Do You Need a Sump Pump as a Homeowner Living Around Indianapolis, IN?

If the construction of your Indianapolis area home includes a crawlspace or basement foundation, flooding, and water damage are real risks you need to beware of. Flooded basements happen due to weather-related causes such as heavy rainfall, melting snow, and even a plumbing problem in the house. Without equipment that drains water out and away from this area, moisture issues and mold could occur in addition to serious damage to your property.

As a homeowner with a basement or crawlspace, you must ask this important question – “Do I need a sump pump?” Installing sump pumps in homes susceptible to a flood now or in the future can protect the home and save you money in an emergency situation where your insurance coverage offers no benefit. Mr. Plumber explains how a sump pump works and how to know if you need one.

Flooding – a Common Problem in Basements and Crawlspaces

The water table indicates the level of belowground water, and this level fluctuates as weather conditions and the seasons change. Periods of dry weather see lower levels while seasons with heavy rainfall or melting snow produce a higher level of water underground. Groundwater in an area also rises due to poor drainage on the property, such as clogged gutters and blocked or overwhelmed storm drains.

When buying a home that has a basement or crawlspace, you need to be aware of the possibility of a flood so you can prepare for it. With this type of foundation, the lowest floor of the house is below surface level, and when the water table reaches a certain level that is above your foundation level, your basement or crawlspace could take on water. Gravity causes water to drain to the lowest space available, which means hydrostatic pressure can cause groundwater to seep into a basement or crawlspace through cracks in the walls and elsewhere in order to reach that low spot. When your home isn’t equipped with a system to remove this excess, it will lead to a flood.

It’s not only groundwater levels and natural conditions that create flooded basements – a plumbing problem in the home can cause just as much damage. If a pipe bursts on an upper level of the home, water will flow down to the lowest level and accumulate without a means to remove it. Even if you have floor drains installed in your basement, these pipes can become clogged or sustain damage, causing them to fail to move water away from your home.

What Does a Sump Pump Do?

A sump pump is a piece of equipment that removes water from low areas of a home like the basement or crawlspace. With a sump pump installed in your foundation’s lowest spot, the sump pump system will collect water and pump it out of the home to protect against flooding and water damage.

Why Install a Sump Pit

Buying a sump pump won’t protect your basement from flooding if you just sit it on the floor, allowing water to accumulate at this level and causing damage. Instead, the sump pump needs to be positioned below floor level to remove water before it starts coming into contact with your home’s construction materials and your belongings.

This is the role of the sump pit. Also called the sump basin, it’s basically a hole dug below the flat foundation. Its purpose is to collect water as it seeps into the room and flows to the lowest spot. The sump pump sits inside the sump pit, pumping out water before it spills over the top of the basin onto the basement floor.

  • A sump pit in a crawlspace should be about 17 inches wide by 16 inches deep.
  • A sump pit in a basement should be between 18 to 24 inches wide by 22 to 36 inches deep.

Categories of Sump Pumps

Each type of sump pump has standard components – a pump, a motor, a switch, and a discharge line. As you evaluate your options before buying a sump pump, recognize that there are two basic types of sump pumps to choose from:

  • Submersible sump pumps have a packaged motor and pump which you need to install down inside the sump basin. It is known as a submersible pump because the pump is submersed in the water. A submersible pump is able to handle solid matter and large water volumes, though this type of pump costs more money to repair and won’t last as long as other options.

  • Pedestal sump pumps include a separate motor and pump. The submersible pump is placed down in the sump pit and is connected to a motor on top of a pedestal that sits higher than the basin. A pedestal sump pump cannot handle significant volumes of water or solids, but they do last longer and cost less money to purchase.

How Do Sump Pumps Prevent Wet Basements?

When a certain level of water is detected in the sump pit, the pressure switch or float arm is triggered and activates the sump pump. The motor supplies the pump with power to move water out of the hole through discharge lines and out to a safe spot away from the home. Sump pumps typically drain water around 10 to 20 feet out from the foundation of a house.

Do I Need a Sump Pump?

A homeowner will only need a sump pump if certain factors apply to the home or land. To determine if sump pump installation is necessary in your house, think about the following:

  • For a home or business built with a basement, sump pump installation is always recommended. It doesn’t matter if there is or isn’t a history of a wet basement problem or moisture issues, as there will always be a risk of flooding, no matter how small. A sump pump can save this area from potential water damage.

  • If you want to buy a house with a finished basement or plan to finish out this space in your existing home, you need a sump pump to shield this investment from possible water damage in the future. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover all types of basement flooding, meaning sump pump installation can provide prevention to save you from the uncovered expenses that result from flooding that isn’t covered by insurance.

  • For a home or business on a crawlspace, sump pump installation can mitigate a moisture issue causing high humidity and mold growth that results in damage to the structure.

  • If you have a certain type of soil on your property, you need to consider installing a sump pump. Soil with a high clay content doesn’t drain well and tends to allow water to flow to a low spot rather than dispersing it outward. Sandy soils do a much better job to drain water quickly and away from the house.

  • The slope of land surrounding the house can create a reason to have sump pumps installed. If the ground slopes toward your house, basement flooding is more likely than if the land sloped away from the home.

What Is the Lifespan of a Sump Pump?

How long a sump pump will last depends on a few different conditions. If you search out and contact a professional plumber for skilled installation services and maintenance throughout the years, your sump pump is likely to offer more years of service. Sump pumps that operate for frequent, long periods are likely to wear out faster than a pump that doesn’t see as much use. On average, a sump pump will offer a lifespan between 7 to 10 years.

Should I Have a Battery Backup Sump Pump Installed?

If the main home sump pump fails to work when the basement takes on water, your homeowners insurance policy likely doesn’t cover flooding caused by this equipment failure. Sump pumps can fail to work for various reasons, like clogs from objects falling in the sump hole or even electrical outages related to extreme weather.

The idea behind installation of a battery backup sump pump is that it provides your basement or crawlspace with an added layer of defense against flooding. It is installed with the main sump pump and activates if that pump does not come on when it should. If a storm knocks out electricity to your house, it won’t matter if you test your sump pump and perform maintenance regularly – it will not work. A backup sump pump has a dedicated battery for just this situation and will run even without electricity to your home. This equipment provides some extra insurance outside of what standard insurance offers.

Sump Pump Services in Indianapolis

For sump pump installation and services in the Indianapolis area, call Mr. Plumber to schedule an appointment today. Our skilled plumbers provide expert installation for primary and backup sump pumps to ensure your basement or crawlspace has an excellent and reliable line of defense against flooding.

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