We know how easy it is to let your home’s plumbing fall by the wayside, especially when everything seems to be flowing smoothly. But it’s quite important to have your plumbing system checked every now and then, even when nothing appears to be wrong.
That’s especially true of your sump pump.
You might not use it very often, but performing regular maintenance and replacing your sump pump when necessary can spare you hundreds or thousands of dollars in water damage. Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about sump pumps: what they are, how they work, what types are available and how long they last.
- What a sump pump is and how it works
- How do I know if my home has a sump pump?
- What kind of sump pump do I need?
- How long does a sump pump last?
- Why a sump pump is important for the value of your home
- Can I install a sump pump myself?
Start by answering the question, “What is a sump pump?”
What a Sump Pump Is and How It Works
A sump pump is an electrical appliance designed to drain groundwater from outside the wall of your basement or crawl space, and keep the space dry. Basically, it prevents flooding in and around the foundation of your home.
It’s actually a pretty simple device. The pump is installed in a pit in your basement (called the sump). When it detects water in the sump, the pump activates and pumps the water away from your house through a network of pipes.
Your sump pump may run rarely or often, depending on the moisture in the soil around your house. It only runs when water needs to be drained.
Things that affect how often your sump pump runs include the slope of the ground around your house and the depth of groundwater in your area.
How Do I Know if My Home Has a Sump Pump?
If your home was built before the 1980s, it probably was not built with a sump pump. However, it may have had one installed later on.
Homes built during the 80s and later that have a basement likely do have a sump pump. If your house is on a crawlspace, you’ll need to look to see if a sump pump is there.
Note the houses built on a slab typically do not have sump pumps.
To identify a sump pump in your home, look around your basement or crawlspace for a formed pit or hole in the floor with a pipe that comes out of it and exits the house.
What Kind of Sump Pump Do I Need?
Sump pumps are categorised by the amount of water they can displace, and they come in a variety of outputs. Typically, homes in Toronto do well with a ⅓ horsepower pump.
Additionally, you’ll see sump pumps in these styles:
- Pedestal—Good for smaller pits when there isn’t sufficient room for a submersible pump.
- Submersible—Sits below water level, inside the sump basin, and is quieter, less obtrusive, and safer than pedestal pumps. These are standard sump pumps and they are more efficient and longer-lasting than alternatives.
How Long Does a Sump Pump Last?
Speaking of longevity, a typical submersible sump pump lasts about 10 years. Although your sump pump may run into problems as time goes on, many of them can be avoided through regular maintenance.
Why a Sump Pump is Important for the Value of Your Home
A sump pump is a fast, safe, and reliable way to protect your home from water damage. With the increase in springtime flooding in the Greater Toronto Area, you must make sure your sump pump is ready to help when you need it. So don’t wait until flooding season is upon us to have yours checked out!
Can I Install a Sump Pump Myself?
Some homeowners have successfully installed a replacement sump pump once their current pump has passed its effective date. However, with that in mind, consider the benefits of hiring a professional instead of taking the DIY approach:
- The work gets done faster.
- We already have all the parts and materials needed to get the work done.
- We can help you determine which type of pump is best for your home.
- We will know what size of pit needs to be made relative to the size of the sump pump.
- We’ll ensure that the pit is properly sealed to keep dirt and debris out of the pump.
- Finally, our professional plumbers can offer you tips to keep your sump pump in good condition and your home’s foundation dry.
With nearly 25 years in the plumbing business and over 85 years serving the Greater Toronto Area, our licensed and certified plumbers will go the extra mile to make sure you’re protected from flooding and water damage. Call us or get in touch with us online to learn more about maintenance or installation of your own sump pump.