How Does a Sump Pit Work?

Too much water around your home’s foundation can cause settling, foundation damage and leaks into basements. The most common way to direct water away from a foundation is with the use of a sump pit that is connected to a drainage system. In most cases, a sump pump is used to reduce sump pit water levels when they become to high. Here is a basic description on how a sump pit works and why it is so important to maintain.

Sump pits are enclosures located below the area that needs protection from water accumulation. This can be under a crawl space in your home or located in the basement floor. Often, the sump pit is made from a 12-18” wide PVC pipe that is placed vertically in the ground with a concrete bottom. The PVC can be perforated or not – perforated pipe allows water to come in through drain rock around the pit.

To collect water, a drainage system can be used around the areas to be protected. Drain tile is often used to direct water to the sump pit, located around the foundation edges. Gravity brings the water to the lowest area to collect, which is the sump pit.

Importance of Sump Pumps

Sump pits work great to collect water and protect foundations. However, when water levels are high, they fill quickly. A sump pump is a submergible pump that goes inside the sump pit and activates by a float device when the pit is almost full, pumping the excess water out and away from the house to a storm drain or other drainage area.

Sump pits can effectively keep foundations protected from high water levels. However, the sump pump must be maintained to keep it working correctly. If you have a sump pit and pump, make sure to schedule routine service to ensure your sump pump is ready to work when needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Sump Pump Basics: What You Need to Know

High water levels, whether from an actual flood or just heavy, seasonal precipitation, can seep into basements, causing extensive water damage. Not only can the water damage walls, floors, furniture and other items in your basement, your also at risk for foundation damage and dangerous mold growth. Sump pumps are the protective gear to keep water away from your home and pump away water when levels become too high. Here are the basics on sump pumps and how they can protect your home.

How Sump Pumps Work

A sump pump is a powered pump that empties the sump in your basement. When water collects around your home, it is directed to the sump, a pit in the subfloor. When the water in the pit rises to a predetermined level, the sum pump is activated, pumping the water up and away from the home.

Sump pumps use floats like a toilet tank, except instead of closing the water inlet when it is full, the float activates the pump and draining system. This is an automated system that works only when it is needed. The water is pumped out, either to a drainage area or a city storm drain. This keeps the sump from overflowing, and leaves room for water to flow into the sump pit when it collects around your basement walls or foundation.

Sump pumps can protect your home from extensive damage and are well worth the investment. However, they do need periodical maintenance to ensure they continue to work correctly when needed. Your local septic or sewer service is the place to call to have a sump pump installed or for routine maintenance and repairs.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Keeping Up with Sump Pump Maintenance

Your sump pump is a vital component to keeping your home and basement dry, removing excess water from around the foundation to prevent water and mold damage to your home. You need to know that it is working 24/7 and will turn on when needed to pump water out and away from your home. The best way to ensure your sump pump is working correctly is to performed routine maintenance and inspections through the year, especially before and during the wet months. Here is a quick checklist on what to look for to ensure your sump pump is working properly.

  • Fill basin with water and make sure pump turns on and begins pumping the water out
  • Make sure the pump is upright and level, with the float working correctly
  • Remove the pump from the basin and clean the grate on the bottom of the pump
  • Clean the pump screen or inlet
  • Inspect the cord and connected plumbing for any problems – look for wear and tear, leaks or other issues that may need repair
  • Remove any debris from the basin or outlets

Before you clean screens or do any maintenance on the pump unit, make sure to unplug it first to avoid any risk of electrical shock. You should check your sump pump at least four times a year to ensure it is in the proper position, clear of any debris and is turning on when the water gets to the designated level.

If you inspected your sump pump and there are any problems, contact your local sewer/plumbing service. Most offer sump pump repair or replacement services to keep your sump pump working year-round.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

How to Tell if your Sump Pump Needs Repair

Ironically, sump pumps are put in to prevent a flooding emergency, but they can sometimes cause the emergency. Since sump pumps are not necessarily used year-round, they can be easily forgotten when it comes to maintenance and repair. However, if your sump pump does not work when it is needed, you could be in for a flooded basement that can cost you plenty in damage and repairs, both on the sump pump and your home. Here are some tips to keep your sump pump maintained and how to know when it needs a repair.

  • Beware of bad odors. A bad odor coming from your basement may be sign that your sump pump repair. Check your sump pump – if the odor is especially bad in that area, you need to call your sewer/septic plumber for an inspection and possible repair.
  • Flooding. Obviously if your basement has any flooding, your sump pump may not be working correctly. Call your local sewer plumber for a repair.
  • Strange noises. If the sump pump is making more noise than usual or sounds like it is struggling, it is time for a service. It may just need a little tune-up on the motor or other regular maintenance, but it is better to be proactive and get it serviced before it quits running altogether or needs an emergency repair.
  • Keep your sump pump maintained. Schedule regular service for your sump pump, especially before the wettest seasons of the year.

Don’t wait for your sump pump to breakdown. Watch for signs that it needs repair and have regular maintenance performed to prevent sump pump emergencies. Talk to your local sewer/septic plumber about scheduling your next inspection or maintenance service.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

How to Tell if your Sump Pump Needs Repair

Your sump pump can work tirelessly year-round, kicking on when needed to keep the water level around your basement low to avoid flooding. However, like any mechanical equipment, it will not last forever. The last thing you want is for your sump pump to fail when you need it the most, causing flooding in your basement. In most cases, there are signs that your sump pump is struggling before it quits altogether. Here are signs to watch for to get it repaired or replaced before it leads to water damage in your home.

  • Abnormal sounds. In most cases, sump pumps are quiet and don’t make much noise. When you start hearing your sump pump turn on, getting louder or making strange sounds like grinding or rattling, you should get it inspected.
  • Running longer. It is normal for your sump pump to turn on more often when there is heavy precipitation, but it should not be continuously running. If it is running for longer periods or seems to rarely turn off, something may be wrong, even if it is still removing water.
  • Odors. If your basement has a foul odor, especially near the sump pump, there may be something amiss.
  • Water intrusion. The last sign is the most obvious – water intrusion into your basement. Even if the sump pump is still working, it is not working efficiently enough to stop flooding.

If you have any of these signs, call your local plumber or sewer service company to have your sump pump inspected and serviced. It may just need routine service or could need a repair or replacement. It is less expensive to proactively repair the pump than to pay for repairing water damage, so it is worth the money to pay for a professional repair.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Sump and Ejector Pump Maintenance

If you have a sump or ejector pump in your home, you rely on it to work as needed without fail. Sump pumps need to turn on when water levels rise and ejector pumps should be managing the flow of sewage up to the main sewer line. To ensure your pumps are working properly, regular maintenance and inspections are required. While you may not have the skills to maintain the motors of these pumps, you can perform regular inspections to ensure they are doing their jobs. Here are a few things to check.

  • Inspect the cover to ensure it is secure and tight; this cover should be child-proof for safety. Look for any issues with the seal or cracks in the cover.
  • Check for any evidence of leaks or overflows. If there was a backup or overflow, you may see water stains, smell odor or see particles left from the overflow.
  • Look for any damage to the reservoir basin like cracks, holes or other issues. The lid should fit tightly and the basin should not show any signs of leakage.
  • Check the basin for any debris. Large chunks of wood, fabric or other debris can clog the pump and cause a backup.
  • Inspect to make sure there are no exposed wires or openings to the tank or pumping chamber that need repair.

Doing regular inspections of your pumps can alert you if there is a problem so you can have it fixed before it causes a backup. In addition, schedule annual tune-ups and service for your pumps by a qualified sewer service to keep your equipment in good working order to prevent failure.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Sump Pump Service and Maintenance Tips

Your sump pump keeps the excess water from entering your home, preventing thousands of dollars in damage and other problems. It quietly does its job, especially through the wettest months of the year. However, you don’t want to become complacent when it comes to your sump pump. Like any piece of equipment, it needs maintenance, occasional repairs and eventually replacement when it no longer can do the job. Here are some tips to keep your sump pump running smoothly and to avoid a sump pump failure.

  • Do a visual inspection of the pit. Even if you don’t know much about sump pumps, you can look to see if there is anything in the pit that shouldn’t be there. Take the cover off your sump pump pit and check to see if there are any rocks or debris accumulated. Remove any solid objects – these can cause clogs.
  • Check hoses and float. Make sure the hoses are securely connected and the float can move up and down. Small issues can cause big problems, and these are two of the most common.
  • Do a test run. Get a bucket of water and add it to your pit. This should trigger your sump pump so you can see if it is working correctly. Make sure the water is pumped out – check to make sure it comes out from the drain outside, which should be directed away from your home.

If anything does not look or work right, call your sewer expert that handles sump pump repairs and maintenance. Or, if you don’t have time to do a quick inspection yourself, schedule a service on your sump pump to give you peace of mind that your equipment is maintained and in good condition for the months to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

5 Items that can Clog Your Sewage Pump

If you have a sewage pump in your septic system, you want to prevent clogs from occurring. Items that will not necessarily cause issues in your septic tank can be disastrous to your sewage pump. These items can create a clog or damage the pump, resulting in costly repairs. Here are five items to avoid putting down your drains to prevent sewage pump clogs.

  1. Cat litter. Even “flushable” cat litter should not be flushed down into a septic tank with a sewage pump. It can clog up the mechanisms in your grinder or sewage pump.
  2. Condoms and female hygiene items. Cotton, plastics and rubber all should be kept out of your septic system, including prophylactics and female hygiene products.
  3. Do not empty your fireplace ashes into the toilet or put them down the drain. They can gum up the pump and clog the system.
  4. Disposable wipes. Baby wipes and other “flushable” wipes can get caught in your sewage pump and cause a clog. Dryer sheets also do not breakdown in the septic tank and may create pump clogs.
  5. Cigarette butts. The filters on cigarettes are not bio-degradable and should not be flushed or put down drains when you own a septic system with a sewage pump.

If your sewage pump becomes clogged, your septic system can become backed up. You may notice drains in your home begin to slow down or sewage comes up the pipes. If you notice a problem with your drains in your home, call your local septic service company to inspect your septic system. You may have a sewage pump clog or other problem with your system.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Is it Time to Add a Sump Pump to Your Home?

If you have a home with a basement, you may need to add a sump pump to protect it from flooding. You don’t need to live in a wet climate or flood area to have basement flooding issues. Even a slight seeping of water can cause mold and mildew issues in your home that can be costly. Sump pumps help maintain a dry basement and protect your home’s foundation from the onslaught of water invasion.

How a Sump Pump Works

Sump pumps are designed to automatically pump water away from your home when the water table rises. This is activated by a float that is in the sump pit. Once the water hits a predesignated level, the pump turns on and pumps the water out and away from the home. This is ground water and does not need to be pumped into the septic or sewer system. Typically, it is run out through drain pipes to a drainage area away from the home.

Sump pumps are electrically run and need constant power. Since it is common for the power to go out right when you need the sump pump the most during storms, it is recommended to have a back-up power source. Some systems can use a marine battery, while other systems may need to be tied into a power generator system.

Basement flooding is not just a concern when water levels are high, although that is the most common problem. Hydrostatic pressure can be present at all times, forcing the water that is naturally in the ground against your foundation. This is a good reason to have a sump pump for your basement, regardless of the weather or region. Sump pumps should always be installed by a professional for the best results.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Ejector Pump For Basement Bathrooms

Do you have unused square footage in your home in your basement? Many homes have only partially finished basements that are used for laundry or storage, but many homeowners hesitate to fully finish those areas because they are concerned about being able to add a bathroom below ground level.  An ejector pump can provide the solution to this problem.  Investing in remodeling your basement can have many benefits, including:

  • Increase the square footage of your home. Once the basement is finished, it is considered part of the overall square footage of your home. This can add significant value to your home.
  • More bedrooms. Is your family growing bigger or the kids just want more space as they enter their teen years? Add a bedroom and bathroom downstairs to give your family more room and privacy.
  • Add a mother-in-law apartment. Make your basement a separate living space for investment purposes or for a family member.
  • Make a work area, studio or home office. Your basement could be a great area for you to explore working at home or engage in a hobby. Make the most of your extra space.

Adding Plumbing to Your Basement

One of the factors to consider when remodeling or finishing your basement is adding plumbing for a full bathroom.  With the help of an ejector pump, you can add a full bathroom below ground level. Installing an ejector pump allows you to add plumbing below the level of your main sewer line to move wastewater up to the sewer line for your home.

Make the most of every square foot of your home by remodeling your basement. You can add 50% or more to your home, giving you more space and value. Talk to your local sewer service to learn more about adding bathroom plumbing to your basement to improve the convenience and comfort of your new space.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441