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Changes in the world’s climate are producing much heavier rains in many regions, including here in the Chattanooga, TN area. When the water table rises during heavy rains, it’s up to your sump pump to keep your basement dry. In the past, sump pumps didn’t operate very often and a damp basement was only an inconvenience, but things have changed. Many homeowners are using their basement space for stay-at-home activities such as home theaters and home offices, or remodeling for extra living space. Even minor dampness can be a major hassle when you have so much invested in improvements and you’re spending more time in the space. Our Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air sump pump services can help you plan a comprehensive basement solution.
Basic Sump Pump Services: Checking Your Pump’s Status and Maintaining It
Every home needs a regular sump pump inspection, preferably before heavy rains start to fall. Our sump pump services include testing the pump’s function and capacity, inspecting it for pipe and electrical connection damage, and inspecting the sump for debris. It’s important to also ensure that the pump’s electrical connection is reliable, and that the circuit is not shared with other high-current devices that, when the sump pump is operating, might combine to trip the circuit breaker and lead to flooding in the basement.
Adding a Second Pump if Needed
A second sump pump provides increased volume and speed of water removal. If heavy rains are raising the water table quickly, this could make the difference between a dry basement and a nerve wracking close call, or actual flooding. Having our services install a second pump also provides a backup, where either pump can handle average rainfall and water table rising on its own if needed. Then, if a pump fails or is jammed, or simply gets unplugged, no harm is done. A second pump also can help reduce pressure on the concrete slab, evenly removing the water beneath it rather than only from one side.
Installing Pumps in Existing Concrete Slabs
Our sump pump services team can add a sump pump to your basement if you don’t currently have one, or add a second pump at a strategic location for greater protection and capacity. The process includes cutting through the concrete to create a sump, preparing the sump space, providing electrical power and related equipment such as battery backup, and installing the desired pump. The pump outlet is then connected and passed through a hole in the basement wall, and piping routed away from your foundation to a desirable location where the discharge water can be safely delivered. If you have an unfinished basement and are considering investing in a finished space, we recommend that you plan and implement your sump pump strategy before any upgrades are performed to the space.
Hidden Sump Pumps for Finished Basements
When you’re designing a finished basement space, it’s possible to provide some space behind the wall in which the pump is located, so that is obscured from view. Keeping the sump isolated from the room also limits the ability of rolling objects such as balls and toys to fall into the sump, and block the pump or become soiled. A simple access door will allow maintenance and upgrades as needed.
Types of Pumps
Our sump pump services offer two common types of pumps: one is a standard pedestal pump that activates as a float pushes a control rod up, throwing the switch that starts the pump. When the water level lowers, the float does as well, and the switch is turned off. These are good for basic duty, but our service personnel also provide submersible pumps that include a motor that’s not exposed to the water, and an independent, wired float switch that senses the water level by rising with it and activating at a predetermined level. These pumps are better designed to survive and function in serious water level encroachment.
Pump Repairs, Upgrades, and Replacement
In some cases, a simple motor or switch replacement can restore pump functionality, but our sump pump services team recommends that homeowners consider the cost of a pump replacement as a good investment towards a clean and dry basement. When the entire pump is replaced, there’s less worry about future component failures such as impellers, bearings, and pedestal switch slides. When a pump needs replacement, it might also be a good time to consider upgrading to a submersible pump or a higher-capacity unit.
Discharge Pipe Routing
If your pump rarely runs, you may not even remember where the discharge outlet leads. In some cases, yard work may have led to the removal of the external hose, and the outlet may terminate just outside your basement wall, making the pump somewhat ineffective as water simply soaks in and returns to be pumped out again. Our sump pump services technicians can design and install a proper discharge hose or pipe that carries discharged water away from your foundation and to an area where it won’t cause erosion or affect your landscaping.
Battery Backup for Essential Sump Pumps
If your high water table is due to heavy rains, chances are those rains came as part of a major storm and, if lightning is involved, you could lose power. Our sump pump services team recommends battery backup for critical sump pump applications to ensure that the pump can keep running until power is restored. This equipment will also provide power in case problems arise in your home electrical supply such as a circuit overload or power company failure.
Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air Provides Forward-Looking Home Solutions
From sump pump services to HVAC upgrades, maintenance, and repair, count on us to use our knowledge and skills to help you plan for a comfortable future. Give us a call with your questions and let us help you update your home for the future. Serving the Chattanooga, TN area, we’re at 423-250-3502.