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Sump Pump

Sump Pump in DelawareA sump pump prevents water from building up in your basement or crawl space by pumping excess water out and away from your home. This can save your home from damaging flooding in your home during heavy rain or floods. 

A sump pump helps remove the water that accumulates in the sump basin, where water usually collects in the basement. Some areas are more prone to flooding compared to some. Though other homes are not really prone, water still seeps in and moisture accumulates at the basement. If your space feels musty and damp, chances are you need to install one in order to keep your home healthier and moisture free.

Does My Home Need a Sump Pump?

Deciding if your home needs a sump pump can be the hardest part about getting one. A variety of conditions can require your home to rely on a sump pump to prevent your basement or crawl space from flooding. Those conditions include:

  • High water tables
  • Poorly draining soil
  • Poor foundational drain
  • Heavy rain area
  • Flood Zones

If you find yourself asking, “Does my home need a sump pump?” Give Charles Moon a call. One of our expert technicians will come out to your home and perform a thorough inspection to determine the source of your moisture problem and recommend the best solution for your home.

Some areas in Sussex County are more prone to flooding compared to others. Though some homes may not seem like they will be in danger of flooding, but water may still seep in. When moisture reaches your home, it will accumulate in your basement or crawlspace. This can make the basement or crawlspace feel musty and damp.

Moisture in your crawlspace or basement can lead to serious damage to your home. Mold can begin to grow on the joists of your home, which will compromise the integrity of your home’s structure.

If your basement or crawlspace feels musty and damp, chances are you need to install one in order to keep your home healthy and moisture free. Ask a plumber at Charles Moon Plumbing for a free inspection and quote to determine if your home needs a sump pump. 

How to Check for Moisture in your Basement

Basement Moisture Test

Some areas in Sussex County are more prone to flooding compared to others. Though some homes are not really prone, water may still seep in and moisture will accumulate in the basement. 

If you are looking for a simple DIY moisture test for your basement or crawlspace, you can try a plastic sheet test. Learn more about the plastic sheet test to detect moisture.

If you find signs of moisture, you should contact Charles Moon right away before your home has irreversible water damage that requires pricey repairs. The next step may be to dehumidify your basement to remove all the moisture inside.

Also, check downspouts and gutters if they are in good condition. Water should drain away from your foundation at least 1.8 meters away. If you find something wrong with your downspouts, gutter or water draining in general, repeat the plastic sheet test. If you still find moisture or wetness underneath the plastic, then you definitely need to install one.

How to Choose a Sump Pump

There are different types of sump pump out there. When you are choosing a sump pump, you need to consider the following factors:

Type of Operation

There are generally two types of operation –manual or automatic. Of course, the automatic type is more convenient to use compared to the manual type.


It actually depends on your moisture problem. If you are dealing with lesser moisture, one-quarter of a horsepower is enough. If you are dealing with more moisture, then a sump pump with one-third of a horsepower might be better.

Head Pressure

Choose a sump pump with a higher head pressure especially if your sump pit is deep. A sump pump can raise water equal to its head pressure. However, you must note that bends in pipes can lessen the head pressure to about 10 percent.


Most of those units for residential use is on 110 volts, so there is less to worry about when it comes to the voltage. However, if you need a sump pump for industrial use, a 220-volt unit is recommended.

Length of Cord

The power cord should be long enough for you to plug a pump directly into the outlet. Never plug a sump pump into an extension cord.

Backup system and Alarm Notification

Sump pumps are equipped with alarms and backup systems. Make sure to choose one that fits your personal needs as well as your budget.

Maintaining Your Sump Pump

A sump pump prevents water from building up in your basement or crawl space by pumping excess water out and away from your home. This can save your home from damaging flooding in your home during heavy rain or floods.

Generally, sump pumps are not high maintenance. They do require some regular service.

Quarterly Maintenance for Sump Pump

Since sump pumps often sit unused for weeks or months at a time waiting for the next disastrous storm to hit, you might want to do some regular maintenance on it to ensure that it is ready when you need it.

Some maintenance you can do yourself every 3 to 4 months:

  • Clean the pump inlet screen
  • Ensure the power cord is connected to the power
  • Test to see if the pump turns on by dumping a bucket of water in to raise the float

Check the Power Cord

Always check the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. This is where your sump pump is plugged. In the case that the GFCI trips, your sump pump will lose power. Reset the GFCI if needed. Also, check the power cords for breaks. Repair or replace damaged cords if needed.

Check the Equipment

sump pumpEnsure that the equipment is standing upright. The float arm (which is needed to activate the pump) should be free from any restrictions. Constant vibration can cause it to tilt on one side or fall entirely.

Test the Pump

For those who own an automatic sump pump, check if it powers on automatically. Pour a bucket of water into the pit. If it is working fine, it will switch on and start draining the water inside the pit. In case it does not power on, call a sump pump technician to help repair your unit.

Clean the Grate

Clean the sump pump’s grate regularly. Tiny stones, pebbles, and debris can block the grate and prevent the unit from effectively sucking the water and draining it. To do this, lift the pump up from the pit to access the grate. It is important that you clean the grate periodically because the blockage can eventually cause damage to the inlet. Similarly, the vent hole in the discharge pipe must also be cleared. A clean vent hole hastens water drainage.

Check the Drainage

Finally, make sure that the water drains at least 6 meters away from the house’s or building’s foundation.

Annual Maintenance for Sump Pump

  • Remove and clean the sump pump
  • Inspect the pump for damage
  • Check if it needs grease or oil added. (Check the Owner’s Manual or the internet for help.)
  • Also…
    • Clean the pump inlet screen
    • Check the power cord
    • Test the pump with a bucket of water

Once a year, you should call a professional to clean and service your sump pump. This may require removing the unit entirely and cleaning it thoroughly, inspecting for damage, and adding grease or oil. 

Before & After a Storm

You should also consider getting your sump pump serviced after a big storm, especially if you believe there may be damage to the pump. Regular maintenance can ensure that your home avoids pricey water damage.

Sump pumps are mostly run by electricity. Fortunately, many backup options can be used. For instance, there are sump pumps with built-in backup battery power available. A deep cycle boat or car battery is often used. The system charges the battery while it is on so the latter remains fully charged in case of a power outage.

If your unit does not have a built-in battery, a generator can help power your sump pump. However, not that it can consume a large amount of power when starting and would usually need between 100 and 800 watts of power to operate. Make sure that you choose the right size generator for your needs.

Water-powered sump pumps are also good as backups. They do not need electricity to pump out water and they are more appropriate for short duration operations only. If you want a cheaper option, a hand-operated bilge pump is a good idea to always keep one at hand for power outages.

Ensure to have your sump pump serviced before a hurricane or storm

Get expert plumbing help

Schedule Your Sump Pump Service

If you think it might be time to get your sump pump serviced, choose Charles Moon plumbing for fast service done right the first time. Our technician will look for signs of moisture in your basement, clean and maintain your pump, and check for signs of damage.

Regular maintenance is important to maintain the warranty on your pump and to ensure that your home is protected from flooding, moisture, and other preventable plumbing damage. 

Call Charles Moon for more information or to schedule an appointment for sump pump maintenance in your home. 


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