How a Sump Pump Works

HomeHome Improvement

  • Author Les Donovan
  • Published March 8, 2011
  • Word count 435

Homes with basements that have water problems usually have a basement sump pump to pump the water out of the basement and into a drain system. The water enters the basement under the foundation or under the floor in some cases. Drain tile or stone carries the water to the sump tank that is buried in the basement floor. Large houses may have two sump tanks for proper draining. Knowing how sump pumps works will help you be able to trouble shoot it if you have problems.

The sump pump is installed in tank or sump pump basin pit that is made of clay, steel, tile, concrete, or fiberglass. Size of a standard tank is about 18 inches in diameter and 2 to 3 feet deep.

The sump tank is normally located at the lowest point in the basement and the basement floor is often sloped so water on the surface will run toward the sump pump basin.

Most of the tanks are perforated on each side for the incoming water to gather in the tank. All sump pump tanks have a sturdy cover. When the tank gets filled with groundwater up to the float level the pump automatically get turned on to pump the water into an outside drain system. Some of sump pumps have the option to be controlled manually as well as automatically. Most have a sump pump alarm in the event they do not function properly.

The standard sump pump is an electric powered pump. There are two main types of standard sump pumps, submersible and pedestal. A submersible pump is completely concealed inside the tank. A pedestal model has a column that protrudes up through the tank’s cover. The motor is mounted on the bottom of the column above the floor level.

Both, submersible and pedestal types of sump pumps draw water in through a filter trap. This filter trap must be cleaned periodically for smooth functioning of the system. They pump water out through a discharge pipe or hose connected to a disposal system which may be the sewage drainage system or simply a hose running to the backyard. As soon as the automatic pump empties the tank the motor shuts off.

If the system is connected to a sewer the discharge pipe has a check valve and may also have an anti-siphon device to prevent any backflow. The check valve and anti-siphon device is required by local building code. In some areas the code dictates where the water must be discharged. If you are considering installing a sump pump in your basement check with your local code officer for requirements.

This article has been viewed 315 times.

Rate article

Article comments

There are no posted comments.

Related articles