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Sump Pump Frequently Asked Questions

At Reliable Basement Services, we are the Chicago, IL area’s premier choice when it comes to addressing their sump pump needs. If you’ve ever dealt with a flooded basement at your commercial or residential property, you likely know the general information surrounding sump pumps. As a refresher, or for those wanting to learn more about sump pumps, we have provided this FAQ as a resource. We hope this page will clear up some basic questions you may have, but please give us a call for more detailed inquiries.

A sump pump is a type of pump that is submersible and kept in the lowest part of your property, typically a basement or crawlspace. It protects your building from flooding caused by heavy rains, rising waters, and other types of sub-level water infiltration. This specialized pump sits in a sump pit and senses water escalation or pressure. When the water gets too high, the sump pump will begin pumping water out of the affected area and away from your property through a discharge line.

While most of the time, a sump pump will simply be on standby until it’s pumping is necessary, it’s a fantastic preventative device. This pump is equipped with special valves that allow it to spring into action when needed. Heavy rain, oversaturated soil, and other flooding issues can happen at any property. When the sump pit designed to catch this excess water begins filling up, the sump pump float switch is activated, and the pump is turned on. It will remove water from the pit and drain it into your property’s designated dry well, storm drain, or detention pond, so the water doesn’t have a chance to rise to your subfloor level.

With all the water-damaged properties we’ve seen in the past and expect to see in the future, we certainly think a sump pump is worth the investment. Though a sump pump is only used in the case of an emergency, think about how much better you and your wallet will feel next time water unexpectedly infiltrates your building’s basement or crawl space. We tell our customers to think of a sump pump as an extra piece of flood insurance. Not to mention, a sump pump is much cheaper than a water-damaged foundation.

There are several benefits that come from investing in a sump pump for your property. A sump pump is a reasonably small investment compared to the money it can save you in the long run. This water pump not only combats water infiltration, but it also helps to significantly safeguard your building from mold, rot, structural damage, and other water-related issues. Some of the benefits a sump pump offers include the following:

  • Reduces the risk of mold, mildew, and fungus overgrowth
  • Stops your basement or crawl space from flooding
  • Saves sub-level appliances from corrosion or malfunction
  • Keeps your foundation intact
  • Improves indoor air quality
  • Makes your basement comfortable year-round
  • Discourages insect infestation
  • Protects your wallpaper, paint, and other wall coverings
  • Lessens your worries so you can relax during a big storm

If you’re looking to invest in a sump pump for your commercial or residential property, Reliable Basement Services is here to help you choose the right one for your needs. There are a few options of sump pumps to choose from, so here’s a breakdown of the different types:

Submersible Sump Pumps

Probably the most well-known type of sump pump, this submersible option comes complete with the motor and pump in one convenient unit. Hence the name, this pump sits submerged inside a sump pit and is known as a quieter and less-likely-to-clog option. This sump pump is likely the best option for properties with significant flooding concerns.

Pedestal Sump Pumps

Pedestal sump pumps come with a separate motor and pump and will not actually be submerged or touch any water. The motor sits on a platform above the sump pit with a hose running into the basin where the pump sits. The pump will draw excess water out through the hose and send it to your property’s designated drain area.

Battery Backup Sump Pump

A battery backup sump pump is a great way to provide backup security to your anti-flooding system, as sump pump problems often have to do with electrical issues. A battery backup with a float switch allows your sump pump to operate even when your power is out, and usually when you need it the most. If a big storm has hit, your power’s out, and water begins infiltrating your property, you can rest easy knowing your pump’s float switch will be triggered, sending your battery operation into action.

Water-Powered Sump Pump

A water-powered sump pump works to clear the water in your sump pit by implementing increased water pressure. The advantage of this water pump is that you won’t have to monitor the backup or worry about replacing any batteries in the future. Though there may be some drawbacks to this system, it is still a viable option for some property owners. Our team will help you choose the best pump for your needs.

There are a few reasons we recommend investing in a sump pump. While obviously, this device won’t be necessary for every property across the Chicago region, you likely need a sump pump if you’re dealing with the following:

  • A Rainy or Snowy Climate – Here in the Midwest, we see our fair share of rain and snowstorms, making basements and crawl spaces more susceptible to experiencing leaks or flooding.
  • A Flood-Prone Location – If your property is low-lying, has poorly draining soil, or is surrounded by hills, you likely need help from a sump pump. Rising groundwater levels during spring runoff, heavy rains, and snowstorms are unavoidable and will need to be efficiently combated.
  • You’ve Already Experienced Water Infiltration Issues – If your basement has flooded in the past, or you regularly struggle with excess moisture in your property’s sub-levels, it would be in your best interest to install a sump pump.
  • You Have a Finished Basement – Even if your property isn’t in a flood-prone location, protecting this space of your home or business is still essential. And if you use your crawl space as a storage area, you can safeguard all your belongings by investing in a sump pump.

The answer to this question depends on the extent of your past flooding issues, the size of your property, how far your drainage point is, and more. Selecting the right water pump is crucial for your property’s safety, making it essential to consult with professionals before buying. The Reliable Basement Services team can come to your home or business and determine what pump, horsepower, and flow rate you’ll need to keep your property dry no matter how significant the storm.

Again, it varies. The different sump pumps all offer various features, making costs anywhere from $100-$1,000. Some things to consider when looking to invest in a sump pump are:

  • The type of pump
  • The material that makes up your sub-level
  • The cost of any potential permits
  • The distance and type of drainage point
  • The location of your property

There are a few different reasons a perfectly capable sump pump can fail. The main reasons our team sees sump pumps have an untimely demise are:

  • Power Failure – Lost power is a sump pump’s most prominent appointment. Maybe your pump was accidentally unplugged, you tripped a circuit breaker, a massive storm causes a local power outage, your power feed line is damaged, or you blew a fuse. No matter the power failure, your sump pump will experience an interruption in operation.
  • Mechanical Failure – Under-maintenance pumps or a pump that has surpassed its life span can experience mechanical failure and become inefficient. Most sump pump mechanical issues have to do with the float, which replacement can fix.
  • Pump Overload – If excessive water flows into your sump pump, it can become overwhelmed and malfunction under pressure. And if your pump is trying to remove water, as well as debris and other articles, it can overload the motor and cause it to slowly stop working overtime.

Though frequently, we find that property owners see sump pumps as an out-of-site, out-of-mind issue, we advise keeping an eye on yours for any potential problems. There are a few tell-tale signs that your sump pump is acting up; you simply must pay attention and know what to look out for. Some examples include the following:

  • The motor is making loud, roaring, rattling, and clanging sounds
  • Your sump pump is continuously running even when it’s not needed
  • It vibrates excessively when running
  • You notice your pump goes through irregular cycling
  • There is visible rust on your sump pump
  • Your pump has surpassed its average life expectancy (ten years)

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Schedule Your Sump Pump Installation Today!

If you have further questions regarding sump pumps that were not answered on this page, please give us a call! We’ve been helping the Chicagoland area with sump pump solutions for years and look forward to extending the same exemplary services to you and your property. We’ll make sure your current system is in good condition and we can also install a brand-new system to better protect your building. Contact us today to get started.

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