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What Are Sump Pumps?

The humble sump pump is an integral part of your home’s plumbing, essential to ensuring you don’t experience the woes of basement flooding. In order to understand its role, it’s important to know a little bit about basement flooding:


Water can accumulate quickly on your lawn during certain weather events. In Winnipeg, this usually occurs during the springtime. Snow can melt rapidly before the ground has had a chance to thaw. The ground can’t absorb the water, and coupled with rainfall, this can create conditions where water accumulates near the foundation of your building, prompting a basement flood.


This happens so commonly in Winnipeg, in fact, that there are safeguards built into homes in order to protect them. First, there are weeping tiles around the foundations of most buildings. While we no longer use actual tiles (more often than not it’s a porous, corrugated pipe), they serve the same purpose – diverting the water to a low space in your basement known as a sump pit.


The sump pit’s sole purpose is to collect water in order to protect your basement from flooding. In places like Winnipeg, where there’s often too much water to be held by the pit alone, you’ll install a sump pump in order to divert the water from the pit.


There are two different types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. The submersible versions are placed in the pit itself, making them less visually conspicuous but harder to service and more prone to wear. Pedestal pumps, as you can imagine, have the opposite traits. 


Either way, their function is the same – they get water out of the pit. Things aren’t quite so simple, however, when you consider where that water has to go. Back in the day, people used to allow their sump pumps to drain water into the city’s sewer system. This quickly overwhelmed the sewer systems and is generally regarded as having been a very bad idea. As such, it’s against Winnipeg’s by-laws to do so. You’ll have to set up your sump pump’s drainage so that it drains onto your lawn – not your neighbours’ lawns, and definitely not the city streets. 


There are a number of different features you can get with a sump pump. Some have alarms to let you know when basement flooding is imminent. Some have backup battery-powered pumps that turn on if the first one fails. You can find pumps that have different strengths, different cord lengths, and more. What you’ll buy will depend entirely on your exact needs.

Looking for sump pump repair in Winnipeg , replacement, or installation? You’re reading the right blog post. Get in touch with us. We’ve been doing plumbing in Winnipeg for decades, so we definitely know our way around sump pumps.

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