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Why a Sump Pump Installation Should Not Be Done By a Homeowner

Feb 1, 2012 • By Matthew Stock.

When a homeowner walks into their basement and discovers WATER EVERYWHERE, one of the first thoughts that come to mind is that the sump pump failed.  They automatically assume that either the power went out or the pump was on its last leg.

Let’s assume for now there was no power failure (you would need a back up sump pump for that).  And let’s also assume the sump pump is relatively new (most good ones last 5 to 10 years plus).  What else could it be?

Here’s a little secret – it could have been that sump pump from the hardware store.  Yep, the one that came with a lifetime warranty!  What makes me say that?  Let’s just say I’ve seen this story unfold more than a few times over the thousands of homes I’ve evaluated. 

Most sump pumps you find at home improvement centers are not built to last. 

To make matters worse, if it was bought at the Big Box store, it was probably installed by an inexperienced handyman or the previous homeowner.  Sump pump installations are best left for the pros to handle. 

Professional plumbers and waterproofers routinely perform sump pump installations.  They prefer high performance cast iron pumps for longevity and reliability.  These industrial grade pumps are not often found at retail outlets. 

The savvier homeowner can choose to obtain a higher quality pump from a plumbing supply distributor, but can he install it as efficiently as an experienced professional?  You may not want to take the Pepsi Challenge on this one!  Failure to properly install the pump can lead to a flooded basement just as easily as the wrong pump.

 “But the store clerk said the one I bought came with a Lifetime Warranty”. Yes it did.  How is that warranty working for you now?  What the store clerk should have told you is that, “sure, if you save your receipt, and do proper maintenance, we will replace the sump when it fails you during the next storm.”  In the meantime, you are paying thousands of dollars to remove wet carpet and damaged drywall / paneling. Your irreplaceable keepsakes are ruined.  And now you have to be concerned with the dreaded M word - MOLD.

So, what is the best sump pump to install?  It depends. That is why you need a professional to come out and evaluate your unique situation.  A professional will use factors such as size of the sump pit, pumping capacity requirements and a proper location for discharge of the water.  A basement waterproofing company (like yours truly!) can take that one step further.  We can provide you with water management advice to ensure your basement doesn’t leak in the first place - all from the comfort of your own home. 

The sump pump is the heart and soul of your basement waterproofing system.  Save your gas money, and don’t drive to the store.  Contact U.S. Waterproofing for a free evaluation of your sump pump needs - before it’s too late.

Tags: diy sump pump, backup sump systems, sump pumps, battery backup sump pumps, sump pump installation, diy basement waterproofing

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