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Is a Sump Pit Really A Necessity?

It's advisable that if you live in an area that experiences torrential rains or heavy snow, that you install a sump pit.

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Unlike sump pumps, sump pits don’t receive a lot of attention until flooding strikes, or a disaster happens. That’s when homeowners in Baltimore, MD value the importance of installing sump pits and having functional sump pumps in their basement.

Whether you have witnessed an active sump pump or not, they could mean all the difference between a dry basement and a water-damaged one. Here, we are going to explain what sump pits are and debunk some misconceptions about them.

crawl space sump pump

What is a sump pit?

A sump pit is a basin that’s roughly two feet in diameter and at least two-and-a-half feet deep with holes on either side. This reservoir is located below the basement floor and holds the pump body and intake. Its top edge where the lid rests is slightly lower than the floor’s level. This provides an efficient collection area in case a water pipe breaks, a water tank leaks, or other water problems arise.

During installation, a hole is cut on the concrete floor, which also may involve jackhammering the floor. The concrete edges of the sump pit are usually sealed then smoothed with pre-mixed mortar to form a permanent seal. Some sump pits are fitted with a grill or grating to allow people to walk over them.

The sump pump is then installed over it and ejects any water that enters the basin far from your foundation. The pump itself has a float switch. When the water enters the basin and rises, the switch rises with it and eventually trips a switch that turns on the pump. As soon as the water levels drop, this float also drops and the pump shuts off.

Without a sump pit, the sump pump won’t do its job effectively.

Common Sump Pit Misconceptions

Here, we are going to debunk some of the myths and misconceptions that prevent homeowners from installing sump pits in their basements.

Sump Pits Take Up Precious Space.

Most sump pump systems including the Safedri™, which we install, are compact. 

Submersible pumps sit wholly in the sump pit, while pedestal pumps have a hose that feeds into the sump pit and a standalone motor. Since they go below the floor level, you will still have space above ground.

Sump Pits Are Problematic.

Almost any fixture that’s installed in your basement can fail. There could be an occasional power outage or a clogged discharge line or a defective switch. But these problems are avoidable through maintenance. Investing in a battery backup also ensures your pump never stops whenever there’s a bad storm.

Sump Pit Systems Are Complicated.

Another common misconception is that sump pits are complex. The truth is their design is simple. A pit is basically a two-foot-deep hole with a pump over it. Anytime water gets in and rises to a certain level, the pump’s switch triggers the motor, which starts moving water out.

A Sump Pump Isn’t A Necessity.

For your pump to work, it must be activated by the floating switch. This switch sits in the sump basin. Without the pit, your pump won’t work.

You can make the most out of the sump pit by pairing it with a sump pump. For the best outcome, let a professional handle the sump pit installation and the sump pump installation. They will ensure your pump fits accordingly and your pit is set properly.

Can I Do Without A Sump Pit?

Not exactly, especially in rainy weather when the potential of basement flood and water damage is high. You need the sump pit and the sump pump. Both are vital waterproofing solutions that work to move out floodwaters, whether from rainfall or burst pipes, to create a safe, dry basement. The bottom line is that the sump pit enables the sump pump to do its job effectively.

For all your sump pump installation or maintenance, contact the basement waterproofing experts at JES Foundation Repair. We’ll provide you with a free basement waterproofing inspection and quote and recommend a reliable sump pump system that will protect your basement from devastating floods. Our sump pump systems are long-lasting and backed by their manufacturer’s warranty.

JES Service Area Map

Service Areas

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

2410 Southland Dr
Chester, VA 23831

HAMPTON ROADS & NE NC

2569 Quality Ct
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

BALTIMORE

1250 Reames Rd
Middle River, MD 21220

NORTHERN VA & DC

8122 Bethlehem Rd
Manassas, VA 20109

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA/ROANOKE

2033 Cook Dr.
Salem, VA 24153

WESTERN VIRGINIA

456 Old Courthouse Rd
Appomattox, VA 24522