What Is A Sump Pump & Should It Be Inspected?
It was 2008 in the middle of the winter season. The Grand Forks Herald reported that icy patches were covering the streets--but it wasn't due to the cold precipitation. In actuality, the problem was caused by run-off from household sump pumps being met with the subfreezing temps. However, in spite of how much upset the runoff was causing for pedestrians and motorists, the sump pumps were doing something very important: preventing floods in household basements.
A sump pump is basically a small pump that is installed into the lowest portion of a crawlspace or basement. Its job? Keep the building dry so that it doesn't flood. Typically, a sump pump will be placed into a sump pit, a carefully constructed area for it to sit. The water will then flow and drain into the pit, and the sump pump will work to pump the water out. The water will be pumped out and away from the building to keep the crawlspace or basement area dry.
About 60% of American homes have an issue with wetness below ground level. However, more homeowners than this will probably deal with a flooded basement eventually. And, it doesn't take a lot of water to cost a homeowner thousands in damages. Moisture in your basement can also lead to mildew and mold, causing health hazards.
Some homes have had a sump pump installed for many years, especially in areas that experience rapid melting of heavy snow and in properties in low-lying areas. Legislation now requires sump pumps to be installed in any home sitting in a potential flood zone, which makes them very common in newly built homes.
A float activator or a built-in pressure sensor means that most sump pumps will turn themselves on automatically. A pressure sensor does exactly what the name says: as water puts more pressure onto the sensor than air, the pump activates. On the other hand, a flat activator functions much more similarly to how the one in your toilet's tank operates. A ball floats on top of all the water, manually shifting the arm as the level of water rises up. There are also manually operated pumps that will only active when you turn it on. Should the sensor or float arm fail on an automatic pump, there is a manual option too.
A home use sump pump is powered by your house's electricity using the standard household current, which means you don't need to go about any specialized wiring other than a ground outlet. Since the pump is always around water, a GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, should be used to help lower the risk of accidental electrocution.
The Author Adam Clark is the owner and operator of Shield Guard Home Inspections. Adam Clark is a local Home Inspector located in Albany NY that has performed over 6000 Inspections Book online Phone: (518) 720-7152