According to the National Flood Insurance program, flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. It doesn’t take much water to do serious damage to your property and belongings. The average flood claim from 2003 to 20014 amounted to more than $40,000.
One of the simplest ways you can help protect your home from the expensive and stressful ordeal of a flood cleanup is to have a sump pump installed.
Learn the basics
A sump pit is around 2 feet wide by 3 feet deep with a plastic liner, and will usually be located in a corner of the basement. The pump itself is housed at the bottom of the pit and is used to drain water out of the basement through a window or a hole in the foundation. A traditional home sump pump uses an electric centrifugal pump. Since it’s in contact with water frequently, you may want to consult an electrician to ensure a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) has been installed on the outlet associated with the pump to protect against electrocution.
Why should you have one?
Basement flooding can be caused by a variety of factors, including adverse weather conditions or plumbing problems. Sump pumps are a simple solution, pushing the water out and keeping your basement dry. You should still call a plumber when you see water building up in your basement, even if you have a sump pump to drain it. A professional can trace the flooding to its source and determine the cause.
Some sump pump maintenance
There are a few things you can do to keep your pump in working order:
- Occasionally check that the pump is positioned correctly and standing upright. Vibrations over time may cause it to fall and disrupt operations.
- Pour a bucket of water into the pit every now and then to test the float switch. The pump should turn on automatically.
- Have a professional check your system once a year to make sure it's working correctly.
Need some professional guidance?
Your local Benjamin Franklin plumber is always here to help. We can advise you on the type and size sump pump that fits your needs, install it and keep it in good working order.