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If you’ve ever wondered how a sump pump works then this will be for you. Also, when you call for sump pump repair you may want a clue as to what is supposed to happen to give the technician a better idea of where to start with his services. Being in Chattanooga, TN where it rains about 110 days per year and is close to the ocean knowing how sump pumps work and keeping them in good working order ensures that you don’t have water back up into your home.
Where the Sump Is Located
First, it’s important to note that a sump pump will be in the lowest portion of your home. If you have a basement or a crawl space it will be down there. If you call for sump pump repair be prepared to escort the technician that shows up down to the unit to get them started quickly. It will generally be installed over a sump pit that will be dug under the lowest level of the rest of the unit. It will also be important to know what kind of sump pump you have in your home. If you live in a modular home that is on a slab or live in a mobile home you likely won’t have a sump pump. Also if you have a home that is older, as inbuilt before the 1980s when they were mandated even in areas that aren’t prone to flooding, it is likely that you won’t have a sump pump unless it was added in more recently during a remodel.
The Types of Pumps
Another question that is generally asked when you call for sump pump repair is what kind of sump pump you have. There are two general “types”, a submersible and a pedestal pump. A submersible will have the entire unit underneath the water level in your sump pit that you may not see while a pedestal pump will be more visible to you as you have a portion of the unit under the water at the bottom of the pump with the motor above the pit line.
While the requirements for sump pumps in homes are fairly recent, the need for repairs, or in reality flood mitigation in basements, is something people have been dealing with for centuries. The first sump pump was invented in 1946 by a United States Navy electrician named Karl Neidermeyer. He founded Trusty Warns, Incorporated and they are still around to this day.
Mr. Neidermeyer learned how to make the units while working in his dad’s motor shop using his navy experience on dry docks pumping water out of ships to get them out of the water. He then realized that you could remove excess groundwater from buildings. However, if there was a power failure your sump pump may fail and require you to call for sump pump repair. A battery backup system or a secondary sump pump that runs on the battery if electric service is interrupted was then added.
Units over time have become both more effective and efficient. They were resized to fit multiple applications and usage needs and new technology was added to create a wide range of units to fit the needs of almost every home. Within 40 years sump pumps went from relative obscurity to mandated across the country. They have likely saved billions of property damage and have allowed people to use their basements as more than just a damp spider-infested storage area that gets wet regularly. Now you can use your basement as a whole new floor of living space, increasing your family’s footprint.
How They Work
As previously noted a sump pump sits over or in a covered sump pit. This is a hole in your basement or crawlspace that is about two feet deep and one and a half feet wide with gravel at the bottom. This pit will fill with groundwater from around your house as it gains moisture from outside sources, like a rainstorm, snow melting, or a hurricane or tropical storm that may hit the Chattanooga, TN area. Most people have to call for sump pump repair when the amount of water coming into the pit is too much for the unit to handle or the unit fails.
As that water level rises a sensor will determine when to push the water out. If you have a pedestal there will be a float in the pit much like a toilet that will activate the pump, in a submersible, it will detect depth by a pressure sensor. At this point, an impeller unit inside the unit will begin to spin and draw water into the sump pump and work to feed it through the unit and get it out of your house. This is the part of the process that usually fails, causing you to call for sump pump repair.
Now, where does your sump pump discharge the water? If you’re hooked into a city system it is likely that your water will discharge into a storm sewer outside of your house. If you are on a septic system there will be a discharge pipe down your property to a location that pushes the excess water away from your property. If the location, whether a storm sewer or discharge pipe, backs up or fails then you could have the unfortunate issue of the water coming back or overtaxing your current unit, causing you to call for sump pump repair.
If you ever run into issues with water coming into your basement or crawlspace from a large pit down there it may be time to call for sump pump repair and the experts at Metro Plumbing, Heating & Air of Chattanooga, TN are ready for you. No matter how big or how small the locally operated and knowledgeable staff at Metro Plumbing, Heating & Air are there for your every need from simple drain cleaning to complete plumbing renovations, including sump pump repair.