What is a Sump Pump and How is it Maintained
Sump Pumps are a common feature in the Toronto Beach, but are very mysterious appliances for most people. People understand that their sump pump has something to do with pumping water but beyond this are ignorant of what they do and how they should be maintained.
I have a Sump Pump but I have no idea what it does.
This is something we often hear!
A sump pump is a pump installed in the basement and whose job it is to help keep the basement dry, by removing water and draining it away from the house.
Typically the sump pump is installed in a shallow well, the sump, dug below the basement floor. As water accumulates in this well, the pump is activated and the water is pumped out. The switch is controlled by the water level.
In the New Beach / Woodbine Park area, the sump pump came as a standard building feature and were usually placed in the Cold Room. These often became Wine Cellars.
Styles of Sump Pumps
These useful but not terribly glam pumps come in 2 styles. A submersible version lives in the well. A second style lives outside the sump on a pipe sticking out. The outside style has the advantage of better protecting the pump.
In both cases the trigger to turn the pump on is a float type of mechanism. When the little float goes higher than the trigger height the pump switches on and empties the sump well.
Why is my Sump Pump Always Running?
There are many reasons for a sump pump going on.
- There might be a lot of water collecting in the sump. This could be because of exceptionally wet weather, poor drainage, a downspout too close to the foundation, a foundation that is below the water table. In other words the sump pump might be doing just what it was intended to do and draining water from below your basement.
- Drained water might be coming right back in. We have seen a case where the sump pump drain pipe was located just beside the foundation and as the water was pumped out, it drained right back in along the foundation to be pumped back out again. Any sump pump drainpipe (and downspout) should be placed so it drains away from the house.
- The trigger for the pump might be stuck in the open position and not triggering anymore. This can happen when debris and silt accumulates.
- The little well, the sump, might be full of sand/silt and not allowing water to collect correctly. The drainage pipe might be full of silt and not allowing good flow so the sump pump has to work overtime to drain through a reduced pipe.
- It might be broken and need replacing.
How is a Sump Pump Maintained
Sump Pump are not prima donnas but they occasionally need to be checked over, cleaned, some need lubrication. The well should be cleared of any accumulated debris and sand.
A defective sump pump gives the wrong impression to a potential buyer. Either there is a water/drainage problem OR the home is not well maintained. A defective sump pump was a factor when a substantial sale fell through. The inspector pointed out the over-active pump and the nervous buyer immediately imagined the worse.
Sump Pump drainage
Sump pump should drain through the drainage sewer NEVER through the sanitary sewer. Eave trough down spouts follow the same rule and should never be connected to the sanitary sewer system. Any open drainage from the sump or rainwater should be directed well away from the house.
Nick Boothby, Maddy Dennett and Greg McDowell
REALTORS® / Salespersons
Christine DeMerchant Unlicenced Support Person
Real Estate Homeward, Brokerage
1858 Queen St. E., Toronto, On, M4L 1H1, Canada
tel: 416-698-2090 fax: 416-693-4284
Maddy's cell: 416-951-5507 Greg's cell: 647-984-3065
emails: Nick Maddy Greg
Disclaimer: Nick Boothby and his team take great care in insuring the accuracy of our facts but some information cannot be verified or changes rapidly. We do not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process discussed or presented. About Us