Sump Pump Basics


A recent inspection in Parker Colorado brought this issue to mind.
Sump pumps are self activating electrical pumps that protect homes from moisture intrusion. They are usually installed below basement or crawlspace floors to remove rising ground water and surface water runoff before it can enter a building. Pumps should be maintained and equipped with all necessary components in order o ensure their reliability.
A pit, known as a sump pit or sump trench, is dug at the lowest part of the basement floor to capture and contain any water within the ground adjacent to the structure. A sump pump normally sits at the bottom of, or beside the sump pit, and expels water through pipes that carry the water outside and away form the building. The exit pipe opening should be at least 5 feet from the foundation.
Some maintenance tips:
In Colorado where there is not a great deal of moisture or high ground water tables, a sump pump may sit inoperable for a length of time. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
*The pump should be kept clean and free of debris
*Make sure the float is not jammed and can move freely up and down.
*The pump can be tested, if dry like the one pictured, by pouring water into the pit to see if it activates.
*Maintenance should be done annually or when the home is sold. An inspector will not normally test a dry system. It may be advisable to request a seller to have a plumber check the system if it has not been used regularly should there be a concern. The fact that the pit is dry does not necessarily indicate a problem with the operation of the pump or system.