What is a Sump Pump and Why Do I Need One?

A sump pump is a mechanism you install at the lowest point of your basement or crawlspace, set up with piping and with a covered pit over a filter trap. A sump pump drains excess moisture from your home using an automated flotation system.

This system measures how much water is in the structure at any given time, and turns on automatically when it senses an area needs to be drained.

sump pump


The water is drained through a hose or pipe away from the house or other homes, ensuring the water is gotten rid of in a way that isn’t unsafe.

While not all homes have them (since not all homes have basements), they serve a decent purpose, and many homeowners ought to consider having one installed. Some homes even have more than one!

If there’s a flooding emergency, sump pumps are the best way to remove that excess water effectively and safely, providing homeowners peace of mind. Of course, preventing water from getting into your basement in the first place is a top priority, but seeping over time or emergencies happen.

The Benefits of a Sump Pump

  • They provide an effective source of drainage for flooding, whether caused by some internal damage in the house or a weather-based emergency.
  • It might be a requirement for some home insurance companies in areas where flooding is a regular risk if you want water damage coverage.
  • They can protect foundations, walls, and under-home insulation from sustaining long-term damage.
  • They drain excess moisture, even without a flooding situation, meaning that the development of black mold, fungus growth, mildew, or harmful pests is far less likely to plague a homeowner.
  • Your basement will stay dryer and warmer year-round.
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Installation and the Types of Sump Pumps

You can find these water-draining contraptions at most hardware stores if you want to hazard installing them yourself. However, it’s recommended to have a professional take care of it for you most of the time. Ensuring that everything is installed correctly is the primary goal when installing a sump pump, especially when keeping it away from essential parts of the home’s infrastructure.

Installation and the Types of Sump Pumps

If you’re wondering what kind of sump pump is suitable for your home, look into the two primary styles:

  • The Pedestal Pump– Less expensive; the motor is raised above the pump pit.
  • The Submersible Pump– More expensive but far more powerful; significant components are fully submerged.

All sump pumps connect to your home’s power supply, but make sure that it has a backup battery to account for any potential power outages in an emergency.

How Are Sump Pumps Maintained?

Like all aspects of your home, from your roof to your insulation, a sump pump requires maintenance like everything else. If you want to ensure your sump pump is in the best shape it can be, consider some of these suggestions when performing some routine home maintenance checkups:

How Are Sump Pumps Maintained?


  • Keep that pump upright. If it’s tilted at an angle, its float arm might become jammed and struggle to work correctly or quit working altogether.
  • Occasionally pour a bucket of water in there; if it struggles or doesn’t start working immediately, have it repaired as soon as possible.
  • Your pump might suck rocks or debris in on occasion, so be sure to remove the grate and give the bottom and walls a good scrubbing. Pull out any obstructions and make sure everything is looking good before putting everything back in place. Always check for stuck objects blocking water flow.
  • Check your pipes for fastening issues; if they seem loose, tighten them up.
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An adequately maintained sump pump can last a decade or longer, especially the higher-end brands.

How Do I Know if I Need One?

Ask yourself these key questions when deciding if you need a sump pump or want to add another one:

  • Is there seepage or excessive moisture in your basement or crawlspace, even when it doesn’t rain?
  • Do you live near a body of water? Size doesn’t matter; a pond, river, or lake can be a source of flooding.
  • Do you live at the top or bottom of a hill?

If you want to keep your house safe and have peace of mind that flooding won’t ruin your property, a sump pump is the best possible way to keep your home dry.

So Do You Need a Sump Pump if You Live on a Hill?