Understanding How a Sump Pump Works

gffddfgdA sump pump system is comprised of 4 main components: a sump tank (basin), a ground water collection system, an outlet drain and of course, a pump. Some also come with a sump pump backup system to support the main sump pump.

How It Works


Basically, water is collected by the drain tile and drain rock. Water is carried to the sump tank by the drain tile. The tank is installed underneath the basement floor and is made of polyethylene, concrete, tile, steel, clay or fiberglass. Standard sized tanks are about 2-3 feet deep and 18 inches in diameter.

Most sump tanks have a hole in each side and a well-built cover. When it is filled with water up to a certain level, a switching device will activate it. Standard pumps are powered by electricity and they are either the pedestal type or the submersible type. The former has a column that protrudes up through the cover of the tank and its motor is attached to the column, well above floor level. On the other hand, a submersible pump is placed inside the tank and can be exposed to water without any problem.

Water is drawn into the pump through a filter trap and then pumped out through a hose or a discharge pipe. When the water reaches a certain level (or when the tank is empty), the motor automatically switches off. Some sump pumps however, need to be manually operated.

Choosing the Right Sump Pump for Your Home

If this is your first time to purchase a sump pump, here are a few things to consider:

Most homes with sump pumps use the primary sump pump. This equipment is designed to pump water seepage out of your property to prevent flooding. A primary sump pump has the ability to pump up thousands of gallons of water an hour.

Battery backup pumps give you added protection if the power goes out. With an electric-powered pump, you rely only on electricity to enable your equipment to pump out water from your home in case of heavy rains, melting snow or flooding. But when you have a battery backup unit, the pump will continue to work even if there’s no electric power.

Combination sump pumps are a combination of a primary and a battery backup sump pump. With it, you will have peace of mind knowing that whether or not there is a power outage in your area, your sump pump will still continue to work in order to prevent flooding inside your home.

Sewage pumps are designed primarily to pump out sewage waste into a septic system. These machines can pass solids with diameters of up to 2 inches and they operate automatically.

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