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3 Reasons to Hire a Waterproofer (and Not a Plumber) for Sump Pump Repair

Wednesday, May 25th by Kristina McGovern

Diagram of a sump pump

Many homeowners who have a sump pump don’t know they have one until they are dealing with a wet basement or crawl space.

If you have a sump pump, it’s important to know where your sump pump is, how it works, how to maintain it, and who to call to fix it when there’s a problem. Being proactive can help prevent flooding in your basement or crawl space, but who do you call if you’ve found yourself with a sump pump problem?

First, let’s talk about the difference between what plumbers and waterproofing contractors do.

A sump pump is a mechanical device that’s powered by electricity and actively removes water, so when it stops working, it’s easy to see why a homeowner might think that a plumber or electrician is the best person to call for help.

But hiring a plumber or an electrician to repair your sump pump is sort of like having a mechanic listen to your car’s engine rather than performing a complete inspection of your vehicle. Plumbers install and repair water supply lines, waste disposal systems, and plumbing fixtures and appliances. While some plumbers do work with sump pumps, most of them aren’t experts in waterproofing.

A waterproofing contractor specializes in keeping water out of basements and crawl spaces. Many waterproofers both install and repair sump pumps.

Plumbers fix plumbing leaks, not a chronic wet basement or crawl space problem. A plumber can certainly help if a plumbing leak is the cause of the water in your basement or crawl space, but there are a few key points to keep in mind:

1. Plumbers are experts on plumbing fixtures and appliances, not basement waterproofing.

2. Waterproofers install and repair sump pumps and they also perform thorough inspections of the foundation and the area around the home to help prevent future water intrusion.

Why call a waterproofing contractor to fix your sump pump

Here are three main reasons to call a waterproofer when your sump pump isn't running properly:

  1. They can save you time and money. When your sump pump isn’t working like it should or stops working, you’re at a higher risk for water intrusion and moisture problems. This can lead to serious issues like rot and mold. There are many ways that a sump pump can fail. A waterproofer can troubleshoot your sump pump problems quickly to help prevent a wet basement or crawl space.
  2. They can service your entire waterproofing system. Many plumbers solve only simple sump pump problems. If the water problem in your basement or crawl space extends beyond your sump pump, a plumber likely won't be able to help. A waterproofing professional can pinpoint all potential issues with your sump pump, French drain, and any other components of your waterproofing system.
  3. They can help you protect your home against future flooding. Waterproofers are knowledgeable about many different types of sump pumps and how they interact with the rest of your waterproofing system. For example, even the best sump pump won’t work in a power outage. A waterproofing contractor can install a battery-powered backup pump, like Basement Systems' UltraSump System, to protect your basement or crawl space when the power goes out. If you already have a battery backup, you should check that the battery is working and charged.

Tip: Take measures to keep the water out

In addition to a sump pump, consider other methods to waterproof your basement and lower groundwater levels, such as yard-grading, maintaining proper gutters and downspouts, and installing an interior drainage system. Ideally, your sump pump should never need to activate.

If you're not sure if your waterproofing system is up to par, check out our 5 Elements of an Effective Basement Waterproofing System infographic.

If your sump pump is not running properly or needs an upgrade, contact us for a free sump pump evaluation from your local Basement Systems waterproofing contractor.

Updated: October 23, 2019

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