Water accumulation in a Denver, CO basement or crawl space can be disastrous for a home. Many homeowners use a sump pump to maintain a dry basement. However, it can be alarming to a homeowner when their sump pump is dry. This piece will cover the benefits of a sump pump, common reasons the pump is dry, and some helpful tips.

Understanding Sump Pumps

A sump pump is a device with the primary function of collecting water that has accumulated in a sump basin and moving it away from the home. This water pumping ensures that your basement and foundation stay dry. The pump is typically activated by a floating switch that triggers when the water has risen to a certain level. There are several benefits to using a sump pump to keep your basement dry:

Basement Flooding Prevention

Sump pumps are critical to preventing basement flooding. Flooding can cause damage to any belongings that you may be storing down there. Flooding can also ruin any appliances, like laundry machines, that are in the basement. Flooding can also cause structural damage to your home.

Mold and Mildew Prevention

Wet environments are the perfect environment for harmful mold and mildew to grow. Mold and mildew can cause health issues as well as damage to your property.

Foundation Protection

Your foundation is essential to the structural integrity of your home. If excess water accumulates in your basement, it can lead to cracks in the foundation. These cracks can lead to further structural damage, depending on their severity.

Preserves Property Value

Any damage to your property can severely lower your property’s value. Repairing this damage can come at a significant cost. This preservation is critical for anyone who may want to sell their home or refinance their mortgage in the future.

Dry Sump Pump Causes

A dry pump doesn’t necessarily indicate that there is an issue to be alarmed about. Certain factors can affect why a sump pump is dry, such as:

Seasonal Variations

A simple explanation for why a sump pump is dry is that there hasn’t been any water accumulation in your basement due to a lack of rainfall. Droughts or dry seasons can cause the groundwater level in your area to drop. If no water needs to be pumped out, the sump pit will remain dry. These dry periods, even in areas that are normally prone to rainfall, are a normal occurrence. Once there is more precipitation or snowmelt, your pump will begin working again.

Efficient Drainage System

Another reason that your sump pump is dry can be due to optimal drainage around your property. If you have recently made any changes to your drainage system or had any clogs removed, the added efficiency can greatly reduce the need for pumping. This drainage efficiency can leave your pump dry.

Grading Improvements

The ground around the outside of your home should have a slope away from your foundation. If the slope is towards your home, this will cause water to pool and make your pump work harder. If you have improved the grading around your home, water will be properly diverted away, leaving your pump dry.

Soil Composition and Absorption

The type of soil that you have around your home can also affect the amount of water reaching your sump pump. More sandy soils tend to have higher natural drainage capabilities. These soil types can absorb a significant amount of water in a short amount of time, preventing water accumulation inside your sump basin. Other types of soil, like ones with a higher clay content, can lead to your sump pit activating more frequently.

Basement Waterproofing

If your home has excellent waterproofing in the basement, this helps reduce water intrusion. An improvement in your basement waterproofing may have reduced the amount of water in your basement, leaving your sump pump dry. This dryness is a good sign that your waterproofing effort is effective.

Incorrect Installation or Malfunctioning Unit

If your sump pump is dry, it can indicate that the unit is malfunctioning. It can also indicate that it wasn’t properly installed. There are many reasons that your sump pump is having a problem, like a stuck float switch, an electrical issue, and more. It’s also possible that your pump is the incorrect size for your home and pumping requirements.

Sump Pump Maintenance Tips

Don’t wait until you have an issue with your sump pump before giving it the attention it needs. Several things can be done to keep your pump working well. This maintenance can also help you notice when there is an issue before it causes a bigger problem. Here are some maintenance tips for your sump pump:

Routine Inspections and Testing

Inspecting your sump pump regularly is essential. Check the system to see if it is operating correctly. Look for any signs of damage to the system or the wearing of components.

If your sump pump is dry but you want to test it to see if it is functioning properly, you can do a test. Pour some water into the pit. This should trigger the pump’s float switch. Once the switch is triggered, you should notice that the pump is working as intended.

Clean the Basin

You should regularly clean the basin of your sump pump system. Without periodic cleaning, it can become clogged and be less effective. Remove any dirt, debris, or other sediment that has accumulated inside the basin. While significant debris accumulation can cause a clog, even a little debris can reduce your pump’s efficiency.

Backup Power

You may want to consider installing a backup power source. This can be a backup generator for your home, backup power for essential equipment, or backup power for just your pump. Severe weather conditions are more likely to cause flooding. If these severe weather conditions also knock out power in your neighborhood, a backup power source can keep your pump running and your basement dry.

Professional Maintenance

One of the best things that you can do for your sump pump is to schedule regular professional maintenance for your system. A plumber can perform a more comprehensive inspection of your system. They can catch any potential problems before they happen. Lastly, they can perform additional maintenance tasks to improve system efficiency.

Plumbing Leak Inspection

Have your home’s plumbing system inspected for possible leaks. While leaks anywhere in the home are bad news, fixtures and pipes in the basement that leak can cause additional water accumulation. Any leaks found need to be promptly repaired by a plumber.

Window Well Cover Installation

Some basements have windows where water can seep into the basement. If your basement has windows, consider installing window well covers. These covers can help divert water away from your home.

Do you live in Denver or the surrounding area and need help with your sump pump? Summit Heating, A/C, Plumbing & Electrical offers extensive plumbing services, including installation, maintenance, and repairs. In addition to plumbing, we also offer various HVAC and electrical services. If you need help with your plumbing or you’d like more information about one of our other services, contact Summit Heating, A/C, Plumbing & Electrical today!

company icon