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Everything You Need to Know About Sump Pumps

If you live in an area like Mansfield, Ohio with a high water table or are prone to flooding, a sump pump is an essential component of your home's plumbing system. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about sump pumps, including why they're important, how to know if you need one, maintenance tips, and common defects that home inspectors look for.

Why Sump Pumps Are Important

A sump pump helps protect your home from water damage by removing excess water that accumulates in your basement or crawl space. If left unchecked, water can seep into your home's foundation and cause serious structural damage. In addition to protecting your home, a sump pump can also help prevent mold growth and other moisture-related problems.

How to Know if You Need a Sump Pump

If you live in an area with a high water table or experience regular flooding or heavy rain, you may need a sump pump. Other signs that you may need a sump pump include:

  • Wet spots or water stains on your basement walls or floors

  • Musty odors in your basement or crawl space

  • Rust on your appliances or other metal items in your basement or crawl space

  • Cracks in your basement walls or foundation

Types of Sump Pumps

There are two main types of sump pumps: pedestal and submersible. Pedestal sump pumps have a motor that sits above the water line, while submersible sump pumps are designed to be submerged in water. Here are some pros and cons of each type:

Pedestal Sump Pumps

  • Pros:

    • Easier to service and repair

    • Generally less expensive than submersible pumps

  • Cons:

    • Louder than submersible pumps

    • Take up more space in your basement

Submersible Sump Pumps

  • Pros:

    • Quieter than pedestal pumps

    • Can handle a larger volume of water

  • Cons:

    • More expensive than pedestal pumps

    • Harder to service and repair

Sump Pump Maintenance Tips

To ensure that your sump pump is working properly when you need it, it's important to perform regular maintenance. Here are some tips:

  • Test your sump pump regularly by pouring water into the sump pit until the pump turns on.

  • Clean the pump inlet screen to prevent debris from clogging the pump.

  • Check the discharge line to make sure it's not clogged or frozen.

  • Replace the battery backup every two to three years to ensure it's working properly.

Common Defects to Look for

When inspecting a sump pump, there are some common defects to watch out for. These include:

  • Lack of a check valve or an improperly installed check valve

  • A discharge line that is too small or improperly sloped

  • An inadequate or non-functioning battery backup system


In conclusion, sump pumps are an important component of any home with a basement or crawl space in areas with high groundwater levels or frequent heavy rains. They provide protection against costly water damage and basement flooding. Homeowners can determine if they need a sump pump by evaluating their risk of water damage, and regular maintenance can help ensure proper functioning. Home inspectors are trained to check sump pumps for common defects, and it is recommended that homeowners have their sump pump inspected regularly to ensure it is in good working condition. By understanding the importance of sump pumps and how to properly maintain them, homeowners can have peace of mind and protection against water damage.


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