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Old 02-09-2018, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Sump Pumps and You: A Plumberís Guide



Flooding is one of the worst nightmares a homeowner can experience. As a plumber, you’re in a position to help keep their home and possessions safe from this catastrophic experience. While plenty of safeguards can be put in place to protect against flooding, one of the easiest to install and maintain is the sump pump.

What is a Sump Pump?

Water naturally flows to the lowest point in a home -- usually the basement or crawl space. Sump pumps are mechanical pumps designed to eject water from the home. They’re placed in specially dug sump pits -- gravel-filled holes placed at the home’s lowest point.

The pump is placed in a plastic sleeve allowing water to enter. When the float valve or pressure sensor indicate high water levels, the pump automatically activates, forcing water through a drainage pipe out of the home and to an outdoor spot where it can drain away from the foundation. The water is kept from re-entering the pump via a one-way check valve.

Do My Clients Need a Sump Pump?

The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates some 60 percent of homes suffer from below-ground wetness. Even more homes than that will experience flooding at some point. Homes in low-lying regions, valleys or hills; or those that experience heavy snow melt runoff, all benefit from the installation of a sump pump.

Even still, certain legislation requires sump pumps even in homes that aren’t prone to flooding. Your client may benefit from a sump pump if their basement or crawl space has a musty odor or noticeable dampness. Even if a pump isn’t required by code, installing one can help make a client’s basement a more healthy environment and prolong the lifespan of any appliances or furniture they may have there.

Check with local regulations to see if your area requires sump pumps in homes. Most new-construction homes come equipped, but older homes may need someone to bring them up to standard.

Installing a Sump Pump

If your client doesn’t already have a sump pit, you may need to enlist the help of a local contractor to dig one. The best place for it is the lowest point of the basement or crawl space, at least eight inches from the nearest outside wall and near a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to run the pump. If the nearest outlet doesn’t have a GFCI, you may need to bring an electrician on board to ensure safety.

The liner on the model of pump chosen determines the size of the pit. The pit needs to be at least three inches wider and six inches deeper than the liner for the pump. Fill the pit with six inches of coarse gravel and level it. Place the liner in and fill around it with more gravel. From there, it’s a matter of installing the pump according to manufacturer directions.

Maintaining a Sump Pump

Consider offering yearly sump pump maintenance calls to your clients for a small fee. This will give you a chance to make sure the plumbing is secure and that the pump is still in good working order. Remind your clients that the cost of a service fee is far less than they’d pay for repairs and replacement of their stuff should the pump fail.

Knowing how to troubleshoot and repair problematic sump pumps can open an entirely new market for your business and keep you busy during the late winter and early spring months.

Sump Pumps and You

There are countless numbers of sump pumps on the market today. Becoming familiar with the basics of how they work, how they’re installed and how they’re repaired can keep you working even during slower months while providing a valuable service to your clients. Familiarizing yourself with sump pumps gives you a competitive edge, as many plumbers fail to learn about these vital yet common home plumbing fixtures.

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Old 02-09-2018, 08:59 PM   #2
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Thank you so much for this valuable post. It counts toward C.E. hours?
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:16 PM   #3
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Honestly these articles are not even worth reading. They are basically made for homeowners and does not fit in on a professional site like this one.

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Old 02-09-2018, 11:11 PM   #4
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might be a good read on a my face book page for people who dont know their asses from a hole in the ground....
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Old 02-10-2018, 04:56 AM   #5
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Pump on the supply or return side?

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Old 03-08-2018, 07:30 AM   #6
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Sump pumps are a must for property owners that live in flood zones. With the amount of flooded homes especially due to Harvey most recently, I encourage my clients to consider one. Informative post.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidwillow View Post
Sump pumps are a must for property owners that live in flood zones. With the amount of flooded homes especially due to Harvey most recently, I encourage my clients to consider one. Informative post.
Looks like you are posting advertisement for your company from my point of view. Why don't you read the forum rules and post an intro?
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:20 AM   #8
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I get that it is geared toward the lowest common denominator, and not very informative as to the details of pump installation for the professional, but remember that we are not all seasoned experts here. Although the content was lacking, the take away for me is that it's a timely reminder for something to suggest to increase business at this time of year. It may occur to everyone with lots of experience, but not everyone has that experience yet.

Speaking of lowest common denominator, one of the things that surprises me at getting into the trade is the complete ignorance of plumbing among even many guys who are homeowners. The simplest things that I am almost embarrassed to have to charge for, they can't even comprehend, and don't want to. Job security, I know, but just as a homeowner I taught myself how to do some simple things like replace a toilet valve, or at a minimum at least understand how they work. I'm no rocket surgeon, so if I can do it I have to wonder how some of these guys find their way out of bed in the morning.
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