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What is a Sump Pump and How Does It Work?

Posted on: February 13, 2014

Most homes in the Chicagoland area experience some degree of below ground water seepage. Even a small amount of water entering the home can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Excessive moisture can also provide an environment for mold and mildew to grow, causing health concerns.

A sump pump is a small electric pump that is installed in the basement or crawlspace to help keep the lowest area beneath the house dry by preventing water from accumulating. Typically, a sump pump is placed in a sump pump pit designed to allow water to drain below the floor.  As the pit fills with water, the pump automatically turns on, moving the water out of the pit through a drain pipe that exits the home and releases the water away from the foundation. The pipe has a check valve near the pump to keep the water from flowing backwards.

Testing a Sump Pump

Because sump pumps are usually hidden out of sight and work in the background, we often don’t think about them until a problem arises. By checking your sump pump regularly you can ensure that it will be working when you need it most. To test your sump pump slowly pour a bucket of water into the sump pump pit. The pump should turn on a begin removing the water. If it does not turn on, ensure power is reaching the pump. If the pump still doesn’t work, call ABC to have the unit tested.

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