Sump Pump Basics

If you’re a homeowner or a renter who lives in a house with a sump pump, then you should know the basics about how it works and why your house needs one. Essentially, it’s a small pump that resides in a sump pit, a shallow square hole with a gravel lining that’s about two square feet in size found in the basement or crawlspace of a home. The pit collects water, which the pump then directs away from the house through a series of pipes.

Sump Pump Basics Simplified

When your pit fills with waste water, a float activator arm or pressure sensor automatically triggers the unit, which turns on and begins pumping water out of the sump pit. This water is directed away from your house to avoid flooring in and around your basement or crawlspace.

Pressure Sensor Activated Sump Pumps

Pressure sensor activated sump pumps work exactly as they’re described. Since water puts more pressure on the pressure sensor than air does, when the sensor is submerged in water, the pump activates.

Float Activated Sump Pumps

If you’ve ever seen how a toilet tank works, it’s very similar to a float activated device. A buoyant component, either a ball or piece of foam, is attached to a trigger arm and floats on top of the water. As the water level rises, this component is forced above a certain level and causes the sump pump to activate.

There are also other types of sump pumps that can be adjusted manually, but these designs aren’t as popular due to the reduced convenience of having to take manual action. Most residential sump pumps are electrically powered and typically don’t require any sort of special electrical wiring beyond a regular grounded outlet. Aside from the pressure sensor and float activation features there are two main types of pump designs:

  1. Submersible Pump: This type of pump is encased in a waterproof housing that sucks water up through a grate at the bottom of the housing, out through the top, and into the pipes away from your house. The grate is meant to prevent any debris from being sucked into the pump and sent out through the pipes.
  2. Pedestal Pump: The pedestal pump design resembles a long stick with a large head, and situates the pump out of the water regardless of the water level. A pipe travels from the water and into the pump, where water is then routed away from your house. These pumps are typically cheaper than submersible pumps as they are louder without the muffling effects of the water.

O’Quinns Plumbing Service has years of experience repairing sump pump discharge lines. If you’re currently living in a home with a sump pump or are planning to rent or buy one in the future, we can help you with any information or services you might need. Give us a call today at 703-777-0060.

At O’Quinn’s Plumbing Service, our goal is to help our customers in the following Loudoun County, Virginia Areas: Leesburg, Purcellville, Sterling, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Herndon, Hamilton, Ashburn, Lansdowne, Brambleton, River Creek, South Bridge, South Riding, Round Hill, Bluemont, Upperville, Waterford, Paeonian Springs learn more about plumbing and how to manage and maintain their home’s plumbing system.