Sump pumps are important tools that help keep homes dry and fight potential internal flooding damage. Sump pumps are placed in the basements of homes that have basements and in sumps situated within the foundation of those that do not have basements.The sump is a low area designed to catch water runoff and other undesired liquids that otherwise might cause structural damage. Usually round in shape, the sumps are the lowest points in homes and where water will settle first. When water settles and is deep enough, it will trigger the pump placed in the sump, and the pump will pump out the water, sending it out through a drainage pipe that might lead to a dry well, municipal drain system or expel it onto the ground away from the home.
There are several types of sump pumps with submersible pumps and pedestal pumps being the most common. A submersible pump sits inside the sump where water collects and expels it when the level is high enough for an internal float to trigger an automated switch. Because it can be submerged in water, the water cools the pump and makes it durable, reliable and last longer than pedestal-style pumps.
A submersible pump generally costs more than alternative styles of pumps, resides fully within the sump and is covered by a metal plate or other covering. When water accumulates and triggers the float mechanism that is a kind of automated on-off switch, the pump will expel water via a drain pipe that leads into the sump and is connected to the pump. Submersible sump pumps generally are very efficient and can remove a great deal of water in a short time and prevent homes from being damaged by internal flooding.
A more affordable type of sump pump is a pedestal pump that is taller than a submersible pump and only partly rest within the sump. A pedestal pump sits above the sump with the pump mechanism situated within the sump itself. The mechanical portion is above ground and air cooled, which makes it less durable and more prone to mechanical failure from overheating and friction.
A pedestal pump has a float that is attached to the motor by a long rod and is similar to the floats found in toilets and rises as the water level rises in the sump. When the float rises far enough, it triggers an on-off switch that starts the motor and begins pumping water out of the sump. The water is expelled out of an attached drain pipe that also will lead to either a dry well or municipal drainage system or that simply runs the water out onto the ground.
In many locations, it might be illegal to expel water into either a municipal drainage system or onto the ground. Some pumps, whether they are submersible or pedestal pumps, also might have a battery backup system that provides power in the event the local power source is not working.