-- Home Improvement, Remodeling and Repair
Tips and Advice on Home Improvement, Remodeling and Home Repairs

Energy Efficiency
Get Organized
Home Inspections
Home Safety
Home Security
New Construction
Question of the Week
Tip of the Week
Recommended Books
Contact Sam

Sump Pumps Made Easy

By Jim Sulski

Summary: A Sump pump keeps your basement dry and prevents serious foundation damage. This basic guide explains the function and how to buy and maintain sump pumps.

Sump pumps have been used for many years to keep basement rec rooms and laundry areas dry.
(article continues below useful links)

But sump pumps don't just protect carpeting, furniture, pool tables, paneling, appliances and furnaces from flooding damage. They can also prevent much more serious foundation problems.

When rainwater is absorbed into the ground, it seeps into a basement through cracks in the walls and floor and also along the seam where the walls and floor meet.

The water, of course, then gathers and collects on your basement floor.

Here's how a sump pump system can alleviate that: As rainwater is absorbed into the ground and makes it way to your basement, it is collected by drain tile pipe, a pipe with holes in it. The pipe is buried around the perimeter of your home.

The water runs along the pipe and into a three-foot deep tank on the basement floor called a sump pit. There, the water collects until it reaches a certain height. Then, the sump pump pumps the water out of the house through a discharge pipe.

Spring is a good time to maintain or replace the pump.

Before any steps are taken, be sure to disconnect the pump from its power source.

Then, make sure the inlet opening or pump screen on the pump is clear of debris. The screens are located facing downwards just an inch or two above the bottom of the pit. Checking the screen may require removing the pump.

Second, remove the pump once a year from the pit and give it a good cleaning. Disconnect the pump from power source and then from the piping. Then simply lift the pump out of the pit.

At the same time, give the sump pit a good cleaning. You may even find roots coming in to your sump pit through the drain tile pipe.

And if it happens to be a particular dry year and your sump pump has not been running much, give it a workout. Use a large bucket to fill the sump pit with water and let the sump pump operate.

By the way, having a little standing water in the crock does not have an adverse affect.

Having about six inches of water in the sump pit is a way to keep the pump lubricated.

If your basement still suffers from some flooding problems despite the sump pump, it may be time to replace the pump, said the experts. Depending on the options you choose, a new sump pump can range in cost from $90 to $500.

In addition to purchasing a new sump pump, another good investment is a battery-operated backups sump pump.

During heavy rains, there is more of a risk of a power failure than there is of the sump pump failing mechanically.

Basically, the backups pumps are run by a 12-volt car battery and are mounted above the normal sump pump. If the power goes out and water is rising, they kick in. Backup sump pumps can start at about $300.

© by Jim Sulski. All rights reserved. May 25, 2005, 2005.

NOTE: This column is distributed by Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022. This column may not be resold, reprinted, resyndicated or redistributed without written permission from the publisher. 

2005 by Ilyce R. Glink. Distributed by Real Estate Matters Syndicate.




RSS Feeds

RSS 0.91 Feed
RSS 1.0 Feed
RSS 2.0 Feed

Appliances    Air Conditioners - Energy Efficiency - Refrigerators - Water Purification System
Asbestos    Asbestos in the Home
Attics    Attic Improvements
Basements    Refinishing Basements - Water Damage
Bathrooms    Bathroom Exhaust Fans - Bathroom Showers - Bathroom Tile
Cabinets    Installing Cabinets
Caulking    Caulking Basics
Ceilings    Ceiling Fans - Repairing Ceilings
Contractors    Hiring Contractors - Working With Contractors
Decks    Maintaining Decks
Doors    Door Repairs - Doorbells - Installing a New Door
Driveways    Asphalt and Blacktop - Concrete
Electrical    Light Fixtures - Outdoor Electrical
Energy Efficiency    Thermostats
Fireplace    Electrical Fireplaces - Fireplace Maintenance and Repair - Gas Fireplaces - Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Floors    Floor Heating Systems - Hardwood Floors
Furniture    Furniture Repair -
Garages    Attached Garages - Garage Door Openers
Get Organized    Shelves
Gutters    Gutter Repairs
Home Inspections    Finding a Home Inspector
Home Safety    Child Proofing - Fire Safety
Home Security    Home Security System
Insects    Carpenter Ants - Pest Control Tips - Termites
Insulation    Loose Fill Insulation
Kitchen    Kitchen Cabinets - Kitchen Repairs - Kitchen Sinks and Counters -
Landscaping    Fences - Landscaping Basics
Lighting    Light Fixtures - Outdoor Lighting
Miscellaneous    Home Improvement
New Construction    New Construction Problems
Painting    Exterior Painting - Interior Painting - Spray Paint
Paneling    Installing Paneling - Paneling Maintenance
Patios    Patio Ideas
Plumbing    Clogged Drains - Faucets and Sinks - Pipes - Toilets
Porches    Porch Repairs
Remodeling    Demolition
Repairs    Emergency Repairs - Miscellaneous Repairs - Safety Tips
Roofing    Roof Problems - Skylights
Shelving    Installing Shelves
Siding    Installing Siding
Stairs    Stair Repair
Tools    Electric Tools
Walls    Drywall - Framing Walls - Repairing Walls
Windows    Glass Block Windows - Repairing Windows
Woodwork    Woodwork Restoration
    Contact Us | Sitemap | Terms of Use | Copyright ©2001-2005. ThinkGlink Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of material from any pages without written permission is strictly prohibited.
Site design by Walker Sands Communications