Sump pump found in the crawl space

What Is A Sump Pump & How Do They Work?

Today we will be talking about the sump pump. It plays a big role in keeping your home protected from further moisture intrusion. A sump pump requires maintenance just like the rest of your home’s waterproofing system. To make sure you get the most out of your sump pump, we are going to break down what a sump pump is and how it works.


A sump pump is a submersible pump that is designed for the purpose of moving accumulating water. This could be for both runoff from water in your basement or in a situation where you don’t have a line moving water to your drain system. You can accumulate the excess water in a tank and the sump pump will push it to the outside or to some other area when the level rises to a certain amount.


Sump pumps are necessary for households that have basements with intruding moisture. For example, an older home with a basement is built below ground and sometimes those basements can be below the water table. That means that water can much more easily seep through the foundation of the house. Without a way to move that water outside it is going to eventually flood your basement.


This is where the sump pump comes in. It sits in a pit and as the water intrudes through the walls and foundation of the home, it accumulates down into the pit and sits in the pump. When the water gets to a certain level, the float mechanism raises up. This initiates the pump and evacuates the water from the pit so that it can continuously move that water and moisture outside.


The pumps themselves rely on a float mechanism to tell them when to turn on and when to turn off. Most often the effluent or discharge line is run outside to a pit, ditch, or french drain system. It can also drain out into a creek or pond you may have on your property. Something to be aware of is that if you choose to drain your sump pump out to a french drain system, you want to make sure that water is not draining back into the foundation of the house.


Once you install a sump pump, no matter how independently it works for your home, some level of maintenance is necessary. Cycling is probably the leading cause of any pump failure. The pump may malfunction and begin to turn on way more than is functional and will run the pump until it breaks down. If it is left unchecked indefinitely, a problem like this can go unnoticed and do damage to the unit.


Many homeowners call with horror stories of flooded basements and more that are the cause of a failure. Keep yours running in good condition and water intrusion into the foundation of your home should be kept at bay. If you are looking for a new sump pump installation or a repair give Barrier Waterproofing Systems a call at (615) 257-1060  |  (931) 536-1168

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