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Top 10 Questions About Sump Pumps for North Carolina Homeowners

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Have you ever thought about that curious machine that takes excess water from the lowest part of your home – your sump pump? Maybe you didn’t think about it until when working outside, and water gushes out of a pipe leading up from the basement or crawl space. Seeing all that water drives home that there is a need for your sump pump. Imagine if all that water was sitting in your crawl space or basement! Let’s take a look at the top questions people ask about their sump pump.

How Do Sump Pumps Work?

There are two basic parts of a sump pump: a reservoir and a pump. The sump pump will be located at the lowest level in the basement or crawl space, and water gravitates into the reservoir tank. The pump then ejects the water when it reaches a certain level.

Where Does The Water Go?

Drainage will run from the sump basin to the drainage system installed in your basement or crawl space and then out of the home – the further away from your home’s foundation, the better. That said, obviously, you cannot flood your neighbor’s yard!

How Much Do Sump Pumps Cost?

Of course, costs vary depending on the specific sump pump chosen (for example, does it have a freeze protector feature, a back-up battery system?), and the location of the sump pump will be placed. Replacing a sump pump will generally be less than the initial installation.

How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

As a sump pump owner, I wish the answer was forever, but no. The average answer seems to be ten years, with some estimates as high as 25 years for pedestal style sump pumps. But as with any equipment, the amount of use is a factor in the length of service.

What Types of Sump Pumps Are There?

There are only two basic styles to choose from, making it a little easier for a consumer. Pedestal style sump pumps have their motor mounted above the sump basin. Submersible sump pumps have their motor inside the sump basin. For those who like the aesthetics of a space, they are less noticeable. Another plus is that they are less likely to clog up.

What Size Sump Pump Do I Need?

Most homes will do just fine with a 1/3 horsepower pump will suffice for most households, but there is a 1/2 horsepower pump as well. Let your plumber guide you in what you choose.

What Happens if My Sump Pump Fails?

Well, you should have a back-up sump pump. The back-up will be battery operated and will retain its charge through its connection to the home’s electrical system.

How Often Should My Sump Pump Run?

The easy answer is: whenever the water level activates the float switch. But to be more specific, it will depend on the climate. In the spring, rain is a more frequent event in most of the country, and the pump may run as much as a few times a day. The drier the conditions, the less it will run. Worry when it is running almost all the time or not at all. Just keep on eye on the pump to make sure that there is not a problem.

How Can I Make Sure My Sump Pump Is Working?

You may want a professional to come out and check the entire system as they know what to look for and may have the parts on hand if needed. If you choose to check yourself: unplug the pump, take off the lid, check for blockages, plug back in, pour water slowly into the sump pump, watch the float switch, and listen. Water should be ejected once the water reaches the float switch.

Do Sump Pumps Require Maintenance?

Of course. Professionals recommend that your sump pump be checked once a year by you or, better yet, your plumber. About every two years, the float switch may need replacement.

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