If you live in a location where the water table is high or where there’s a risk of flooding from rain or melting snow, your home may benefit from the installation of a sump pump. Sump pumps are specialized pieces of equipment that are engineered to prevent basement flooding.
Sump pumps are installed in sump basins, which sit in the lowest part of your basement or crawl space. When water flows into the sump basin, the pump motor is activated either by a float switch or a pressure sensor. The pump uses centrifugal force to propel water through a pipe to the exterior of your home.
Many newly constructed houses in flood-prone areas of Illinois are sold with sump pumps. If you’re buying an older home in Illinois that’s in an area that’s at risk for flooding, here are some tips for buying the right sump pump.
The Two Types of Sump Pumps
Sump pumps come in two basic varieties: pedestal and submersible. Pedestal sump pumps use a motor that’s mounted outside the sump basin while submersible pumps use a motor that’s mounted within the sump basin and sealed to prevent water erosion.
Pedestal sump pumps typically cost less, and they’re much easier to service and repair; however, they generally don’t last as long as submersible sump pumps. Submersible sump pumps tend to be more expensive, but they last longer.
A pump with a cast iron core will last longer than one with a core that’s made of plastic because it will be less prone to overheating. Clogs are a common problem with sump pumps, so it’s smart to choose a pump that’s specially designed to handle solids up to one-half inch in diameter.
Traditionally, sump pumps used tether float switches, which rose as the water inside the sump basin rose. When the water was high enough, the tether float engaged the pump’s switch and turned it on.
Most new pumps, however, use electronic sensors. The sensor is activated when the water inside the sump basin reaches a predetermined depth. If you use a sump pump with an electronic sensor, it’s important to have a backup generator so that your sump pump will continue to operate even if a powerful rainstorm knocks out your electricity.
Your sump pump performs a valuable function, so if it’s not operating optimally, it’s important to arrange for sump pump repair Illinois as soon as possible.