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Why Every Home Should Have a Sump Pump

submersible sump pump

Peace of mind is a dry basement

There’s nothing more relaxing than drifting off to sleep listening to the rain patter against your windows. It’s a cozy feeling being warm and dry inside your home – while Mother Nature is doing her thing outside. Suddenly you bolt out of bed remembering that last time there was a significant rainfall you spent most of the night sweeping ankle deep water out of your basement.

You run downstairs to the basement to check, and luckily, the basement floor is still dry. But now the soothing patter of the rain has taken an ominous turn; you spend the rest of the night tossing, turning and worrying about what might be going on downstairs. The next day you’re tired, cranky and late for work.

It’s unnecessary to lose sleep over something that’s preventable. Which is why homeowners who want a good night’s sleep and less worry spend the time and money to install a sump pump and sump pit in their basement. With a reliable sump pump and the right size sump pit – also known as a crock or basin – your home will stay watertight.

Even with other waterproofing measures in place, such as carefully sloped landscaping, well maintained weeping tiles, a structurally sound foundation and drains and downspouts that are free of debris, a sump pump is the best insurance when any of the other waterproofing measures fail. It becomes especially important in a time when major storms are the new normal.

A sump pump is the only backup you’ll ever need

New sump pump in basin
It’s just basic physics. When the ground around, and under, your home becomes saturated – the extra water starts pushing against your foundation. The hydrostatic pressure from all of that groundwater keeps building up until the water has nowhere to go but in.

You may have a great drainage system working overtime, but in heavy rain, it can still become quickly overwhelmed. It can happen to even the sturdiest concrete foundations, they will degrade over time unless there is some way to relieve the pressure when there is extra precipitation.

The sump pump is the backup machine that can relieve the workload on your foundation and drainage system. It collects the excess water and reroutes it away from your basement. It does the job efficiently in an out of the way corner of your basement.

The sump pump is a device that’s powered by a motor that automatically turns on when the water is rising too high. Attached to every sump pump is a floatation device that detects the water level in the sump pit. When extra water starts rushing into the pit, the flotation device starts rising towards the top of the pit. When it reaches a certain height, the flotation device activates a switch on the motor that turns on and starts pumping water out of the pit into an outlet pipe that leads away from the basement.

No more bailing out the basement with a bucket

With the right sump system, you’ll never again have to worry about sudden, disastrous floods. Getting up in the middle of the night to grab a pail and bail out your basement will become a distant memory. Enduring the astronomical costs of water damage will no longer be a constant financial drain.

So how do you know what type of sump pump to install? There are many factors that determine which type will work best for your home, including the amount of rainfall, type of soil, slope of your property and where the sump system will be located.

How to pick the best sump pump for your home

There are basically two main types of sump pumps. There is the pedestal pump that is inexpensive to fix and replace, but a little noisy. Then there is the other variety – the submersible pump that is more expensive but very quiet. It really depends on the layout of your basement, and how much water your property gets.

The pedestal pump works well for tight budgets and less flooding

The pedestal sump pump is a good option for homes that experience light flooding once in awhile. The motor on the pedestal pump sits on top of a rod that rises out of the sump pump. A thin wire with a flotation device runs from the motor into the sump pit.

When the water rises too high, the height of the flotation device alerts the pump motor to switch on. An intake pipe attached to the motor sucks the water out of the pit and into an outtake pipe that directs the water away from your property. The pedestal gets the job done, but since the motor is above the pit, there is nothing to muffle the noise. This is fine if your sump pump is installed in an unfinished basement or crawlspace – not so good in a finished basement that’s used as a room. If cost is a factor, pedestal sump pumps are about half the price of submersibles. Although, in the long term, you get what you pay for.

The standard horsepower on a pedestal sump pump is 1/3hp to 1/2hp, plenty of power to handle excess water from the occasional storm. If, however, your property sustains frequent flooding, and your sump pump has to run a lot – you probably want to consider the more powerful submersible pump.

While it is important for homeowners to understand the pros and cons of both types of sump pumps, at Aquamaster we recommend the sump pump that’s more expensive but lasts longer. The pedestal pump will get the job done, but overall it seems to need more repairs and needs to be replaced more frequently. The submersible sump pump is the machine we recommend for hassle free flood control.

The submersible sump pump is a true workhorse

Sealed wide pump basin
The heavy-duty alternative to a pedestal pump is the submersible. It gets its name because the motor and all of the moving parts sit inside the sump pit below the water line. The advantage is less noise because the motor is underwater while it’s pumping water into an outlet pipe. Additionally, the motor on the submersible stays cooler underwater so there isn’t the worry that the motor may overheat.

All of the moving parts are inside a hard, waterproof plastic case that protects the unit from moisture. It also comes with a screen on the bottom that filters out extra debris. The submersible is tougher and more durable than the pedestal pump, and while it costs more, you’ll save in the long run with fewer repairs.

If you’re in a flood zone, or an area with frequent storms, then a submersible sump pump is the right choice. Because they’re more powerful – motors run from a ½ to 1hp – and more durable, submersible pumps can run for days without overheating or getting clogged.

Furthermore, if cost is an issue, Toronto homeowners have an extra incentive with the Toronto Flood Subsidy Program. Our experts know how to get our clients a full reimbursement for the cost of eligible flood prevention measures including a new sump pump and sump pit.

When choosing a sump pump, choose wisely

There’s a lot riding on your choice of a sump pump and a mistake free installation. It’s always a good idea to hire professionals who have extensive experience installing and maintaining sump pumps. There’s no longer any reason to risk flooding in your home. The right selection of sump pump and sump pit will keep your home dry, and you’ll sleep much better at night.