Last Updated on October 11, 2022 by Luke Feldbrugge
A sump pump can be a great addition to any house, but if you’re buying a home, the property you’re interested in may already come with one. Although you may have heard about the negatives of having a sump pump, depending on the type of home you have, they can be an excellent tool in case of flooding. To help you understand the value these devices provide, here are the top 10 things you need to know when buying a home with a sump pump.
1. What Does a Sump Pump Do?
A sump pump is usually installed in the basement of your home and is used to “pump” water out of your house and into another area, such as a storm drain. Often, they’re installed under the floor of your basement, although “pedestal pumps” do sit above your sump basin. Sump pumps are especially beneficial to those who live in areas with frequent flooding or in rainy areas. However, you should look further into what kind of sump pump is installed in your new home and what kind of rainfall your town or city gets before deciding on whether or not you “need” a basement sump pump.
2. Check for Potential Water Damage
When buying a home with a sump pump, you should be sure to check for potential water damage that may have occurred before the installation of the sump pump. Usually, this is the reason a sump pump was installed in the first place. If there’s extreme flooding, a sump pump may not be able to prevent all the water from flooding your basement, so it’s crucial you take proper precautions once you’re all moved in.
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3. Check for Structural Damage
Flooding is a nasty business and large amounts of water can do severe structural damage to your home. Although sump pumps can stop most of the water, holes in the structure of your home can cause leaks and lasting damage. So, even if you have a sump pump installed in your new place, it’s important to keep an eye out for this kind of damage.
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4. Check the Functionality of the Pump
Just because a sump pump is already in your new home doesn’t necessarily mean it works. Make sure to test the sump pump before you sign your buyer’s agreement. You may notice certain parts of the pump not working as they should, in which case you should get it replaced and/or repaired, to avoid any leaks or severe water damage in your new home. Ask your real estate specialist if you can factor that cost into your buyer’s agreement.
5. Sump Pumps are a Great Tool for Your Home
Although some people say that sump pumps aren’t ideal for certain types of homes, they’re a fantastic precautionary tool to have. Trust us when we say, once the next storm hits, you’re going to wish you had a sump pump installed in your basement. No one enjoys waking up to a flooded basement that comes with hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in repairs. Investing in a sump pump can save you a fortune on potential damages. Having a home that already comes with a sump pump is even better as buying one and installing it yourself can run a few hundred dollars.
6. Invest in Battery Backups
During a storm, severe winds and lightning can knock out your power lines. To avoid your sump pump from shutting down, you should invest in a battery backup system. That way, if your electricity goes out, your battery backup can power your sump pump and prevent flooding. Although battery backups for your sump pump may cost a few hundred dollars, they’re well worth the investment.
7. Regularly Test Your Sump Pump
Keep your sump pump functioning properly by periodically testing it to ensure all its parts are still working. You don’t need a storm to check it. If you would like to try testing it yourself, all you need is a five-gallon bucket full of water. Slowly pour the water into your sump pump until it activates and drains the water. Take note of how it operates to make sure everything is working correctly. Your sump pump should turn off promptly once the water falls below the shutoff level.
8. Sump Pump Lines can Freeze
Just like water lines, sump pump lines can freeze if temperatures drop too low. However, this usually only happens if your sump pump lines aren’t buried at the right depth. Before moving in, we suggest contacting the property owner and making sure the sump pump was installed correctly to avoid lines freezing during the winter.
9. The Two Types of Sump Pumps
Believe it or not, there are four main types of sump pumps:
- Submersible Sump Pumps are typically used when they need to be installed near living areas because they are usually much quieter than their counterpart. However, they are more expensive and don’t have as long of a lifespan.
- Pedestal Sump Pumps are cheaper to buy but are much noisier. Submersible pumps are usually installed in the basement of your home and take longer to operate than pedestal sump pumps.
- Battery Back Up Sump Pumps add an extra layer of security in case of power outages. Typically a sump pump is powered by an electrical outlet. The battery back up model comes equipped with a battery that kicks in if the power goes out.
- Combination Sump Pumps basically combines a primary pump with a batter back up pump to give you double the protection. These are for heavy flooding or large areas.
10. Perform Regular Maintenance on Your Sump Pump
Just like any device in your home, you need to maintain sump pumps properly to make them last longer. Submersible sump pumps can last for up to 15 years as long as they’re maintained properly. Pedestal sump pumps can last even longer, up to 25 years, if given regular maintenance.
Regularly maintaining your sump pump includes cleaning it, checking the valve, cleaning the filter, and testing it at least once a year. Also, if you suspect you need new parts, you should have them repaired and/or replaced immediately to ensure your sump pump works appropriately in case of an emergency.
So, if you’re buying a home with a sump pump, you have nothing to fear. They’re handy tools when there’s a flood and only serve as a benefit to your home. Hopefully, you now know what to expect when you buy a house with a sump pump and are better prepare for a new home with a sump pump.
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