Prevent basement flooding with a sump pump.
Basement flooding is a regular problem in Toronto’s GTA, with the torrential rains that visit the area each year. The City of Toronto recommends a number of measures homeowners can take to reduce your risk of flooding. The City offers homeowners a grant of up to $3,200 for eligible flood prevention measures, including sump pump installation.
How Does a Sump Pump Work?
A sump pump serves a simple purpose: to eliminate water from a hole in the floor known as a sump pit. As part of a sump pit drainage system, the pit is an indentation or hole located on the floor of your basement to collect water.
The water usually gets into the basement in one of several ways:
- From weeping tiles surrounding the area
- Overflow from the groundwater if your basement level is lower than the water table
- Through your perimeter drains during periods of high water, such as rainstorms and flooding
Much of the water that gets into the sump pit contains debris, which helps to block up your drainage system and makes flooding more likely during high water and heavy rains. The installation of a sump pump makes it possible to pump the water and debris out of the sump pit through a discharge pipe that leads to the outside of the building, or from your basement floor if it is below the sewer level. This process not only prevents flooding but helps to reduce dampness in your basement.
Sump Pit and Pump Installation
You need to install a sump pump if you have a basement at risk of flooding, and any of the following applies:
- Your home currently doesn’t have a sump pit drainage system
- Your existing sump pump is faulty, makes noises or no longer works effectively
- The sump pump is connected to the municipal sewer lines
Installing a sump pump involves opening up your basement draining area, digging a sump pit if none exists and fitting the discharge pipe. The system should be located at the lowest point of your basement and at least 8 inches away from an outside wall. The sump pump is installed with a backflow prevention valve to stop water being pumped out from moving back into the basement. It is then connected to an electrical outlet and the pump’s float valve is set.
Your sump pump installation is just the first step towards protecting your basement from flooding. The pump plays an important role in your home’s infrastructure, and without adequate maintenance the pump may fail. Test the pump twice a year in spring and fall, before the heavy rains arrive. The pump should also be removed and cleaned thoroughly on an annual basis, so one of these checks can take place at the time of cleaning. Clean the pump by removing all dead leaves, dirt and other debris, then use your garden hose to fill it with water. The float should rise and activate the pump. If your system refuses to start for any reason, you may need professional help from your local plumber.
Make a battery backup part of your sump pump system. In the event of a power outage, the pump will be unable to operate and leave you with all the damage of a flooded basement. A battery backup will help to keep your basement warm and dry right through the year.
For more information, an inspection of your existing basement drainage system or an estimate for sump pump installation, please contact us.