Sump Pumps – What are they for? When do I need one?

If you live in Calgary or the surrounding areas, you will be quite familiar with the summer storms we get. These storms often lead to flooding in the streets, rivers, storm drains and unfortunately, sometimes our basements. Also, after a heavy snowfall when everything starts to melt, we can get water in our basements due to overloaded drain tile around our homes. This water needs somewhere to go. That place is the sump.

Sump pumps, simply put, keep your basement dry and flood proof. If your home is in an area that had ground water before the home was built it would be mandatory for the builder to install one at the time of construction. However, sometimes in the older areas this was not the case and it may need to be added after the fact, like the pictures below show. The pump is installed at the lowest point in your basement as this is naturally where the water collects. The sump pump then pumps this collecting water out to the city storm drains, a nearby water source or a dry well. This, in turn, keeps your basement dry and free of smelly damp air and mould.

The two most commonly used types of sump pumps are submersible or pedestal pumps. Most homeowners prefer the submersible type as the sump pit will be covered with an air-tight lid to avoid moisture damage. We highly recommend the submersible type.

Maintaining the sump is critical. Simply, you can test the sump pump by pouring about 20L of water into the pit. This should make the float rise and then the pump will start. Pour the water in slowly. Once the pump comes on the water should get pumped out and then the pump should turn off automatically. It is also important to check the exit pipe of the sump, this is where the water drains out. It should be free of any dirt and debris and should be directed well away from the I foundation. Your sump pump should be tested 2 times per year (Spring and Fall).

If you are having any trouble with your current sump pump or if you wonder if you may need one installed in your home, give Paul at 587-583-5495.

Sends us any questions you may have or any suggestions#PMCPlumbing

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