WHAT IS A SUMP PUMP?
In a basement waterproofing system, a sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has been collected by other waterproofing systems such as wall waterproofing and drainage. Sump pumps will pump this collected water away from the property to a place where it is no longer problematic.
Sump pumps are particularly useful where a space below ground suffers from regular flooding. They can also help in the treatment of damp basements where the water table lies above the property foundations.
WHAT IS A SUMP PUMP FOR?
The sump pump is the heart of many basement waterproofing systems. In a nut-shell, it collects water entering a property and pumps it back out, usually to the nearest drain.
Although it is predominantly used for basement waterproofing, sump pumps can be used for various types of water management. For example, the one in our head office at Wise is actually installed in a ground floor storage room which suffered from water entering through an earth retaining wall.
HOW DOES A SUMP PUMP FIT INTO A WATERPROOFING SYSTEM?
The most common, modern, approach to structural waterproofing involves allowing water to enter the property and channelling it out again. There are many benefits to this but the main one is that attempting to hold back external water can cause extreme pressure on the building structure, leading to cracks and leaks.
When water is allowed to enter the property a combination of membranes and drainage channels will safely direct it to the sump pump.
The sump pump itself is installed in a hole in the ground; however, you can always see the top of the pump which allows easy access if and when required.
There is one pipe going into the pump where water travels from the drainage channel, and another pipe coming out providing a safe exit for the water.
As the water basin in the pump starts to fill, the pump turns on automatically and sends the water through the exit pipe leaving you with a safe, clean and dry basement (or storage space in our case).
HOW TO MAINTAIN A SUMP PUMP
It is important that sump pumps are efficiently maintained as debris can enter the pump and prevent it from working at full capacity. It is important to inspect the sump pump every six months to ensure no problems have developed in this period.
- Debris can be removed manually from the sump pump but ensure to disconnect the check valve before removing any debris.
- It is possible for the float arm to become jammed if the sump pump is not sitting upright so make sure to check that vibrations have not caused the sump pump to fall over.
- You can test if the pump is working correctly by pouring water into the pit. If the sump pump is working correctly, it should quickly drain away the water. If this does not occur, then it is recommended to have the pump inspected by a professional.
- Moisture can cause the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) breaker to trip which will cause the sump pump to shut down. If this is the case, the sump pump will need to be reset. This can be avoided by checking the GFCI outlet is plugged in and in good condition.
WHAT ARE THE KEY FEATURES OF A SUMP PUMP
If you are going to rely on a sump pump (and the most effective basement waterproofing systems and basement conversions do), you will want to ensure it is reliable, has a battery backup, and is powerful enough to handle a heavy amount of rain water.
The ideal pump should make minimal noise during operation, be properly sealed to prevent odours and humidity from escaping, provide reliability and power and be equipped to handle unforeseen circumstances such as power cuts, excessive water ingress or blockages.
Before selecting your sump pump, make sure you ask these 3 vital questions:
- What happens if the sump pump fails?
- What happens if the sump pump cannot keep up with hard, fast rain?
- What happens if the power goes out?
Wise Basement Systems use premium sump pumps in our water management systems to ensure you have the best quality products working for you.
OTHER WATERPROOFING PRODUCTS
Our sump pumps are not the only waterproofing products we use to ensure that any basements, cellars and underground spaces we work on stay dry. If you would like to find out about the products we use on walls and floors, or the types of drainage solutions we install, then click on the button below to view our waterproofing products page.
CONTACT WISE BASEMENT SYSTEMS
If you want to know more about sump pumps, or structural waterproofing in general, contact Wise Basement Systems today.
Call our customer service team today or fill in the form below and we will get back to you.