In our previous installment of this four-part series, we addressed interior French drains, a common and extremely effective way of keeping your basement dry in even the wettest Pittsburgh weather.
Now let’s look at the sump pump, the device that makes French drains so effective.
To recap, an interior French drain is essentially a trench dug under your basement floor. When water seeks in through your foundation, it flows into a small basin, or pit. Inside that basin is a sump pump, a electric device that water through a pipe that empties outside of your home. When the water in the sump pump basin reaches a certain level, the pump kicks on, and your basement stays dry.
A properly working drain/pump system will save many times its cost in potential water damage repair bills. Just a small bit of water leaking into your basement can do serious damage to your basement floor, especially if you have a finished, furnished basement.
But installing a sump pump isn’t as simple as digging a hole in the ground and plugging in the pump. There are many types of pumps available, and finding the right one for your home is crucial.
Pedestal pumps sit above the sump pump basin, and are relatively inexpensive and easy to repair. Submersible pumps are actually installed underwater, which makes them more difficult to access, but they are out out of sight and safer for homes with children. Generally, a pedestal pump will have a longer lifespan than a submersible.
Pumps are rated in two ways: 1). The amount of water it is capable of pumping in a minute or in an hour, and 2). Maximum lift — the vertical height that it can pump water without losing flow strength.
A pump might advertise that it can pump 1,600 gallons per hour, but that might on be only at the base of the unit. When that water travels through a 10-feet-long vertical pipe, the flow might be cut in half to 800 gallons per hour. Thus, you must find a pump powerful enough to meet the unique needs of your home.
Typically, the more powerful the unit, the more expensive it is. Though you might save a few dollars now buying an underpowered pump, it won’t do you much good during a heavy summer rainstorm.
Gillece Services can help you find the right pump for your home, and our expert plumbers can save you time and headaches by performing a quick, seamless installation. Leave the plumbing, jack-hammering, digging, caulking, and sealing to us, and enjoy your newly-dry basement.