About Drain-Pro
Drain-Pro Home Page Drain-Pro Plumbing Drain-Pro - Drain Cleaning Drain- Pro - Sump Pumps Contact Drain-Pro


If you have experienced the anguish of a failed sump pump you are not alone!

Thousands of dollars in damage to furniture, appliances and flooring as well as hours upon hours of unpleasant cleaning and disinfecting. It is imperative you install a top of the line sump pump which is suitably sized to your groundwater conditions.

Your sump pump is your last line of defense against a flooded basement.

Do I need a sump pump?

Water accumalating in your basement may come from several sources. Before considering installing a sump pump to alleviate wet basement conditions be sure to check the drainage around your house.

Are your eavestrough downspouts directing roof water at least 4 feet away from your house? Is the landscaping around your foundation built up sufficiently to direct water away from the foundation?

If these conditions aren't being met, you may need to install a sump pump due to high groundwater conditions in your area.

Two types of sumps

If you have determined that you require a sump to remove groundwater their are a couple of ways to go.

You must determine what type of bedding material your basement concrete is poured over (most homes, but not all, that have been built since the early seventies have a gravel base or bed which the concrete floor is poured on). Homes built prior to this may just have soil or clay beneath the concrete.

Because clay and soil are not nearly as porous as a gravel base you will have to excavate inside the basement at least a two foot trench around the perimeter of the house and dig it down to the footing. Once this is completed you can lay a bed of gravel, install your drain tile pipe and direct it to your sump pit where the water can be discharged. If it sounds like its labour intensive & expensive, it is.

The other method and most cost effective, providing you have a gravel base (this gravel base allows the groundwater to move freely sideways to the sump pit) is to excavate a large enough hole to accomodate the sump barrel and room for at least 6-8 inches of gravel beneath and around the sump barrel which allows water to enter the sump and be discharged by the pump.

What size pump should i have for my house?

There is no "correct" size. The horsepower requirement for a sump pump in a house is determined by the area of drainage, the depth and flow rate of the groundwater and the vertical lift required to get the water from the sump pit to the discharge location.

Obviously a 1/2 hp pump will pump more water and lift it higher than a 1/3 hp pump but in most cases where the flow rate into the sump is slow (which is in the majority) there would be no advantage to using the larger pump. It would in fact be a detriment due to the cycling or short running time of the pump, causing it to work harder which in turn could overheat the pump causing a thermal overload which would shut it down.

Pumps should be allowed to run in order to allow themselves to cool off. Constant stopping and starting not only uses more energy but reduces the lifespan of the pump.

Should or can I pump sump discharge into the sanitary sewer?

Absolutely not!.

Most, if not all, cities or municipalities have outlawed the use of combined sewers. They, at one time, allowed rainwater drained from the roof to your eavestrough to be directed to the downspout and then to your sanitary sewer along with the discharge from sump pits. This put undo pressure on sewage treatment plants and extreme downpours could cause sewage backup in countless basements due to an overloading of the system.

Sump discharge should be directed as far away as possible from your house in such a way as it is not directed to your neighbors property or into window wells or onto septic fields.

Sump pump failure.

There are many reasons for sump pump failure -not the least of wich is a power outage. This can be remedied with the installation of a battery backup system wich will ensure your pumps continued operation.

Float problems are the most common cause of pump failure as they can crack and fill with water, leaving them inoperable. The pump can move within the confines of the sump pit causing the tethered float to become jammed and not allow the float to rise with the sump water.

Attentive care should be taken to ensure that the float is in good working order. Another reason for pump failure is negligence on the part of the homeowner in not ensuring the sump pit is cleaned of silt sludge and debris that can plug intakes on the pump causing it to fail.

Copyright 2009 Drain-Pro  

Website Design


Drain-Pro Home page Drain-Pro Plumbing Drain Cleaning Contact Drain-Pro