What Is a Sump Pump and How Does It Work?

- Hey everybody!

John at Fresh Water Systems, and in our

series of answering frequently asked questions,

today we're talking about sump pumps.

What do sump pumps do?

Sump pumps are submersible pumps that

their design and purpose is to move water

that accumulates.

Whether it be runoff from a basement moisture,

accumulated water in someones basement,

or in a drain situation where you don't

have a line that moves the water to the drain system,

you can accumulate it in a tank and the sump pump

will push the water to the outside, or to some

other area when the water accumulates to a certain depth.

Do I need a sump pump at my house?

Are they necessary?

Sump pumps are necessary in a household, especially if you

accumulate water in your basement.

For example, an older home with a basement is

built below ground, and sometimes

those basements can be above or below the water table.

And that means that water can seep through the foundation of

the house, and if you don't have a way to move that

water outside, it's gonna accumulate and eventually

flood your basement.

That's where the sump pump comes in.

It sits in a pit like our diagram here and as the water

comes through the walls or through the foundation in the

basement, and accumulates, it runs to this pit and

the sump pump sits in there and when the water gets to

a certain level and the float mechanism raises up,

it turns the pump on, evacuates the water from the pit

so that it can continuously move that water and

moisture outside.

How do sump pumps work?

Sump pumps are submersible pumps, and they work by

a float mechanism that tells the pump when to turn on

and when to turn off.

So, we want this pump to move water outside.

A lot of times we'll run the effluent or the discharge line

outside to a pit, or a ditch, or sometimes even into

a french drain kind of a situation.

But, ultimately they sit in this little pit

or they sit submerged in water and as the float

mechanisms raises the water increases it's level in

the tank, it gets to a point where it turns

the pump on.

This one for example uses a floating swi-

a float switch type mechanism to activate the pump.

And it waits 'till it gets way up here to turn the

pump on.

And then as it drops in level, it turns the pump off when it

gets down about here.

This would be used for a higher volume of water move.

You want to wait until you get a lot more water

before it kicks the pump on.

This one would use- be used in a tank

where you have less water, height anyway, to activate

the switch.

Where does sump pump water go?

Sump pump water discharge goes where you kinda

need it to go.

For an example, if you're using it in a basement,

you're gonna run the line up and outside

and either run it to a dry-well, run it to a little

creek or a pond that you might have.

You might run it into a french drain type

of a set-up.

You gotta be careful that you don't put it into a french

drain that's gonna drain right back into the foundation of

the house.

But basically, you decide where you need the water

to go from the discharge of the sump pump.

Why do sump pumps fail?

Sump pumps fail just like any working mechanism

if they're not used properly, if they're not

applied properly, the pumps turning on and off way

too many times, too frequently.

Cycling is probably the leading cause to any pump failing,

other than that, it's just maintenance.

If you're accum-

if you put this in a tank of water that's accumulating

lots of junk and debris, it's gonna be hard on the

pump, so just maintaining the pumps properly and

make sure you apply them properly so they don't

have an opportunity to prematurely fail.

How long will a sump pump last?

Sump pumps should last somewhere between six and ten years.

If they're applied properly, if they're well maintained,

they should last that full life span.

Well that's all we have for this topic,

I hope you liked it, I hope you got something out of it.

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