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What to Do If Your Sump Pump Overflows

One of the best ways to prevent your basement from flooding is with a reliable sump pump. However, if your sump pump stops working or can’t respond quickly enough to the amount of water rushing into the pit, then you might end up with a lot of water in your basement. Having water in your basement can lead to structural damage, mold, and even fire. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do if your sump pump ever overflows.

Power outages are one of the biggest causes of overflowing sump pumps.

Since heavy storms can often trigger power outages, it’s highly probable that your basement will flood when the pump goes out. One way to prevent this from happening is to have your sump pump on a backup battery. However, this won’t help if the sump pump breaks or has some other particular fail. By knowing how to troubleshoot your sump pump, you can help protect your basement from flooding.

 Reset the Overflown Sump Pump

If you find your sump pump overflowing, you first need to make sure that it still has power. Even if the power is still on in your home, there might be another electrical issue preventing your sump pump from working. Check to make sure you don’t have a blown fuse or tripped circuit (watch video: How to Replace a Blow Circuit). If this isn’t the problem, then you can try resetting the pump by unplugging it and plugging it back in after a few minutes. A plumber’s help may sometimes be needed to perform extra operations if you have leaky or broken pipes that need a Toronto plumber for your residential and commercial drainage systems, by providing 24 hour emergency plumbing services for your property in these cases. If the issue doesn’t seem related to power, then you should check to see if the discharge line is blocked. A blocked discharge line can cause problems with the entire sump pump system working correctly.

Sump pump and the basin - Aquatech Waterproofing

Sump pump outside the sump pump basin.

You can also check to see if there is any debris in the basin that is preventing your pump from functioning. Make sure your pump is unplugged when you reach into the basin. If none of these solutions fix your pump, then it is time to replace the pump.


Watch Video: How to Reset your Sump Pump

By checking and cleaning your sump pump twice per year, you can help make sure it will work when you most need it.

If you need to install a new sump pump or pit, Aquatech Basement Waterproofing can make sure you do it the right way – Call: 1-866-891-1917

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Four of the Most Common Basement Sump Pump Problems

basement sump pumpOf all of the rooms in a house, the basement is one of the rooms most likely to experience water damage. When water leaks into the basement it can wreak havoc on a homeowner’s personal belongings, and it can even lead to health issues.

Water can seep into furniture and carpets, destroy expensive electronic equipment and encourage the growth of harmful molds in the house. Many homeowners make use of a basement sump pump to combat the damaging effects of water in the basement, and for the most part these devices make great wet basement solutions.

However, when a sump pump stops working, water can build up and troubles can arise.

Common Issue With Sump Pumps

Below are some of the most common issues with sump pumps to prepare homeowners for issues in the future.

  1. Power Outage – Sump pumps run on electricity, and when the power goes out, they stop working just like any other electronic device in a home. This can be particularly problematic if the reason for the power outage is an intense storm, because water could easily flow into the basement with no way to stop it. Installing a battery backup sump pump is a great way to ensure that water is taken out of the basement even when the power goes out.
  2. Overwhelmed Pump – Another common issue with basement sump pumps is that they can become overwhelmed from working too hard. Not all sump pumps are designed to handle the same amount of water, so it is easy for a less powerful one to get overworked. When this happens, the pump can’t keep up with the amount of water coming into the basement and the room can flood. Homeowners should get a pump that can handle up to 35 gallons of water a minute to ensure that they don’t run into this problem.
  3. Frozen Pipes – Anyone who lives in the northern parts of the country is familiar with the issue of freezing pipes when the temperatures plummet during the cold winter months. When the pipe that is meant to lead water out of the basement freezes, it can create a blockage in the system. Since water from the pump can’t get through the frozen pipes, it goes back down into the pump pit, which eventually can overflow into the rest of the basement.
  4. Old Pump – Just like the rest of the appliances in someone’s home, a basement sump pump doesn’t last forever. If a pump doesn’t seem to be working properly, and the issues listed above don’t seem to be the problem, odds are the pump has reached the end of its life and needs to be replaced.

Homeowners should regularly check and test their basement sump pump to see if sump pump repairs are required. This can help extend the life of the sump pump and help to avoid issues like those mentioned above down the road.

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How Sump Pumps Keep Your Home Nice and Dry

basement sump pumpYour home is filled with valuables. It holds some of your most prized possessions, many of which are irreplaceable.

While you probably have made sure that these items are safe from outdoor intrusion, maybe with deadbolts and heavy doors, have you thought about potential threats that can come from inside your home?

Water damage is responsible for ruining valuable items in many people’s homes every year, including carpets, electronic equipment and appliances, and can lead to expensive basement foundation repair. It can also lead to the growth of mold, which not only ruins furniture, but also poses serious health hazards.

If your basement leaks when it rains, or you’ve experienced flooding in the past, you should highly consider some form of exterior basement waterproofing, interior basement waterproofing, or even both.

How a Sump Pump Works

One of the most popular wet basement solutions is a basement sump pump, but how exactly does it protect your home from flooding?

-Situated in a pit in either your basement or crawl space, the sump pump clears water out of the area through a network of pipes leading outside and away from your home.

-As water fills the pit, the pump is activated by either a float, similar to the one in a toilet, or a pressure sensor.

-A fan-like device inside the basement sump pump begins to rotate rapidly, forcing water into the network of pipes leading away from the room. As water filters out through the pipes, more water is drained from the pit into the pump.

-Basement sump pumps are typically powered by electricity, however there are also battery backup sump pumps that will continue to work even if the power goes out.

These are a better option for people who live in areas with frequent power outages or severe storms.


How a basement sump pump works

You can decide which type is best for your home or consult an expert to get a professional opinion about which pump is best suited for you.

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Common Sump Pump Problems That Could Lead to Water Damage

sump pump repairThis year’s rain storms have caused flooding in several states, such as Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. Homes that need cracked foundation repair or exterior basement waterproofing are at risk for allowing inches or even several feet of water to seep into basements.

This could lead to water damage, mold, and other complications. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) states that even a few inches could cause damage that will set a homeowner back thousands of dollars.

One of the most important flood prevention tools you can have in your house is a sump pump. These are pumps used to remove water that collects in the basement. If the pump stops working, your basement could be in trouble if you do not invest in sump pump repair immediately.

Here is a list of a few other problems you can run into with these pumps:

  • No Power:
    Your sump pump is like any other electrical appliance in your house. If the power fails, your sump pump will be rendered useless. The motor that is used to power the pump will stop working, and the water it is flushing out will likely rise and flood into your basement. There is no need for sump pump repair in this case. Instead, you should consider having a back-up sump pump for power outages in a rainstorm.
  • Overload:
    Not every sump pump will be able to handle large volumes of water. You should at least have a one-third horsepower sump pump, which will be able to pump about 35 gallons of water a minute. This usually guarantees that you have enough power to keep your basement safe, but if you want to be even more cautious, you can buy a one-half horsepower sump pump, and also keep a battery-powered one just in case.
  • Frozen Pipe:
    If you live where the winters are harsh, you might find that your sump pump fails on you when everything thaws in the spring. The water that is suspended through ice will eventually melt and could cause an overflow, as it will be too much for the pump to handle the melted ice or snow in addition to a rainstorm. For these situations, you can have a sump pump extension installed to help remove the excess water if this happens to you.

In addition to checking on your sump pump regularly, and either replacing or investing in sump pump repair when necessary, it would be wise to have exterior and interior basement waterproofing done. Taking these extra precautions could save you thousands of dollars worth of damage, and protect your home from the heavy rains this spring.

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What Is a French Drain System?

french drain systemFrench drain systems, sometimes referred to as drain tiles, are essentially ditches that are lined with gravel, stones, or rocks that help drain water away from low-lying areas. Installing a French drain system is a great means of exterior basement waterproofing, since they can be used to draw water away from sump pits or away from the basement’s walls, to a more appropriate area.

French Drain Benefits

The French drain system is named after Henry French, a judge and farmer from Concord, Massachusetts who discussed the subject of farm drainage in his 1859 book. Although, he didn’t invent it. A version of the system was first employed by the Romans, predating French by centuries. However, French helped bring the drainage system back into use, making it one of the most popular and effective ways to redirect unwanted water.

Modern French drain systems use gravity to work. The trench is slightly sloped away from the area needing to be drained, and towards the area where the homeowner wants to redirect the water. Since it’s filled with gravel, the water will occupy the space between the stones as it’s redirected, which means that not only will the water fail to escape through the ground, but that there won’t be any empty trench to pose a hazard.

Advantages of French Drains

The two main advantages of a French drain system is its affordability and its low maintenance. Since it can be covered with grass, topsoil, or even just filter fabric, it’s the perfect choice for a homeowner who wants an easy way to rid their yards of water and protect their home’s foundation in a more subtle — but reliable — way.

If you’ve ever had to pay for foundation crack repair, then chances are you’re willing to do whatever’s necessary to ensure that your basement won’t suffer any more water damage. A French drain system can protect your home from undue wetness and unwanted water damage. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

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Septic System Sump Pump Installation

Any home with a basement is at risk for flooding.Installing a sump pump is one of the most effective ways to make sure that the basement doesn’t flood or accumulate water. By keeping water out of your home, you can prevent damage to your structure, your belongings, and even your health.

 

A sump pump keeps your basement dry by draining water out of your home or into your drainage system.
When installing your sump pump, it’s important to make sure you use the proper setup. Most sump pumps will also require a sump pit which will fill with excess water. The pump will then force the water out so that the basement stays dry.

 Sump Pump Styles – Submersive and Pedestal

Sump pumps can be installed in a variety of ways. One style is the submersive or underwater pump where the pump is sealed carefully in the sump pit. This can help prevent any electrical problems, but it is difficult to access the pump. The other style is the pedestal where the pump is position over the pit. This style is easier to maintain and adjust, but it might not be right for your home.

 

Sump pump installation is best done by a qualified professional. When you have your sump pump installed by Aquatech Waterproofing, it will be set up to last for many years.

Adding a backup battery and checking your pump twice per year will also help protect your home from costly water damage.