Sump Pump Systems: Components
Sump pumps may be used for residential or commercial building structures to avoid flooding problems in their foundations, and to avoid foundation stability problems due to high water table levels. High water table levels around foundations can cause the ground to become more malleable, soft, and unstable due to water saturation. If the water table (the level where the soil has a high water content) remains below the bottom of the foundation, the basement will remain dry, because there will be no water to create little cracks and to push through them. If the water table rises, for whatever reason, your basement suddenly becomes vulnerable to a potential water problem. As long as your sump pump system is operational and pumping water, your water table will remain low. If there is a disruption to the functioning/flow of your sump pump, then you could have a problem. Sump pumps operate in or near the sump pit that are dug below the floors of the basement floors to collect and pump water. In residential basements, sump pits are dug a few feet below the floor. In commercial structures, sump pits may be ten feet deep or more, Sump pits are cylindrical/bucket shaped and are open at the top, with perforations holes throughout to allow water to seep in and collect, to be pumped out by the sump pump. Sump pits/sump basins are manufactured by companies such as and Jackel and Saber . Submersible sump pump systems may be very unobtrusive, with a one or two holed lid covering the sump pit. Sump pump systems may include electronic control systems with audible and visual alarms notifying you when one of its components are malfunctioning.
Sump Pump System Components. Modern sump pump components are readily available to both contractors and do-it-yourselfers who want to complete a percentage or all of the waterproofing project (side note, click here for some reasons why you will want a contractor for sump pump installation). Modern sump pump components include:
- A metal or plastic sump pit (also known as a sump liner). Sump liners range in diameter (up to 2 feet across) and height (2-3 feet deep), and may hold between 15-25 gallons of water.
- The sump pump - either as a 1 pump system, or a 2 pump system (with a primary and a backup sump pump). The sump pump will have an electrical line to the closest power outlet as its primary source of power. Some systems are also equipped with a battery backup.
- A check valve that allows for only a unidirectional flow of water, so that water pumped from the sump pump does not backflow to the sump pump and sump pit when the sump pump turns off.
- A set of 38mm (1.5") PVC pipes that are directed from the pump, through the check valve, and out of the home.
Selecting the right sump pump. the selection of the right system for your home may depend on a number of factors, including budget, water pressure, and the rate of flow your pump will need to maintain (how much water per hour your sump pump will be required to pump, in the event of an emergency or heavy rains).