When excessive water run off and flooding become an issue in your yard, you'll notice the problem immediately. Too much water in a yard can lead to dead grass, ruined landscaping, and damage to buildings. Drainage options, including sump pumps, can save your lawn and your home from being affected by water.
What Does a Sump Pump Do?
Sump pumps are a drainage option for removing water from your yard in situations where the problem is too big to be handled with French drains or surface drains. Sump pumps add extra power by being hooked up to an electrical system, and are capable of moving a large volume of water on a consistent basis.
While drains work by allowing water to flow through pipes with gravity, sump pumps use much more power to move water. Sump pumps collect water in a basin and use electricity or pressure to move the water away from the area. The water is moved away from landscaping and structures to a dry well or another suitable exit point.
Most sump pumps are connected to a power source to run when needed. A sensor turns the pump on automatically by triggering the arm when the basin is full of water. The water is then pulled through the system to be taken away from the yard.
Types of Sump Pumps
There are two main types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. Both are about the same size and are installed for the same purpose. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
- Submersible sump pumps are placed in the water. The pumps are designed with a waterproof outer layer, protecting it from damage. The pump mechanism is at the bottom and draws water up and out through pipes, to an exit point. On top, a submersible pump has a grate cover to prevent debris from causing a blockage. Submersible sump pumps will last for about 5 to 15 years.
- A pedestal pump stays lifted out of the water, with a pipe that goes into the water, pulling it out and away from the affected area. Pedestal pumps are less expensive than the more complicated underground pumps, but also create more noise when running. Pedestal sump pumps will last for around 25 to 30 years if well-maintained.
Sump Pumps vs. Drains
For many homes, a French drain or a surface drain can make a big difference and solve water issues. Drains work well in areas where pipes can easily be installed in a way that lets water flow downward, toward an exit point. The drains can easily resolve minor problems and become a built-in part of your landscaping and irrigation system. However, when the problem is too large for the drains to handle, a sump pump may be the next option.
Sump pumps work well in areas where water naturally collects in a low point. Unfortunately, when houses are built at this low point, water will collect around the foundation of the house. Homeowners in these areas will often notice water build up and damage to the foundation or in the basement if they have one. A sump pump can remove standing water and prevent further water damage from occurring.
Do You Need a Sump Pump?
If water is a major issue in your yard, a sump pump can be a simple solution. Consider the following factors when deciding if a submersible or pedestal sump pump might work for you.
- Sump pumps work best in situations where the potential for water damage is more extensive than those that can be handled with simple drains. For example, houses that are built below water level may require a sump pump to keep the area around the house dry.
- Most sump pumps require electricity to function. In the case of a power outage, your sump pump might not be able to run. This can obviously create a problem during rain storms, when homeowners need the excess water removed before it causes damage.
- Sump pumps are a relatively low maintenance option for drainage. However, they do require check ups from time to time. You'll want to take a look after periods of heavy rain, along with checking for debris and clogging regularly.
Sump Pump Maintenance
Checking your sump pump for blockages and damage, and resolving any problems that come up, and help it work efficiently for a longer period of time. The following steps can help you check for damage every few months.
- Most sump pumps require electricity to run. Be sure that your sump pump is plugged in, connected to its electricity source, and running correctly.
- Keep the pump in place. Because sump pumps are activated when a sensor moves an arm, it's important to be sure that your pump is level and stable.
- Check the sensor to make sure it's doing its job. You can test the system by pouring water into the area where the sensor is. If the sump pump is working correctly, it will kick on. If it doesn't, you should have the system checked by a professional.
- Be sure that the system is clear of damage and debris. The pipes need to be intact in order to move the water. Debris can cause blockages that also stop the flow of water. Removing debris from the pipes and grates is a quick fix that can immediately improve the performance of your system.
When water damage is causing damage to your landscape or home, consider installing a sump pump to resolve the problem. The professionals at Circle D can evaluate your space and determine the best drainage option for you.