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Is A Sump Pit A Necessity in Your Basement?

April 15, 2021

Sump pits play a critical role in keeping your basement dry, as they hold excess water before its removed by the sump pump. Unfortunately, many homeowners hesitate to install them simply because of misconceptions surrounding sump pits. This article speaks to the common misconceptions about sump pits and their functionality within your home.  

sump pump installed

What Is a Sump Pit?  

Otherwise known as a sump basin, a sump pit is a hole with a gravel base located at the lowest part of the basement or crawl space. It collects excess water before it can cause any damage to your home.  

The groundwater levels can get so high that water leaks into your home after a heavy storm. Moisture-related issues in the basement can also stem from dysfunctional gutters or water pooling around the foundation.  

When the water level in the sump pit gets to a certain level, the sump pump automatically comes on and starts pumping out the excess water via a discharge line. The water is directed to a designated drainage area such as a dry well, neighborhood drain, a creek, or pond.  

Aside from collecting excess water, sump pits help minimize radon gas. When soil gases make their way into your home, the sump pit stops them before they cause any problems.  

Debunking Common Sump Pit Misconceptions  

Let’s debunk some of the myths that discourage homeowners from installing sump pits.  

Sump Pits Take Up a Lot of Room  

Regardless of how big your basement is, space is always at a premium. Some homeowners worry that sump pit systems take up more room than they have to offer. This is simply not true.  

Sump pump systems are quite compact. They are located under the basement floor, and depending on the type of sump pump you use, they may not take up any space.  

Submersible sump pumps sit underwater in the sump pit. Pedestal sump pumps consist of a hose that feeds into the sump pit and a standalone motor that sits above the basement floor. It takes up more room than submersible sump pumps.  

Sump Pit Systems are Complicated  

This misconception stems from the fact that many homeowners don’t understand how sump pump systems work, although they are quite simple. Sump pump systems consist of two primary components: the sump pump and the sump pit. There is also a discharge line, which directs water away from your house.  

The sump pit serves as a catch-all for excess water. When the water is high enough in the pit, it triggers the sump pump to pump it out to a designated drainage area. In doing so, sump pits prevent a variety of moisture-related issues.  

You Don’t Need a Sump Pit With Your Sump Pump  

Heavy storms and moderate rains are common in the United States. This increases the risk of flooding in homes with a basement. One of the best ways to protect your home is to install a sump pit.  

And while you can get professional help with emptying the pit, you can get more out of it when paired with a sump pump. It is safer, more reliable, and more convenient. You can get your sump pit and sump pump specially fitted by a professional, who will ensure it’s working effectively.  

Sump Pits Have a Tendency to Fail  

One of the leading reasons homeowners hesitate to install sump pits is the fear they will fail. However, this is very rare. Failure may occur due to:  

  • Electricity outages  
  • Improper installation  
  • Wrong sump pit size  
  • Frozen or clogged discharge lines  
  • Lack of maintenance   
  • Product defect  
  • Switch defect  

Most of these issues are easily avoidable with proper maintenance. In the case of power outages, investing in a backup generator can help. You should also enlist the help of a professional to ensure the pit is of the right size and the installation is flawless.  

Need Sump Pit Help?  

At Groundworks, we understand leaky basements, what causes them, and the devastating effects they can have on your property. Find experts near you that offer a wide range of basement waterproofing solutions, including sump pump systems.