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sump pump A sump pump is a relatively small pump that you install in the crawlspace or basement of the home. It can help prevent issues with a flooded basement and keep your home dry. Traditionally these are installed in specially constructed sump pits.

A large percentage of the homes in North America suffer from belowground wetness. Many homeowners have to struggle with a flooded basement at some point during the year. You may incur thousands of dollars in damage without having to take on much water. You can have issues with mold and mildew growth because of a moist basement.

The basics of a sump pump

So how does a sump pump keep the water out? A sump pump is usually positioned in a sump pit. This is a hole with a gravel base that is 18 inches wide and 2 feet deep. These are positioned in the lowest part of your crawlspace or basement.

As this pit fills up with water, the pump kicks into action. This is going to move the liquid from the pit through pipes that actively run away from the home. Here the water can drain away without damaging the foundation.

The pipe used usually has a check valve at the pump end. This one-way valve can prevent the water from flowing back into the pit. Most sump pumps are going to turn on automatically using a pressure sensor or a float activator arm. While it is possible to save money and get a manually operated pump (which will only work when you turn it on) these are just not as convenient. The automatic pumps still have the option for manual activation if the sensor or the float arm do not work as expected.

How does the water move?

In order to move the water, the majority of sump pumps that you find in the home will use a centrifugal pump. This uses an impeller (a screw- or fanlike device) to turn. This creates a low-pressure area at its center of the pipe by having the spinning impeller force the water toward the sides of the pipe. The spinning action from the impeller forces the water through the pipe.

Powering your sump pump

Most residential sump pumps will use the standard household current. You power them by plugging them into the electrical current. Because the pump is near or even in water, having a ground fault circuit interrupter on the outlet (preventing accidental electrocution) is a smart idea.

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