Let us share a little sumpin sumpin: How sump pumps work

Let us share a little sumpin sumpin: How sump pumps work

A wet spring portends a wet summer in the Roanoke area.

One crucial service provided by Southern Trust, a leader in HVAC, plumbing and electrical services, is sump pump installation and maintenance. These pumps are key to keeping basements dry during periods of heavy rain or even flooding. Even moderately damp basements can explode with mildew and mold, which can cause health problems and cost thousands of dollars to remedy.

They may appear deceptively simple, but one way to understand the importance of sump pumps is to understand how they work. Here’s a quick primer:

  1. Water flows from a rising water table into a sump pit, generally about 2 feet by 15 inches, located in the lowest part of a basement or crawl space.
  2. A floater arm or sensor activates the pump when water reaches a certain level in the pit. Some pumps are manually started, or some have manual switches if the floater arm or sensor fails.
  3. Most pumps have a fan-like propeller that generates low pressure via centrifugal force. Water moves toward the lower pressure and is expelled from the home via pipe.
  4. The effluent is transported from your basement to a spot away from your home. A valve prevents water from reentering your home via the transfer pipe.
  5. There are two types of common sump pumps: Submersible and pedestal. As its name suggests, a submersible sump pump sits in the pit; a pedestal pump extends a pipe into the pit. Pedestal pumps are less expensive, but are louder than submersible pumps because its operation is muffled by water.

One way to determine whether you have a moisture issue in your basement is to place a piece of plastic sheeting on the floor and leave it for a couple of days. If moisture visibly collects beneath the plastic, your basement is a candidate for a sump pump.

The experts at Southern Trust can also help you determine whether your basement needs a sump pump, or whether an existing one needs to be replaced or maintained. As always, our products and services come with a life-time warranty.

Contact us today at 540-685-0106 or via our website to ensure your basement and home stay high and dry this rainy season.

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