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3 Important FAQs About Sump Pumps

Do You Really Need a Sump Pump?

Perhaps the most frequently asked question about sump pumps is whether or not a customer actually needs one. Sump pumps are incredibly important appliances that help homeowners combat moisture problems in their homes, including issues with pooling water and even flooding. While not everyone needs a sump pump, many residents in Virginia and Maryland would benefit from having one installed in their homes, especially if they have a basement or crawlspace.

Water naturally collects at the lowest point of your home. If you have a basement, the water can get trapped under your house, leading to issues with flooding, water damage, and mold or mildew growth. A professionally installed sump pump can divert this collected water and protect your home from damage.

There are many benefits to installing a sump pump, but you should speak with one of our plumbers before purchasing one. We will inspect your home and help you determine if a sump pump is necessary. We will also answer any questions about sump pumps and the installation process.

Want to know more? Below we answer three more commonly asked questions about sump pumps.

Where Does the Water Go?

You know that sump pumps divert water from your home, but where does it go? Generally, the water collected and removed by the sump pump is carried away from your home through a discharge pipe to an area where it can safely drain. When properly installed, water is carefully directed to an area where it won’t get back under your house and won’t do any further damage to your property. Sump pumps should be set up to drain water at least six feet away from your property.

Depending on the configuration of your property, the sump pump may drain into your yard or a storm drain. Sump pumps should not discharge water into the city sewer system. This can overwhelm the municipal sewer system and result in dangerous backflow of sewage into your freshwater source. When setting up your sump pump, you should also ensure that the drainage doesn’t impact neighboring properties.

What Happens If Your Sump Pump Freezes?

Your sump pump is susceptible to freezing in the winter, just as is the rest of your plumbing system. Freezing can seriously damage your sump pump’s motor and lead to flooding and water damage. When your sump pump freezes, it cannot remove the accumulated water. However, the pump’s motor will often continue running as it tries to remove the ice. This can cause the motor to overheat or burn out.

To prevent your sump pump and its lines from freezing, you should insulate it. Insulation should be done during the initial installation. If the pump is located inside, you may not need to protect the actual pump itself, but you will need to ensure all the lines leading out of your home are adequately insulated. If you aren’t sure that your sump pump is adequately insulated, reach out to Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for help.

Which Sump Pump Do You Need?

Once you’ve determined that you need to have a sump pump installed on your property, how do you know which one to purchase? Unless you’re an experienced plumber, figuring out the right make and model can be tricky. We recommend working with our plumbers to make this important decision. We will consider several things and help you choose the right sump pump for your situation.

Things to think about when selecting your sump pump:

  • Where the sump pump will be installed
  • The size of your property
  • The moisture and water conditions you are dealing with
  • The volume of water the pump will need to be able to handle
  • Your budget

If you already have a sump pump and are shopping for a replacement, you should consider what you did and didn’t like about your previous pump. For example, if your current pump is being replaced because it is inadequate, you will want to shop for one with a more powerful motor. Meanwhile, if you are replacing it because it has reached the end of its lifespan, but you were generally happy with it, ask our plumbers to help you find a comparable model.

Have more questions about sump pumps? Call Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for answers.