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Jacques Bouchard

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Do it Yourself Sump Pumps: An Expensive Pain in the Back

So you want to install a sump pump yourself? Fantastic! You’ll be saving a lot of money! At least, for the first month or two! But before you decide to take this route, consider the chore you’re about to take on.

Seymour, CT - September 7, 2012

So you want to install a sump pump yourself? Fantastic! You’ll be saving a lot of money! At least, for the first month or two! But before you decide to take this route, consider the chore you’re about to take on.

Selecting the Best Sump Pump

Before you install your sump pump, you'll need to decide if you want a cast iron sump pump or a plastic one. Balance out whether or not the money saved on a plastic pump is worth the risk of a flooded basement. A variety of sump pumps are available, and whether you decide on a submersible, water-powered, floor sucker, or stand/pedestal sump pump for your basement and which brand name you choose will decide whether or not your basement may flood in the future.

Sump Pump Options

No sump pump is an island. There are numerous options that can make or break the sump pump installation. The size of the sump pump must fit the job- a pump that’s too large or too small (and is overwhelmed) for the work is going to fail to keep the basement dry. When sump pumps are too large, they remove water faster than it fills the sump pit, causing them to turn on and off repeatedly and shortening their life. Additionally, your sump pump pit must be large enough for the pump or it will short cycle, or run continuously, which can also potentially shorten its life. Other sump pump installation questions include the following:
  1. How will I keep my sump pump from clogging on the bottom of the sump pit?
  2. How will I know where the lowest part of the basement is so I can install my pump there?
  3. What will I do if my basement has two low spots?
  4. How will I know if my sump pump fails?
  5. Who do I call for help if my sump pump fails?
  6. How will I know if my sump pump isn’t strong enough to keep up with a heavy storm?

Sump Pump Woes

Unless you find a sump pump product with an airtight, soundproof lid, you’re going to have an ugly, exposed, potentially dangerous, and loud sump pump pit lurking in your basement area. Odors and humidity can freely pass into the home year-round, and the entire house will be less comfortable and energy-efficient.

Beware of sump pump companies that offer warranties that last for too many years. They convince you to choose their product by offering free replacements if the pump fails. Unfortunately, you won’t know when it’s time to cash in on that warranty until the pump fails and the basement floods! When it does, you may be paying straight out of your pocket to clean it up, as many insurance companies will not cover groundwater flooding. Floods are expensive, damaging to your property, and the first stage in basement mold problems.

Your discharge line can also be a problem. Make sure that your sump pump isn't pushing more water into the discharge pipe than it can hold and that your discharge pipe doesn’t freeze in the winter, causing the sump pump to back up. As a final precaution, you’ll need to be sure that you’re not discharging the water straight into the next yard, or you’ll have them to deal with angry neighbors as well!

What will you do if the power goes out? If you plan on using a generator to power your sump pump, you'll need to be there, or the basement will flood. Cheap do-it-yourself batteries aren’t the answer either- they often run down sitting on the basement floor, and their charge is rarely strong enough to pump enough water out to keep the basement from flooding.

Installing a sump pump is back-breaking work! It will take a single person many days to install a sump pump and perimeter drain. And if you don’t have access to a jackhammer, it'll be even more work! You'll have cement and dirt to remove from the basement, dust to deal with, and an exhausting and sometimes frustrating job on your hands. And if you don't have a jackhammer, how do you plan to break through the floor?

To make matters worse, many sump pump installations are done illegally or against building code ordinances. If you're planning on a do-it-yourself sump pump installation, make sure that you check with local building ordinances first. Otherwise, you might find yourself facing fines and legal hassles.

Your Basement Waterproofing Answers

Sump pump installation is, simply put, a professional job. Pumping a basement out is too expensive to take a chance with, and there are too many ways a do-it-yourself sump pump installation could go wrong. Find a basement waterproofing specialist (not a plumber) who has been in business for five years or more to do the job for you. They can offer you a sump pump and perimeter drain installation that will keep your basement dry all the time with a professionally designed top-quality sump pump system. They've spent years, sometimes decades, working to find the best solution for you, and you can count on them to keep it maintained and working properly maintained. Their reputation depends on it!

As the world's largest basement waterproofing company, no one knows sump pumps like us! We've carefully researched over 30 different sump pump models to find the best one for you, and our warranted and patented sump pump systems are designed to effectively handle all the challenges that a sump pump installation present. Our free consultation comes with a free, full-color 90 page book and a no-obligation written estimate! With so much riding on the job being done right, it's nice to know that exploring the options is free!


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