The job of your sump pump is to prevent flooding in the basement of your home. Most basements have what's called a sump pit designed to be a collection point for water that seeps in. Under normal situations, a sump pump removes this water accumulation from your basement without incident.
It is widely believed that the invention of the sump pump was first used in the north east of the United States - New England or the Great Lakes area - used to eliminate the problem of basement flooding. Modern sump pumps are usually included in new homes built including a basement. And by adding this type of flood prevention equipment to older homes, homeowners can often see their insurance rates lowered significantly.
Sump pumps come in two basic types. The submersible type and the pedestal type. The pedestal type pump is designed with the motor located above the sump pit for maintenance accessibility. It is more visible, which could be an issue if your basement is decorated.
The submersible sump pump is just that - completely submersed in the sump pit. The insides are completely sealed off to prevent electrical problems, but it's a little hard to gain access to in the event of a failure - with standing water.
Required in every sump pump is a check valve - a one way water valve. It allows water to flow from the pump and through the drainage pipes, while preventing the water from siphoning back into the basement. A cover is also recommended to keep small critters like children from plugging the pipes as they flow through.
Only normal 120v household power is required in most installations. Unfortunately, under emergency conditions, normal household power is not available. A battery backup power system consists of a regular automobile battery, and a power generator does quite well in this situation too.
A regular maintenance schedule of for or five years is recommended to keep your basement sump pump in dependable condition for years. Sand and dirt should be removed from the sump pit. Otherwise The life of components like the check valve could be unduly shortened, allowing water to flow into your basement.
To clean the sump pump, always unplug the system first, and scoop sediments from the pit. You can also use a wet/dry shop vac for this part of the job. Finally, test the system by reconnecting any pipes removed, fill the pit with some water and make sure everything works as expected.
Dave Marx wrote Sump Pumps your basement for http://www.Pump-and-Filter.com - a free resource for all your residential or industrial pumps and filters.