increasing its life, and lowering the likelihood of malfunctions.

Troubleshooting and Common Issues

While sump pumps are reliable devices, occasional problems may arise. Understanding common issues, such as motor malfunctions or float switch failures, empowers you to troubleshoot these problems effectively. We provide useful tips to address these issues, but it is important to know when to seek professional assistance for complex repairs.

Sump Pump Alternatives

While sump pumps are widely regarded as an effective solution, alternative methods for basement waterproofing exist. However, it is essential to consider the limitations and potential drawbacks of these alternatives when making a decision. We briefly explore these options to provide a comprehensive understanding of the available choices.


Most homeowners are not aware that having a sump pump in their basement is a legal requirement in many areas. But, chances are, you also know a few things about sump pumps that need to be clarified. That’s why I wrote this FAQ document.

When do you need a sump pump?

You need a sump pump if your house has a foundation that does not have a drain system. This can happen in newer homes, or if your house was built before the 1980s. In such cases, you need to add a sump pump to ensure that there is always water to keep the foundation intact.

Do you need a sump pump in your basement?

Sump pumps are necessary for proper drainage of water from the basement during heavy storms or flooding. They help keep water out of your home by pumping it away and preventing it from overflowing your basement walls.

Do you need a sump pump in your crawl space?

Sump pumps are not necessary for most homes with a crawl space. However, they are useful in case your home does have a crawl space, especially if you are planning to put any kind of slab or concrete flooring in the area. Sump pumps can help prevent water damage to your home and its contents in case of a flooding emergency. They work by creating an artificial pond at the bottom of the sump pit, which prevents water from flowing into the basement and potentially causes problems.

However, not all sump pumps are equal. Some are much more effective than others, and hence you should always check the specifications before buying one. Also, if your home has a crawl space, it is advisable to get an expert to inspect it and tell you if you really need a sump pump or not.

Can you put a sump pump outside?

Yes, you can put a sump pump outside. But it might not work very well. The main reason is, a sump pump needs to move a significant amount of water to be effective, and most likely, your outdoor sump pump will be working in an environment with limited water movement. This can cause a sump pump to be ineffective, or even damage it. Hence, it’s recommended that you use an outdoor sump pump only as a last resort, or if you have a really bad problem. You should always try to fix the underlying issue first before resorting to such measures.


Purchasing a sump pump is a proactive move in defending your house against the catastrophic impacts of flood damage. You can guarantee a dry and secure basement by being aware of the benefits of sump pumps, their significance, and how to select and maintain the best one. Take action right once to protect your house and enjoy peace of mind rather than waiting for a calamity to occur.


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