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Is A Sump Pit Necessary in Your Basement?

Sump pits play a critical role in keeping your basement dry because they they collect water that will eventually be removed by the sump pump.

Unfortunately, many homeowners hesitate to install sump pump pits because of misconceptions surrounding them. This article debunks common misconceptions about sump pits and explains why they can actually become a valuable part of your home.


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What Is a Sump Pit?

Also known as a sump basin, a sump pit is a hole with a gravel base located at the lowest part of the basement or crawl space. Keeping water away from your basement is at the heart of a sump pump pit’s design.

After a heavy rain or snow, groundwater levels increase and make it possible for water to leak into your home and cause water damage. Water issues in the basement can also stem from dysfunctional gutters, a high water table, or water pooling around the foundation.

When the water level in the sump pit gets to a certain level, the sump pump automatically starts pumping out the excess water via a discharge line. The water is then directed to a designated drainage area such as a dry well, neighborhood drain, creek, or pond.

Aside from collecting excess water, sump pump pits help minimize radon gas. When soil gases make their way into your home, the sump pit stops them before they cause any problems.

Debunking Common Sump Pit Misconceptions

Let’s debunk some of the myths that discourage homeowners from installing sump pits.

Sump Pits Take Up a Lot of Room

Regardless of how big your basement is, space is always at a premium. Some homeowners worry that sump pumps take up more room than they have to offer. This is simply not true.

Sump pump systems are quite compact. They are located in the basement floor, and depending on the sump pump model you use, it can take up a minimal amount of space. You can see an example of how much space a sump pump takes up in a basement below.

Sump Pit Systems are Complicated

This misconception stems from the fact that many homeowners don’t understand how sump pump systems work, although they are quite simple. Sump pump systems consist of two primary components: the sump pump and the sump basin/pit. There is also a discharge pipe, which directs water away from your house.

The sump pit serves as a catch-all for excess water. When the water is high enough in the pit, it triggers the sump pump to turn on, and move water into the discharge pipe, and toward a designated drainage area. In doing so, sump pumps prevent a variety of moisture-related issues.

You Don’t Need a Sump Pit With Your Sump Pump

Heavy storms and moderate rains are common in many areas across the United States. This increases the risk of flooding in homes with a basement or crawl space. Installing a sump pit is a useful way to protect against this, but becomes especially valuable when paired with a working sump pump.

While you can empty the pit manually, having a system that also includes a sump pump is always better for the homeowner. It is safer, more reliable, and more convenient. You can get your sump pit and sump pump specially fitted by a professional to ensure they’re working effectively together.

Sump Pits Have a Tendency to Fail

One of the leading reasons homeowners hesitate to install sump pits is the fear they will fail. However, this is very rare. Failure can possibly occur due to:

  • Electricity outages
  • Improper installation
  • Wrong sump pit size
  • Frozen or clogged discharge lines
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Product defect
  • Switch defect

However, most of these issues are easily avoidable with proper maintenance. In the case of power outages, investing in a backup generator can help. Some sump pumps even come with backup battery power in case of a power outage. You can see a sump pump with a backup battery on top of it in this image:

Enlisting the help of a professional helps to ensure any potential issues are mitigated before installation. Not to mention, you can generally find warrantied sump pumps when you work with a trusted team of waterproofing specialists for even more protection.

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3 Major Benefits of Installing a Sump Pump Pit

Installing a sump pump is a great way to keep your crawl space or basement protected from standing water. In fact, this solution generally serves as the first line of defense against water damage.

Let’s go over a few of the benefits that can be gained with sump pumps:

1. Protects Home Value

One of the major reasons installing this type of drainage system is so important is because it protects the value of your home. Without a sump basin, your home could face a lot of structural damage which ultimately lowers its value. Having one makes the space safer and cleaner – making your home more attractive to potential buyers if you choose to sell.

2. Keeps the Home Healthy

Without the pump, your basement or crawl space could be overrun by mold, wood rot, and pests. That brings us to another major benefit – keeping your home healthy.

If mold, wood rot, or pests appear under your home, they can cause structural damage and make your home’s interior a bit uncomfortable. Plus, mold and pests can release harmful particles into the air.

Sometimes, these particles can cause allergies, sickness, or sore throats for anyone inside your home. Sump pumps provide some defense against these issues and keep your loved ones safe.

3. Stops Flooding

Water that gets into your basement or crawl space usually comes from underground. In basements, this can actually cause the floor to crack and leak – causing both structural damage and flooding under your home.

If flooding occurs in your crawl space, it can damage support posts and lead to sagging floors in your home. Sump pumps are a huge factor in preventing below-home flooding, and that makes them a valuable tool for any homeowner.

Need Sump Pit Help?

At Groundworks, we understand leaky basements, what causes them, and the devastating effects they can have on your property. Find experts near you that offer a wide range of basement waterproofing solutions, including sump pump systems.

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