How Sump Pumps Keep Water Out of Our Buildings and Homes
Whether water is getting into our basements or basins beneath our buildings through the perimeter drains of a waterproofing system, funneling into elevator shafts during a massive downpour, or seeping in because the basement is beneath the water table, one thing is for certain, we need to get that water out. Many people don’t spend too much time thinking about the silent but effective sump pumps, installed in most below ground basins and rooms, pumping water out as it begins to seep in and protecting the valuable homes and businesses above. Sump pumps, while fairly simple in design, come in different varieties and builds.
Types of Sump Pumps
Simplex System – One Sump Pump
Based on your water intake, there are two systems of pumps. The first type of pump, is the simplex system (one pump). Here you have a float switch that is connected to what is called a piggyback plug which is plugged into the wall for power. The pump plug is then plugged into the piggyback switch. The float switch is triggered when water gets high enough to push the switch to the on position, thus turning on the pump and pushing water out. The piggyback system allows the users to manually trigger the pump by unplugging the pump out of the piggyback switch and plugging the pump directly into the outlet if necessary.
Duplex System – Two Sump Pumps
Duplex systems are systems with two pumps in the basin or sump pit. The float switch is activated the same way as in the simplex system (when water gets high enough to trigger it and turn on the pump). However, in this system there is a control panel which has an alternating relay that turns on the first pump when the water is high enough to activate the pump, which pumps the water down to a lower level. When the water level rises again to the point of turning on the pump, the alternating relay turns on the second pump as water comes into the pit, thus alternating the two pumps back and forth, reducing wear and tear on a single pump. In this system there is also a third float switch, which activates both pumps if enough water comes in to necessitate two pumps eliminating water. Finally, there is a fourth switch which, if triggered (either by a massive amount of water such as in a flood situation, or if one or both of the pumps fail to come on for some reason) sounds an alarm alerting the users that the system is overwhelmed.
How Sump Pumps Are Utilized
Sump pumps sit in a small sump pit where water collects beneath a residential or commercial building. The pumps are used where basement flooding happens regularly and to solve damp- ness where the water table is above the foundation of a home or business. They are also used in situations where the building is on a steep, slanted road, on construction sites, beneath fountains or kitchens, and in elevator shafts.
Sump pumps come in a wide range of sizes. From 1/3 horsepower pumps that can pump 20- gallons a minute (common in commercial buildings) to 7-10 (or more) horsepower pumps that will push several hundred to over 1000-gallons per minute to remove water. Wherever there is groundwater seeping into a building (also called waste water, not to be confused with sewage) sump pumps are utilized to remove the water. At Nico, we work with our clients to supply the right sized pump and pump system for the job.