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Crew in crawl space installing sump pump

Is a Residential Crawl Space Sump Pump Really Necessary?

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Crew in crawl space installing sump pump

When you have lived peacefully in your Indianapolis, IN, and flooding starts threatening your crawl space, a sump pump can be your only hope against the destructive floodwaters. Your local waterproofing and crawl space expert can install it in the lowest part of the crawl space. It will turn on automatically and start draining the water until it reaches the shut-off level.

If you have been toying with the idea of buying and installing a sump pump to help waterproof your crawl space, this article will enlighten you on why you need to get it and what considerations you should make before you invest in one.

Should I Get a Sump Pump?

It depends on your situation. We advise you to get one if flooding is more of a threat than just a seasonal issue. However, flooding isn’t the only threat to your crawl space. A leaky pipe or a burst pipe can release water and inundate this space as well. Without a sump pump, water will keep rising and damage the crawl space.

If moisture is a threat but flooding isn’t, chances are moisture will build up and condensation will follow. In this case, buying a dehumidifier makes more sense. Not only will it reduce the moisture levels, but it will also avert moisture-related problems such as dampness, mold, and wood rot.

Still not sure? Talk to your local waterproofing and crawl space expert. They’ll evaluate your crawl space and home and tell you whether a crawl space sump pump is a necessary addition or not.

How a Sump Pump Will Help You

Your plumbing, electrical, and ductwork systems typically run through the crawl space. Plus, there are beams and joists that support the home above. All these ought to be protected from moisture and floodwaters. Installing a sump pump ensures water doesn’t rise high enough and soak them. So, they’ll stay dry and function normally.

Safety is another concern. Floodwater doesn’t just cause wood rot, which weakens the underlying structures, but it also poses the risk of electrocution. Someone could get seriously hurt if exposed electrical wires come into contact with floodwater.

Lastly, installing a sump pump shows your insurer that you have taken the necessary steps to protect your home from flooding. They might waive your premiums and process your compensation claims faster than someone who hasn’t taken any steps to protect their home.

Sump Pump Considerations

When considering a residential pump, keep the following things in mind:

  • Sump pump size: It’s important to size your pump appropriately. Most sump pumps come in ½ and ⅓ horsepower (HP). It’s not sensible to buy a larger pump when you’re moving a small volume of water. The pump will cycle on and off, and this will reduce its lifespan.
  • Sump pump power: Follow the maker’s recommendations for proper power. Typical pumps have a 20-amp GFCI protected circuit. Check and ensure you adhere to local and state regulations on electrical code.
  • Sump pump drainpipe: Your pump will likely have a 1 ½-inch diameter PVC drainpipe. Running this type won’t be difficult. If it’s smaller than this, your pump won’t get water out fast enough.
  • Float and switch design: Most pumps come with float-type switches that actuate the motor when water gets to a certain level. We recommend you buy a sump pump with a column-type float, as they won’t malfunction easily.
  • Motor housing: Avoid sump pumps with cheap plastic motor housings. They don’t respond properly to heat. If you run them for long, they can create tolerance which might burn the motor’s bearings. The best option is a sump with cast iron casing.
  • Clogging proof: When the pump is running, silt and debris can collect on the impeller parts, and this might slow down the pump. To prevent clogging, buy a pump with a plastic sump liner and a cover. Make sure the impeller doesn’t allow silt or debris to get in.
  • Backup pump: The best advice we can give you is to have an extra sump pump handy. It could mean the difference between a flooded crawl space and a dry one during severe floods. Plus, typical sump pumps won’t function during power outages. But you can rest assured your crawl space will be protected by a properly functioning backup pump.

Flooding happens from time to time, so it’s a good idea to install a sump pump in case you experience a heavy downpour and water inundates your home. This device will prevent the two or so feet of water from turning your home into a waterpark. Get in touch with Indiana Foundation Service for a free crawl space inspection and quote and find out whether you’re a good candidate for sump pump installation.

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