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Everything You Need to Know About Sump Pumps


About Sump Pumps

Like many homes in Indianapolis, yours probably has a basement or crawlspace. Unless it is a particularly old building, there’s a high chance it has a sump pump down there. But just what is the importance of this bit of machinery, and what do you need to know about it as a homeowner?

In this post, we give you a quick rundown of all the basics on sump pumps, and point you in the right direction if you suspect yours is malfunctioning.


What Does a Sump Pump Do?

A sump pump is designed to pump standing water out of your basement. It also works to remove water that collects in your exterior drainage pipes, which are located in the soil outside, close to the bottom of your basement. Pumping excess water out of the soil surrounding your basement prevents that water from building up around the walls and seeping through.

What does a sump pump do?

Why Do I Need a Sump Pump?

Having a sump pump is a must if the ground outside your home tends to become oversaturated with water after heavy rains or snow. It’s one of the most effective ways to tackle and prevent basement flooding, minimizing what could otherwise be extensive damage.

Because sump pumps work to quickly drain standing water out and away from your basement, they can help avoid the accumulation of too much humidity. This significantly lowers the risk of mold growing in your basement, which should be staunchly avoided for the health and safety of your household.

Can I Postpone Installing or Replacing My Sump Pump?

If you’re experiencing water accumulation in your basement, it’s not wise to put off installing a sump pump or repairing/replacing your old one. As long as water is standing in your basement, there’s the risk of mold overtaking the walls, insulation, and any other materials down there.

Mold growth is insidious – once it’s permeated the surface of something, it can’t be easily removed. You’ll likely have to gut out all of the materials affected by the mold, which can run up hundreds to thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

In addition to mold risk, there is also the chance that your basement could be flooded when the next big weather event hits. At that point, the lack of a working sump pump can be disastrous. You and your wallet will be far better off if you take care of the problem quickly.

Sump pump in action

What Does it Take to Install a Sump Pump?

Sump pumps are installed in a recessed hole beneath your basement floor’s surface. They are positioned here so that they can catch all of the water that drains downward into the hole via gravity.

If you do not have a pit for a sump pump already existing in your basement, you’ll need a professional to help you clear one out. This requires careful work, because it involves breaking open the basement floor and sealing it up in a way that preserves the integrity of the foundation. Incoming piping will also need to be routed to the pump pit, as well as out of the basement and away from your foundation for drainage.

If these tasks are not handled properly, your basement could be left vulnerable to leaks, and your foundation could be weakened. Any money saved on the labor of a pro installation will be dwarfed by what you could possibly spend repairing a deteriorating foundation.

Will My Sump Pump Need Any Maintenance?

Yes. In order to keep your sump pump working as it should, you’ll need to regularly test and clean it. Pouring a bucketful of water into the pit can help you quickly ascertain whether your sump pump is in need of repair: if the pump doesn’t start working once the water hits the float switch, you know you have a problem.

Cleaning your sump pump’s bottom grate and vent hole can be one of the easiest fixes. Sometimes all it takes is to remove blockages here to get your pump working again. Be sure to also check that the pump is orientated properly and that the float arm has not been blocked itself.

How Long Can I Expect My Sump Pump to Last?

Sump pumps tend to last about 10 years under regular conditions. However, you might find that your pump expires sooner if it is doing some heavy duty drainage every year.

Be sure to account for regular upgrades of your sump pump in your long-term home maintenance budget if you plan to stay for a decade or more. The cost for a replacement can be anywhere from $400-$2000, depending on your pump type, model, and the state of your pit and accessories.

Old sump pump

Expert Sump Pump Repairs and Installations in Indianapolis

Need a professional to help you get a sump pump up and running? Hamm and Sons has been installing and repairing sump pumps in Indianapolis homes for almost 40 years.

We can help you resolve the issue quickly, even offering emergency service 24/7. Get peace of mind knowing that your plumbing problem can be fixed ASAP: call us at 317-202-9853.

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