Installing or replacing your sump pump
Every spring, the same story repeats itself: many homeowners at risk of seeing their basements flooded due to excessive runoff as the warm weather melts away the winter snowfalls. That is when a sump pump becomes a must have!
The submersible pump or « sump pump », not to be confused with a sewage pump, allows the collected water in the home’s drainage system to be evacuated safely and keeping your basement dry.
If you live in an area with high risk of flooding, like many of our clients in our primary service area, Montreal’s West Island, a quality draining system, and sump pump are required. If you already have one, it should be checked periodically.
How does the sump pump works ?
The sump pump is an extremely useful part of the home’s drainage system, it is connected to the French drain that runs around the perimeter (foundation) below the freezing line of your home. The French drain collects water and sends it into a collector basin (pit); the sump pump expels that water safely away from the home through a pipe. The sump pump is automatically triggered when the float reaches a certain level and will function until water level reaches a safe (pre-determined) height inside the basin.
For an installation that meets plumbing code standard, it is recommended to use a certified plumber.
There are four different types of pumps:
1. The Classic Submersible Pump (the sump pump)
Entirely sealed, this type of pump is made with high quality materials such as cast iron, and it is powered by your home’s electric current. It sits permanently at the bottom of your basin so do not be scared if you hear a humming sound coming from your basement floor. The motor will automatically turn itself off. This is the model that we recommend to most of our clients.
2. The Pedestal Pump
This type of pump also runs on the home’s electrical current, but it’s mounted above the water line, it sits on an air pipe and works with gravity. Benefits include low cost, as well as easy access to the motor for repairs if needed. However, it is noisy (more that a sump pump that’s inside a basin) and it cannot be submerged. It is triggered by a sensor that when activated, will start pumping water outside the home. On the negative side, their durability is not stellar. Because it sits in open pits, odors can be an issue as well.
3. Battery Powered back-up Pumps
Similar to standard sump pumps, these models are powered with an auxiliary battery power system that will take over when the electricity shuts down.
In bad weather, is it not uncommon for power to go out during a massive downpour. When that happens, this type of system will not let you down.
Usually, batteries will provide electricity for the system for it to run for about 24 hours.
4. Water Propelled Pumps (aka Venturi pumps)
Also triggered by a rising float switch, those emergency pumps run by the city (public) water system’s pressure and do not require electricity. To be efficient, they need to run on high water pressure. These pumps are not permitted everywhere – they actually are outlawed on the island of Montreal – so check with your local authorities before acquiring such an equipment.