Waterproofing & water intrusion prevention systems – How a sump pump works…

As home and property owners, we know you have plenty to deal with…
And understanding all the elements of a company’s waterproofing services
Probably isn’t at the top of your list…

However… No matter how busy you are, it’s still important to understand the basics of how the various systems installed in your home or building actually work.

You do want to understand how those systems are helping you protect your investment… don’t you?

For example – if you were thinking about installing a French drain system, in addition to choosing the right contractor to do the work, it would be important to…
  •  Understand how a French drain system works
  •  Be prepared for the scope of work, construction, and disruption involved to install one
  •  Know what maintenance you’ll be responsible for between planned contractor service visits.

Consider a sump pump…TermiGuard-Services-and-Fenwick-waterproofing-in-s

There may be instances where adding a sump pit and a sump pump may be all you need to control minor or seasonal water from getting into your basement or crawl space.

How the heck does a sump pump work, anyway?

Depending on the unique characteristics of your basement or crawl space, and the water table levels in your area, you’ll typically install your sump pump below the concrete floor or soil line.

You’ll install the basin in a sump pit or crock and surround it with clean gravel to let groundwater flow freely into it.

As water flows into the sump, the sump pump turns on. If you connect a perimeter, or French drain to the pit, the water from it will also flow into the basin. The sump pump then pumps the water up through the discharge pipe, to the outside of your home or building and away from the foundation.

Typically the discharge pipe will have a check valve (a one-way valve) located above the pump that keeps the water from flowing back into the pit.

There are two kinds of sump pumps, a pedestal sump pump (we don’t recommend these), and a submersible sump pump (we do recommend these)

Giving credit – TermiGuard Services and Fenwick recommend and use Zoeller® Submersible Sump Pumps. Manufactured in cast iron, they’re time-tested, reliable workhorses.


A sealed and waterproof submersible sump pump typically sits on a pump stand at the bottom of the basin, and includes a filter on the water intake valve to keep dirt and debris from getting inside.

A sump pump uses a float activator to turn it on/off. Think of it somewhat like the float inside the water tank on your toilet. Because the ball floats on the water, when you flush the toilet, the ball drops, opening the water valve to refill the tank.

It’s kinda the reverse with a sump pump in that as the sump pit fills, the water moves the float activator arm upwards – signaling the sump pump to turn on and start pumping water out of the sump pit.

While a submersible sump pump doesn’t require specialized wiring – and you can plug it into a standard household outlet – to prevent possible failure, you should always use a dedicated circuit.

You might want to consider adding a 12-hour battery back-up option to your sump pump set-up – especially if you lose power every now and then during our stormy season.

For better perspective, have a look at the sump pump diagram below…

So, what do you think? Easy as 1, 2, 3… right?

The sump pit fills with water, the sump pump turns on and pumps the water out – and you, my friend, have just added a critical waterproofing component to your basement or crawl space.

A final thought – You’ll need to maintain your sump pump system with regular checks (inspections) to make sure everything is working as it should – or you can choose to have a professional like TermiGuard Services & Fenwick take care of it for you.

By giving your sump pump set-up regular preventive maintenance attention, it’ll give you long and reliable service… but even with that attention, as with anything mechanical – it will eventually wear out and you’ll need to replace it.



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About the Author Jessica Allen

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