Sump Pump: What is it and What Does it do?

You’ve probably heard the term sump pump before, but what exactly is a sump pump and what does it do? With the recent snowstorm in Buffalo, NY, and last years flooding in the GTA, it is important as ever to be prepared for whatever mother nature throws our way.

At Water Guard Plumbing, we have a lot of experience installing and maintaining sump pumps and are quite knowledgeable. Whether you have a sump pump installed in your home, or are thinking about having one installed, here are some facts to help you understand its advantages and how it works.

sump-pumpWhat is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a device used to remove unwanted or excess water and is usually found in the basement of homes. You should know however that just because you have a sump pump installed, basement flooding can still occur if the volume of the water and the speed of it entering your home is greater and faster than what the sump pump can remove. You can buy the sump pump and basin ahead of time from your local Canadian Tire or Home Depot, or if you are unsure what to purchase your plumber can assist. The cost varies according to brand and size, but you are looking at spending anywhere from $100 to $400 for the pump alone.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump collects water into it’s basin. When the water level gets too high the sump pump is activated and begins pumping the water out of your home. It’s also important to make sure that wherever the water is exiting your home, that it is directed away from your home and to an area with proper drainage.

If you are more of a visual learner, here is a great video to show you how a sump pump is installed and how it works.

Why Should I Install a Sump Pump?

You should install a sump pump if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • If you are noticing dampness in your basement
  • You or your neighbours have experienced basement flooding in the past
  • You live in an area with poor drainage
  • Your area is prone to heavy rainfall
  • You want to increase the value of your home

The City of Toronto has provided a list of the areas that are at high risk for basement flooding.

How to Care For Your Sump Pump

  • During the cold months, make sure that the discharge line is not frozen
  • Check to make sure that debris is not clogging the inlet screen
  • Make sure the tank is free of any debris
  • Ensure that the water being discharged is directed away from your home

Next Steps

If you are thinking about having a sump pump installed in your home, here are some further steps you can take.

  • If you live in Toronto, there is a Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program available to you.
  • Contact a licensed plumber for a free estimate
  • Maintain your sump pump by doing regular maintenance checks 3 or 4 times a year

If you are having problems with your sump pump, or you are looking to install one in your home, contact us at 647-898-7800.