Lincoln, NE (PressExposure) November 08, 2009 -- Ritch Paprocki of DryHero Water Damage Restoration of Lincoln & Omaha Nebraska gives insight into what a sump pump is and how to maintain it to avoid costly water damage to your home. Want to talk to an expert? Call Ritch Toll Free at 888-379-4376 for free advice on any sump pump or water damage questions you may have.
What Is A Sump Pump? Sump pumps are common and really a necessity in Lincoln, Omaha and all of Nebraska. A sump pump is a pump that is used to remove water that has accumulated in a sump pit, usually in the lowest part of the basement or building. This water can accumulate in two ways. One way is when the water enters via the perimeter drains of the basement waterproofing system and funnels into the pit. Another way is when the basement is below the water table level and water leaks into the basement.
Most Nebraska homes built before the 1980's weren't built with modern drain tile and sump pits/pumps. Older homes may have retrofitted drain tile and sump pump systems. Still more have no sump pump at all. One of the worst things a Nebraska homeowner can experience is a basement that constantly leaks with every rain or snow melt or a basement that is flooded and water damaged. One of the ways to prevent this from happening is with a sump pump. Sump pumps are handy devices that help you maintain the value of your home. Not only do they protect your belongings and your foundation from water damage, but they also save you thousands of dollars in water damage repairs, mold growth and air quality problems.
How Do Sump Pumps Work? While the water fills up the sump pit, the sump pump starts up, and pumps the water out of the basement. The water gets pumped either outdoors, away from the foundation of the house, or into the main water drainage system of the house. To keep the basement from getting flooded, the water is diverted into the hole and moved out by the sump pump. There are two types of sump pump; one type is submersible while the other type is called a pedestal.
Submersible pumps are located on the bottom of the units and the water is sucked up through the bottom. This type of pump also comes with a grate or screen over the face of it to keep any debris from getting into the impeller, which could clog the pump.
What Size Of Sump Pump Do I Need For My Home? Actually, houses have more of a horsepower requirement for a sump pump instead of a size requirement. This is determined by the area of drainage that is connected to the sumps as well as the depth of the basement, groundwater and other factors. The more water that is expected to accumulate in the sump pit, the more horsepower is required to move it.
How Big Should My Sump Hole Be? To allow space for the pump and the piping as well as the water storage between pumping, sump pits should be about 2 feet in diameter.
Should I Use A Liner For My Pit? It is advisable to use a liner when constructing a pit for your sump pump and plastic is a preferable material. Metal can also be used in it s construction. Be sure to place 3 to 4 inches of course gravel should be placed in the bottom of the pit when installing the liner.
What About Sump Pump Maintenance? At 1-888-DRY-HERO, one of the biggest problems I see is sump pump malfunction. I have literally seen hundreds of flooded basements in Lincoln, Omaha and all over Nebraska because the sump pump failed. First things first, make sure the sump pump is plugged in! Second, confirm that the electrical circuit has power (I know, sounds obvious but you'd be surprised).
As the sump pit sits dry over the winter, the mechanical float can become stuck or "sticky". In the spring, make sure the float is freely operating my manually raising and lowering it. It's also a good time to check for any obstructions such as wires or hoses that may interfere with the movement of the float.
Nebraska Water Damage Insurance Claims It's a good idea to check with your insurance agent to confirm that you have coverage in the case of a sump pump malfunction. The additional cost for this coverage is minimal when compared to the potential risk if your sump pump fails and floods your basement. If your basement floods, the cost of repairing the water damage in Nebraska can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands! Not a good time to find out you didn't add this coverage to your home owners insurance policy.
Finally, if your home does have a sump pit, it should also have a sump pump. New home construction often doesn't include the sump pump. NO INSURANCE POLICY WILL COVER YOUR SUMP PUMP MALFUNCTION IF YOU DON'T HAVE A SUMP PUMP!