Buying a quality sump pump to help get and keep your basement dry is a smart investment. It will remove unwanted water due to leaks and poor drainage, not to mention providing protection against water flooding which is not pretty and very costly. The following questions will help you decide the scope of your needs and if you may want to do it yourself or hire a professional. Whichever you decide you ll need to identify the source of water entry first in order to get to a workable solution. Check all possible water entry possibilities windows, cracks on the wall, cracks on the floor, corners, wall joints, foundation footings and make appropriate patches to block out the water. Your local hardware should be able to help you with the materials needed and pointers to get the job done. Also check outside to see if water is collecting near the foundation. Gutters should be clear of debris and able to transport water at least three feet from the house. If the water is not running away from the house, the solution could be as simple as building up the ground near the foundation and letting gravity do the work. This may not solve your problem entirely but will certainly point you in the right direction. Let take a look at where the sump pump will be located. Having an existing sump pit will save you from having to dig a new one. If you don t have a sump pit you ll need to establish one at the lowest point where water gathers in your basement. The standard pit size is 24 deep by 18 wide and at least 12 from the wall. This size pit should be able to accommodate most submersible sump pumps. If you have a small sump pit then a pedestal pump will be your answer. Pedestal pumps are just as efficient just a little nosier because the motor sits perched about the sump bit. This question will help you decide on the size sump pump you ll need. Most home owners can get away with a 1 4 or 1 3 hp sump pump. This is pretty much the standard sizes. However, in areas where flooding is a high risk issue, a higher hp pump would serve your needs. The normal ranges for these pumps are 1 2 to 3 4 hp. Here is another tip, if you sump pump is constantly running it dictates water is not being discharged at an acceptable rate. Having a battery-run, back-up pump will ensure that you always have a working pump, should you primary pump quits working due to a power outage. Most are equipped with alarm capabilities, so you know when the primary pump has failed and your back-up has kicked on. You may decide that a battery backup for your primary pump will make sense if you experience power outages on frequent basis. If you live in a high risk flood area you may want to invest in a generator as well. It s always best to check with your local insurance agent. Make sure you are covered in the event you unfortunately experience a flooding disaster. Installing a sump pump is pretty straight up. Read the manufacturer s directions and decide if you think this is a DIY project. Besides digging a sump pit if necessary the assembling is basic. You ll need to measure for the correct pipe length, purchase the PVC pipes, elbow joints and connect them from the sump pump to the area you want the water to end. The trick here is to measure accurately and pre-assemble before cluing joints securely. The discharge pipe should be at least three feet from the foundation. A must have item here is a ground fault circuit interrupter GFC for your protection.
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