How to Keep Your Basement from Flooding with This Device

Author: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Last Updated on

While generally spacious and particularly useful for storage, some basements come with a major problem, which is unwanted water. Regardless of your basement flooding prevention efforts, your basement could flood.

There is a way to prevent the excessive type of water invasion that necessitates water damage repair, and it involves installing a sump pump. Once you have a sump pump in place, be sure to take steps to prevent its failure as a broken one would likely cause flooding.

What is a Sump Pump

A sump pump is a small piece of equipment that a handy homeowner, or his or her handy-person, installs in the basement’s lowest level. Often, the unit is installed beneath the basement floor in its own well. This positioning places the pump flush with the floor preventing it from taking up a portion of your basement space.

How Does It Work

A sump pump’s job is to keep your basement dry by preventing flooding. If water begins to enter your basement, it will flow to the sump pump first due to its sunken locale. When the pump’s sensor detects the presence of water, it will begin siphoning the substance out of your basement and into pipes that are directed away from the foundation of your home. In most cases, the sump pump will send the water into a nearby municipal drain or a dry well.

For power, your sump pump installer will likely connect the device to your home’s main power source. Because the unit operates around or within water, make sure that the power connection features a circuit interrupter to avoid electrocution. These units do have a shelf life, and this means that they can fail. If yours does, flooded basement cleanup crews are available to help.

Types of Sump Pumps

Despite the equipment item’s utilitarian nature, manufacturers do make several types. We mentioned submersible pumps earlier, and these are popular units. Also Bob Vila recommends this type. If you choose this kind of sump pump, then the device’s motor will be sealed inside the unit’s basin.

Submersible Sump Pumps

submersible pump prevent flooding

You or your installation team will place a submersible unit lower than your area’s water level. Submersible sump pumps are:
• Quiet
• Safer for children due to their contained motor
• Best for basements that are finished
• Cleaner looking

Pedestal Sump Pumps

prevent flooding pedestal pump

A pedestal sump pump is another popular unit. This type of pump features an exterior mounted motor. In addition, you can modify its water detection element to activate at certain points.

Select this style for smaller spaces. For instance, it is ideal for sump pump wells that measure 10 feet or less. Pedestal sump pumps are:
• Reasonably priced
• Easy to repair
• An available option for spaces that are unable to house submersible units

Failure Causes and Prevention

Sump pumps fail for a variety of reasons. For instance, some break down due to age while others suffer from mechanical failures. Improper installation can cause them to stop working as can frozen lines or pipes.

1. Electrical Power Outages

Sump pumps usually fail due to an electrical power outage. To avoid this failure, consider investing in a backup generator that you can activate manually. When the unit’s power outage is the result of mechanical causes, the generator will be unable to help. In this situation, you will likely need the services of a flooded basement cleanup crew as well as a new sump pump.

2. Improper Installation

Sump pumps fail when they are installed improperly. If you’re contemplating a do-it-yourself sump pump installation project, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly to avoid the need for water damage repair down the road. For step-by-step directions, This Old House offers a descriptive guide for you weekend warrior types.

3. Inaccurate Sizing

Inaccurately sized pumps can also result in device failures. A unit that’s too large will be forced to work harder than it should, and this will diminish its lifespan. Pumps that are too small will be unable to handle the workload, so they’ll suffer the same fate.

Prevent sizing failures by checking the data plate on the pump. If you wind up with an improperly sized sump pump that causes basement flooding, help is available from water damage restoration companies. These professionals have the equipment and training to get rid of excess water in your basement.

4. Pipe Problems

Clogged or frozen discharge lines are another common cause of sump pump failures. Check your pump’s exit point regularly to make sure that it remains free of debris. If you live in an area that becomes cold in the winter, you can prevent freezing by adding a special grated discharge line connector to the unit.

5. Faulty Manufacturing

In rare cases, defective sump pumps leave the manufacturing plant. If you wind up with one, it may take you a few days to discover its betrayal. Fortunately, water damage repair professionals will come to your aid to resolve the issue fast.

Dealing with Sump Pump Failures

If you’ve installed a sump pump to keep your basement dry, keep an eye on the passing years. According to, submersible pumps have a lifespan of 5 to 15 years while pedestals can last for 25 to 30 years. If your sump pump has failed you, you will need to recover from a flooded basement and most likely need help.

help icon

By contacting our flooded basement cleanup professionals here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba, you can feel confident that the water elimination task will be completed quickly and properly.

For more information or to schedule a flooded basement cleanup, give us a call today.