Concerned With Flooding? Consider The Ins And Outs Of Sump Pumps

by | Aug 30, 2014 | Blog, Remodeling / Do-It-Yourself Projects

Man with angry, red face bent over well pump with a wrenchWith the recent flooding in Colorado, homeowners have become acutely aware of the damage water can do to their homes. How can you protect yourself from sudden flooding?

One way is with a sump pump.

A sump pump is a mechanism installed in a pit dug at the low point of the drainage system for your home’s foundation. When water begins seeping into the house, it is channeled via pipes to the pit, activating the pump. The pump pushes water out of the house and into your yard, away from the foundation.

If you aren’t sure if your home has a sump pump — or are considering installing one — here are a few questions on the topic, suggested by Stapleton’s neighborhood newspaper, The Sun Spot:

How can I recognize a sump pump, if I have one?

The sump pump will most likely be located in a basement utility closet or crawlspace, in a hole 2-3 feet deep. Often, but not always, you’ll see a round cover placed over the hole.

How do I know it’s working properly?   

You’ll see a float arm, much like the float arm in a toilet, on the side of the pump. Lift the float arm (which simulates what would happen when water pushes it up during flooding). If you hear the pump running, you know it’s working.

How do I know if the sump pump is working overtime?

In the Denver metro area, it isn’t likely that a sump pump will activate more than a few times a year (although heavy precipitation or excessive sprinkler use can cause the pump to start more often.) If it has been relatively dry and the pump is still operating, this can be cause for concern, as the pump may be ejecting the water on already saturated soil, causing the water to flow back to the foundation and activate the pump again in an unending loop. Continued water presence can compromise your foundation. In this case, turn off your sprinklers, then check to see if the pump is still ejecting water. If so, you may have a problem.


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