Fitting or Fixing a Sump Pump is More Than Connecting a Few Pipes!

Last-minute sandbagging of doorways is not a real defence.

Extreme rainfall and catastrophic flooding events are increasing in frequency every year. Home and business owners are starting to realise they now need to install a sump pump as a permanent drainage solution to repeated water ingress. Unfortunately, some owners are cutting corners which can inevitably lead to disastrous consequences.

Of the 260,000 properties in the South East of England at ‘significant’ or moderate risk of flooding after heavy rainfall, more than 84,000 properties are in north or south London, according to the Environment Agency. Many are located by tributaries of the River Thames, such as the Lee, Brent and Ravensbourne.

Specialist training and experience

Correctly installing one or more right-size basement pumps with the necessary battery back-up requires specialist waterproofing training and experience. It is simply not a job for a plumber or electrician. Installing a sump pump is more than connecting a few pipes. A sump pump is basically a mechanical device powered by electricity to actively remove water (via an impeller), so it’s understandable that a homeowner would naturally think that a plumber or electrician is the best person to carry out an installation or even fix a faulty pump.

Before an installation proceeds, a full site audit will be necessary to determine key factors, including:

  • Precise location of the sump pit.
  • Inspection of the foundations and the area around the premises to help prevent future water ingress.
  • Sizing the pit relative to pump dimensions.
  • interaction of the sump with basement humidity / drainage system.
  • Correctly sealing against dirt and debris over the long-term.

Neglect results in an unpleasant odour

Professional sump pump companies will also offer regular servicing and maintenance as a complete and essential safeguard. Some of the more common problems include, an incorrectly installed pump, power loss, clogged or jammed equipment such as the float switch, or a blocked discharge pipe.

In far too many cases in the past, a sump pump was “fitted and forgotten” about until it fails to work when crucially needed. Without a regular maintenance check, the owner will be unaware that the pump will not automatically function. Some owners may not even know where their pump is exactly located.

Neglect also has consequences for the sump pit itself, especially if the sump pump lid is missing or dislodged, and has allowed dirt, mud and debris to collect in the pit. Conditions can deteriorate over time leading to higher humidity levels in the basement, resulting in unpleasant odours and an unhealthy environment.

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