Here in Frisco, basements aren’t all that common. And while crawl spaces are more frequent, it’s far more common for houses in Texas to be built on slab foundations. That’s why most homeowners don’t give a sump pump a second thought.
However, there are still plenty of reasons why your home might benefit from a sump pump. Several homes in the DFW area do still have basements and crawl spaces, which may be at elevated risk of flooding. In other cases, homeowners might have trouble with insufficient drainage around their property. A sump pump can help to dry out your wet, soggy lawns.
As the spring rains start to fall, if you begin to experience problems with flooding in your home, it’s worth considering whether a sump pump could put an end to your problems.
What Is a Sump Pump?
Simply put, a sump pump helps to clear water from areas where you don’t want it, channeling the water elsewhere instead. These pumps rely on electricity to draw in water which is then forced into a drain. Of course, how your pump does this will depend on where it’s being used, as well as the type of pump that is installed.
In basements and crawl spaces, sump pumps are either submersible or mounted on a pedestal. Submersible sump pumps sit in a basin that collects water, especially due to heavy rainfall or a rising groundwater level. Once the water reaches a certain depth, the sump pump kicks into action. It pumps excess water through a drain, usually emptying into the street. This can help to prevent water from flooding your basement.
Pedestal drains, on the other hand, sit outside of the basin. They draw excess water through a pipe that comes from the basin. While pedestal pumps are typically cheaper to install and tend to last longer than a submersible pump, they’re also much louder, and they take up extra floor space.
Outdoor Sump Pumps
For many homeowners, traditional drainage methods like French drains are enough to keep their lawn from retaining too much water. But depending on conditions, including the soil around your home, the water table, and how frequently your home experiences rainfall, these measures might not be enough to provide adequate drainage, which could leave you with a swampy mess.
Exterior sump pumps make your drainage system more effective by using electricity to actively pump water away from your property, ensuring that your soil doesn’t retain too much water. Typically, exterior sump pumps are installed at the lowest point in your yard. These low points often become small ponds during heavy rains. With a sump pump, you can clear out the most water possible.
Installing a Sump Pump
Trained plumbers have the knowledge and experience necessary to get your pump installed correctly, but they’ll also be able to tell if the pump is being installed in the right place. They make sure that you’ll have the right equipment to get the job done.
Installing a sump pump starts with the basin. Your plumber will either drill or jackhammer a basin at the lowest point of your property, where they’ll install a permeable membrane that allows water to seep in while keeping debris, mud, and other potential clogging agents out.
Once the basin is completed, your plumber will drill holes for the discharge line, which will carry water from the pump out to the exterior drain. Once these holes are cut, they’ll install the pump itself, connecting it to the discharge pipe and ensuring that it’s properly wired into your home’s electrical system.
The next step is to run the discharge line, which is usually buried under your lawn. Once all of the parts are connected, your plumber will test the system, usually by pouring extra water into the sump basin until the pump switches on. They’ll then ensure your pump is working correctly, making any necessary adjustments to the power or the trigger along the way.
Sump Pump Maintenance
No matter what style of sump pump you have installed in your home, it’s important to make sure that you have it periodically tested and inspected. Without regular maintenance, you might discover that your sump pump isn’t working when water starts to pour into your home, either from excess water in your basement or overflowing from a lawn that won’t drain correctly.
You should check your sump pump’s performance about every three months. Luckily, this inspection is easy, and shouldn’t take long! Simply unplug your pump and inspect it for any excess debris that might be clogging the intake. Once you’re sure it’s clear, plug it back in. You can then pour about five gallons of water into the basin to make sure the float switch engages at the right water level.
In addition, you should have your sump pump inspected by a qualified technician every year, ideally in the spring, before the increased rainfall puts extra strain on your drainage system.
When you schedule a maintenance visit with a qualified technician from Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we’ll come out to your home right away. Your technician should do all of the following tasks:
- Examine the pump for corrosion or rust
- Clear the pump intake
- Lubricate any parts that need oil or grease
- Clean any debris from the sump basin
- Test the float switch by adding extra water
- Calibrate the switch level and ensure free movement
- Examine the discharge pipe for clogs or leaks
- Ensure that water is draining completely from the discharge pipe
With regular maintenance, you’ll make sure that you get the most out of your sump pump—and that you won’t have to deal with a wet, soggy mess!
Professional Plumbers Near Me
A sump pump is a critical part of protecting your investment in your home. If you need help installing or maintaining your sump pump or if you have more questions about whether a sump pump is right for your Frisco home, contact Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning today. We’ll make sure your home stays nice and dry!