For many homes in Overland Park the sump pump is an important part of keeping your finished basement dry. The sump pump should be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that the pump will be working when you need it.
Keep it Simple
The best sump pump is one that doesn’t have to run very often or even at all. If your sump pump runs excessively you should start to look at exterior factors that may need to be addressed. Most of the water that feeds into a sump pit feeds from the water that is not draining away from the house.
It’s important to keep your gutters clean and make sure that all downspouts and gutter extensions are directing the water away from your house. There are many neighborhoods throughout Overland Park that have poor drainage and in some cases it’s necessary to install a french drain.
The termination point of the sump discharge should be considered as well. If your sump pump is pumping out water that just drains back towards your foundation, you could end up with more water than you can pump.
As as a home starts to age all of the dirt within the first 3′ of the foundation will start to settle. This is all of the dirt that was removed and then backfilled to make way for the the foundation wall. As this dirt starts to settle, it directs rainwater towards the foundation causing additional stress along the structure. This hydrostatic pressure can result in cracks in the foundation and even movement. In these cases a sump pump is not the answer, you must bring in additional dirt around the entire house. Even if an area has been nicely landscaped, you need to have proper slope for several feet from the house. It’s especially important to keep all rock or gravel away from the surface near the house. This will allow additional water to run through the drain tile and cause additional work for your sump pump.
Sump Pump Repair
It’s not uncommon for a sump pump pit to become filled with debris such as gravel and mud. The small bits of gravel and rock can be sucked up into the sump pump and clog the impeller. Many sump pumps are equipped with automatic overrides to keep the pump from burning up in this situation. This will allow you to unplug the pump remove the bottom of the case and expose the impeller.
A clogged impeller is not the only reason that a sump pump quits working. Another common cause of pump failure is a bad switch. This can be tough to predict or diagnose because the switches for sump pumps tend to go out intermittently. The last thing that you want is to have the sump pump working when the plumber comes out for the inspection and then fail on you in the middle of a rain storm. In most cases, when in doubt you should go ahead and replace the sump pump.
Consider Installing a Backup Sump Pump
If your basement is finished and your pump runs frequently, it’s a good idea to consider installing a backup sump pump. Most backup sump pumps are designed to protect in a variety of ways including pump failure, power failure, switch failure, and even excessive water surges.
A backup sump pump is designed to work in accordance with your primary pump. In the event of a power failure or pump failure your backup sump pump will take over. The most common mistake that people that have backup sump pumps make is to not have the system inspected. If your primary pump has failed it’s important to have a pump that will notify of such failure. A backup sump pump is not designed to keep up as the main pump and if it’s relied on as a permanent solution is will likely fail. It’s important to make sure that you have the proper battery for the backup sump pump. Often these batteries will need to be maintained or replaced on a regular basis. There are maintenance free batteries but they tend to lose power over time.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a battery, you could consider a water powered backup sump pumps. This is an interesting idea that seems to work well and will require little to no maintenance. It generally uses 2 gallons of fresh water to pump out 1 gallon of groundwater. It is important to install a backflow preventer near the backup pump in order to keep from contaminating your drinking water.
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