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Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

Sump Pumps

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

Q:

My wife and I have used you in the past to inspect at least four homes before we decided on the one we finally purchased. I have a few questions regarding the sump pump. Our pump has two electrical cables and they both converge into one at the plug-in point. Why is this?

I was looking into the sump pump recently and while the water level is not high compared to the basement floor level, it is higher than the float and even higher than the top of the pump. Is this correct? In the three years we have been living here I have never heard the pump come on. Any help, insight or direction would be helpful.

A:

One cord is for the atmospheric switch, which works by water pressure. You can verify if the pump works by removing both cords from the outlet and put the cord that went into the first cord into the receptacle. The pump should come one, if not, it is defective.

Another way to verify if the pump and switch are properly working is to pour a pail of water into the sump. That being said, you still should have an alternate energy back-up sump pump. If your power goes out, or the pump fails due to a mechanical problem, your basement could flood.

Alternate power pumps are either battery powered or work using water pressure. The water-assisted pumps connect to your house’s plumbing system and work using a venturi system. For every gallon of water they use, they remove an additional gallon of water. Water back-up pumps will only be effective if you have city water. If your house is on a well, and if the power goes out, you not only don’t have electricity, but also do not have water.

Quality alternate energy pumps should be installed by a licensed plumber and expect to pay close to $1000.00 (ouch!). While that may sound expensive, imagine what could be ruined when the basement floods.

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