A sump pump is the main part of every basement waterproofing system. Without it, your home won’t be able to survive a single storm. Deciding to purchase one for your household is the smartest thing you can do.
However, you must stay informed at all times since choosing the wrong sump pump may cost you the entire basement. Consulting with professionals during the process is strongly advised. Here is what you should consider before buying:
- Type of Sump Pump
First you must decide on the type of sump pump you will be purchasing. There are two options to consider: manual and automatic. Fairly evident from the naming, manual sump pumps have to be turned on/off by you whereas automatic one’s function on their own.
Of course the latter is more expensive, but surely more beneficial since your home will stay protected even when you aren’t physically present. There is also an option to choose a mixture of these two that can be operated both automatically and manually.
To make the right choice you should first consult with professionals since each basement requires different equipment and protective measures.
- Backup Systems
As every electrical appliance in our homes, sump pumps are vulnerable to power outages. Being directly involved with water drainage, they also face water troubles such as sewer backups. Power usually goes out during severe storms, exactly when a sump pump is needed the most.
To save your home even when electricity is gone, install backup generators which will keep your pump going during the most severe weather conditions.
The nastiest thing that can happen in your basement is a sewer backup. Sometimes whether due to ice buildups or issues with the city sewer lines, dark sewer water may start entering your home through every source it can find, including toilets.
This can be easily solved with a backwater valve. When sewer water tries to get inside your basement through the sump pump, this valve will shut all entrances down and prevent it to do so.
- Plug in Location
We went through how for the sump pump to work you need an electrical power source. Another thing you should consider is the cord length. Every plumbing expert out there is extremely against plugging your sump pump with an extension cord.
To avoid any risks and to keep your basement as safe as possible, place your sump pump right into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet. If you are doing an entire basement waterproofing system from scratch, consult with the contractors to determine appropriate placement.
If not, look for sump pumps with longer chords that can reach the proper plug in location with ease.
- Quality and Voltage
When comparing cord lengths, don’t forget to compare quality and voltage as well. The average life of a sump pump is 7 years, however, if it’s of higher quality and if you properly clean it, the sump pump can last much longer than that (even 15 years).
Don’t go alone on your shopping spree, but take somebody with you, preferably a professional, to give you an objective perspective on the matter.
When it comes to voltage, the standard one is 110 volts. But, some homes need more power to get things done, especially those located in difficult weather conditions.
Again, you should consult with experts before purchasing to check whether you need something stronger such as a 220- or 460-volts sump pump.
Additionally, some homes need to install multiple sump pumps to keep their homes properly protected, so check in with your contractors about that as well.
- Alarm System
Last, but not least is the alarm system. Most homeowners would immediately choose a sump pump alarm since it can only bring positive things. When the water table inside the sump is getting too high, an alarm system goes off and informs you about the situation.
When water tables get too high, it means that nothing is being pumped out and sooner than later, you might be facing a flood in your basement. With having an alarm, you will have enough time to prepare for a flood and call professional help.
However, some homeowners don’t like having alarming system since they find the noise too loud to handle. Of course, hearing uncomfortable sounds for a couple of minutes is totally worth it, compared to facing the consequences of a floods.
It’s better to shut your ears for a while than to have mold growth, rotten wood, and cracked walls in your basement.