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Know Your Sump Pump: The Basics

sump pump

Check out this brand new sump pump! Ain’t she a beaut? Get to know her a little better in this week’s blog.

Hey homeowners — how much do you know about your sump pump? If the answer is “not a whole lot,” “pretty much nothing,” or “what’s a sump pump?” then you’ve come to the right place. As your friendly neighborhood water damage specialists, we wanted to take the time to educate you about some sump pump basics to prevent your home safe and dry. Let’s learn a little sumpthing about sump pumps. (We couldn’t resist the wordplay.)

Sump Pump 101: What is a Sump Pump?

Don’t worry, you’ll catch up with the rest of the class quickly. Here’s a crash course. Your sump pump is that machine that sits in a gravel-floored, 2-foot-wide pit (the sump pit) in the lowest point of your basement. As the ground around your home becomes heavily saturated with water, your home’s foundation will direct the excess water toward that pit, where the sump pump will then activate. It works similarly to how your toilet knows to stop running when the little floaty device (sorry for the technical terms) tells the flow mechanism that the tank is full. When the water level in the pit reaches a certain point, the floaty device (technical terms again) or a pressure sensor lifts the activator arm, which tells the pump to start churning water up and out through a discharge pipe. This is how water is whisked away from your home’s foundation in the case of overly saturated earth, like in the case of a spring flood. With all this rain last week and the forecast for more this week, you can see why we wanted to bring your sump pump to your attention.

Sump Pump 102: Going a Bit Deeper

The typical sump pump uses a fan-like mechanism called an impeller to move water through the centrifugal pump. As the impeller spins, water is pushed to the pipe, water from the pit flows in to fill the new empty space, rinse and repeat.

This mechanism is powered by electricity, which might sound dangerous when dealing with water. Well, you’re right. Sump designs take waterproofing into account, but it’s a good idea to have a ground fault circuit interrupter on the outlet into which the pump is plugged, to prevent any electrocution accidents.

We’ll be back in following weeks with a little more insight into sump pumps. You could say we’re pretty…pumped about it. (The wordplay is just too easy.)

Water Damage? Call ServiceMaster of Baltimore Today!

When water damage strikes, it is important to act fast. Turn off the source of the water, call a plumber to fix the underlying issue, take pictures and contact your insurance company, and call ServiceMaster of Baltimore. We are ready to help with certified licensed restoration technicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Click Here to request an estimate today!

Call 866-780 1700 for Emergency Restoration!

Hopefully you have found our blog, “Know Your Sump Pump: The Basics,” informative and helpful. Continue to check back weekly for more helpful tips.


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Unfortunately disasters happen, and often times we are ill prepared. Rest assured that ServiceMaster of Baltimore is available 24/7/365 to provide certified, licensed restoration professionals onsite within hours of your initial call. No job is too big or too small. ServiceMaster of Baltimore has expertise and knowledge of the most innovative solutions in the industry. Our IICRC accredited field managers are specialists in water mitigation, fire restoration and clean-up, mold abatement and pack-out services. We are Marylands most trusted name in cleaning and restoration services because our team will do everything possible to reduce your loss and preserve your property.
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