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Sump Pumps


Hi, it's Chris from John C. Flood. In this podcast we are going to talk about sump pumps and how important they are to a homeowner with a basement and areas prone to flooding.

A sump pump is probably one of the best investments a homeowner could make and it could save thousands in repair costs. There is nothing worse than waking up after a heavy rainstorm and finding your basement is flooded. Sump pumps are vital to have because if water is left standing extensive structural damage to the walls and floors can be the result. Not to mention possible damage to furniture, electronics and more. Another potentially bad result of basement flooding is due to the stagnant and damp conditions can become a health hazard for families. The wet area will attract potentially disease carrying bugs and other creatures. And in more damp locations, mildew and mold begin to grow.

Now when it comes to sump pump systems there are basically two major types, the pedestal sump pumps and the submersible sump pump. The pedestal sump pump has the motor situated on a small pedestal. A pipe leads downward from the motor on the pedestal to the bottom of the sump pump pit. In the pit, a float is attached to a stand-alone metal rod that is attached to a switch on the pump. In the case when a basement floods, the water will begin to flow into the sump pit. As the water rises to the top, the float will rise too until it is high enough to activate the switch on the sump pump. At this point the water is sucked into the pipe, flows into a different hose or pipe that leads to the septic sewer system. Unlike the submersible sump pump, the pedestal sump pump motor does not go under water because this style pump is not submersed it may continue to operate for as long as 25 to 30 years.

The second sump pump, the submersible sump pump, is designed to be submersed or placed under water. The submersible sump pump does not have attached pipes that draw water out. Water is surged through the bottom of the sump pump. The submersible sump pump generally has a durable plastic bubble that surrounds the electric switch. At the bottom of the pump there is a filter that prevents debris and gravel from being sucked into the sump pump's impeller. The impeller is the device on the sump pump that initiates the suction. It's such an important part of the sump pump that if it were to ever get damaged, the entire sump pump would need to be replaced.

A submersible is out of sight and earshot, an important advantage if the basement is used as a primary living area. It is also much safer if there are children in the house. Submersible sump pumps are typically two to three times more expensive than pedestal pumps. And because submersibles sit in water a good deal of time they have a lifespan of between five to 15 years. Now when a basement floods and if the water rises, the bubble floats to a specific level above the pump. Once this occurs the switch is activated on the pump, and the pump begins to suck and drain the water out of the basement.

A sump pump is generally wired to a home's central electrical system. In case of storms, a power supply could be out for a while. Therefore, it is important to have a backup power supply such as a standby generator, or backup battery system, so that your sump pump can continue to work, even when electricity is out during a storm. The sump pump must be capable of working even when it does not have the assistance of electricity to keep it working.

For more information on sump pumps and other services offered by John C. Flood, visit our website at