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Christmas Snow, Flooded Basements and the Importance of a Sump Pump

Everyone dreams of a white Christmas! The scene of a cozy fire, a lit Christmas tree, and friends and family all around is picturesque. However, while heavy snows are nice to watch from the inside, they can wreak havoc in your home.

Heavy snow can cause leaks inside your home, usually in a basement or lower level. Leaks and floods can cause mold to grow on a basement wall and damage furniture. The Farmer’s Almanac forecasts a cold winter with heavy precipitation in the Chicagoland area. That is why having a sump pump in your home can prevent any disaster before it happens!

A sump pump works by pumping water from lower levels of your house up and out through a drainage pipe away from your home’s foundation, preventing any type of flooding or damage to your home. It will drain the water before it can cause any problems. If you’re looking for ways to prevent any flooding around Christmas this year then install a sump pump today!

sump pump installed in concrete floor

What is a sump pump and why do I need one in my basement?

A sump pump is a device that removes excess water from the home, which protects against flooding.

It works by pumping out any unwanted standing water or moisture in your basement — basically taking it outside of your home so you don’t have to deal with soggy carpeting and muddied walls!

A sump pump is most effective in the basement or lower levels because that is where water rises first.

Sump pumps create a great line of defense against flooding and damage that can occur during a heavy Chicago snowstorm.

How to install a sump pump

If your home doesn’t already have a sump pump, our professional plumbers recommend having one installed to protect your home and your belongings.

Installing a pump can be complicated since there are a lot of options. In some high-risk homes, it may be necessary to include a primary pump and a backup as well. While all of these decisions can be overwhelming, our trained plumbers can access your home and install the best system for your home’s needs.

hose leading out of the plastic pump to the exterior of the home

Sump Basin or Sump Pit

A sump basin is an actual pit that the sump pump sits in. The sump basin is where water collects before it is pumped out of the house by the sump pump. Installing a basin and sump pump can be a great deal of work. It usually requires much excavation in the basement floor or the lowest point if you do not have a basement.

The basin or pit acts like a catch basin that collects the water from around your foundation. After the water hits a certain level in the basin/pit the sump pump motor will ignite and discharge the basin water outside of your house and away from your foundation. The actual point where the water discharges on the outside of your home is most effective if it is placed away from your home’s foundation.

Type of Sump Pumps

First, the plumber will inspect your home and decide where to place the sump pump and if your system will need a sump basin or a sump pit. After choosing the site in the basement, our plumber will decide what type of sump pump will be best for your home.

There are many different types of sump pumps, the best type depends on your house and how many gallons of water need to go through the drain.

It also depends on the type of foundation your home has, the plumber may have to excavate concrete or gravel before installing a sump basin.

submersible pump graphic

Submersible Pump

Submersible pumps are the most popular for home use. A submersible pump is able to be submerged underwater. As water collects in your basement, it will trigger the float valve and turn on. It uses an electric motor to turn the impeller inside which pulls water into the pump and forces it through the pipe and outside of your home.

Pedestal Pump

Pedestal pumps are pumps where the motor is not submerged in water. Normally the pedestal pumps motor will sit above the basin.

Battery-operated Pump

A sump pump usually requires electricity to operate. A battery backup pump gives homeowners the peace of mind of a system that will work even if the power goes out.

With this type of sump pump, as the water level rises it triggers the float switch which turns on the battery and begins to pump the water out of your basement.

For the best protection against water damage, our licensed plumbers recommend a primary pump and a backup pump to guard against power outages.

The installation process involved can vary, but at Rescue Plumbing, we have years of experience in sump pump installation. Call today to schedule a free in-home estimate for your sump pump installation (773) 799-8848!

Don’t just rely on the city’s sewer system, a sump pump will protect your home no matter what

In a large city like Chicago that experiences heavy snow from December throughout the winter months, the city sewer system can become backed up.

Nothing is worse than a flooded basement, except if it happens around Christmas! In our Chicagoland area, this year is expected to have heavy precipitation. Don’t wait to get a sump pump!

Our experts would be happy to install one for you! Call us at (773) 799-8848.

water flooding the floor

Signs that you may need a new or upgraded sump pump 

Just like most appliances in your home, your sump pump needs annual maintenance to keep functioning properly.

It is important to check on your unit in case it needs repairs or replacement. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Frequently clean out the sump pit, dirt and debris like gravel or concrete bits can plug up the system. Check for moisture around and on the unit.
  • test the check valve and ensure it is functioning (it should open when the pump is on and close when it is off).
  • Your sump pump runs longer than usual and there is still a lot of water present in the sump pit.
  • It takes too long for your sump pump system to start working after it has turned on due to a higher power consumption needed by the sump pump, this could indicate an issue with the pressure switch.
  • Water level in the sump pit is not dropping and you can hear the sump pump continuously working, this means that your sump pump cannot handle the water flow and it needs to be replaced or upgraded with a more powerful system.   
  • Your sump pump does not turn on when water is present, this is indicative of an error with the float switches which turn on the pump or an issue with the power source.

If any of these signs occur on a regular basis or if two issues occur at the same time, it is time to schedule sump pump replacement or upgrade by a professional.

sump pump covered in debris

Tips for Maintaining Sump Pumps

Sump pumps offer a sense of security, but only if they are working properly. They can break down over time. A backup sump pump can help in this type of situation however, routine maintenance will be as effective.

Some simple diagnostic tests you can run at home:

  • Run the pump and listen for any unusual sounds like gurgling or loud ringing.
  • Ensure the power to the pump is working
  • Add water to the sump pit and watch to ensure it goes through the drain effectively and efficiently

If any of these tests fail or seem unusual, call a professional to diagnose your system thoroughly. It can also be beneficial to install audible alarms to alert you if your system is failing, or even if a flood has begun in your basement.

Installing a sump system in the ground

How a Sump Pump

Saved Christmas

A snowy Christmas is cozy while watching from the comforts of home, when all the water from the snowfall gets inside, it is a nightmare. Sump pumps efficiently get the water out of your home and back outside where it belongs.

We have installed sumps for many homeowners throughout the Chicagoland area. For some of our customers, it was preventive, for others, unfortunately, they already had a flooded basement that needed to be fixed.

Let Us Rescue You!

sump pump saves christmas

Don’t wait for a storm to cause flooding in your home. Call us to start the process of a sump pump installation, (773) 799-8848.

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