What is a Sump Pump And Why Do I Need One In My Home?


by Charles McShan




Hello and Happy Spring to one and all. My name is Charles McShan with Century 21 Universal. We have made it thru another winter; this blog post is entitled “What is a sump pump and why does my home need one? Please look at the photo above for those who do not know what a sump pump is. A few months ago, I was in a house with a basement flood and found out that the flood could have been avoided if his sump pump had been working. He called it deferred maintenance, but it turned out to be a financial nightmare. He lost almost everything in the basement. So I decided to write a blog post on sump pumps. When I was younger, April and May bought many showers. Today, the Chicagoland area is like a drought area, but it can produce flooding showers when it does rain. Unfortunately, this past winter of 2022 did not bring us much heavy snow accumulations on the ground. However, when heavy snowfall does occur, and it begins to melt, the water will work its way to local rivers and flow southward. The Desplaines river, for example, starts as a small branch in the state of Wisconsin; by the time it reaches the state of Illinois, it has grown in size and strength.

The additional water has often overflowed its banks and caused massive damage to homes close to the river. Add to that are the springtime rains; while not as severe as in other parts of the country, sewers will stop up, and water will back up into many residential homes in all the counties of the Chicagoland area. Another way water can enter your homes is if your rain gutters become clogged up with debris with leaves. These leaf obstructions will cause the rainwater to fall to your home’s foundation instead of being directed away. If rainwater gets inside your basement, the job of your sump pump is to pump the water out of your basement and keep your basement dry. That is the purpose of a sump pump.  So let’s briefly discuss sump pumps and then close with several real estate topics. The following questions below are for you homeowners without a sump pump.

1: What is a sump pump, and how do they perform their tasks?

A sump pump is a device installed inside the basement or a crawl place of a home at its lowest point. There are two types of sump pumps, the first being submersible pumps, which spend their entire life span underwater. The second type is called a pedestal pump which stays above ground with only the water inlet filter submerged. Submersible pumps are very quiet, but by being underwater, their life span is short Both designs use tubes to push water away. Sump pumps can come in all sizes and shapes, but their primary functions are the same.

For example, snow and rain can saturate the ground with standing water in Chicago. This water now will seep up from the ground and find its way into your basement. When water or moisture enters your basement, it will flow into the pit where your sump pump is located. The majority of sump pumps have spinning impellers. A submerged sump pump will push the water directly into the drainage plumbing. A pedestal pump impellers will create suction that will pull water out of the pit and into the plumbing. Even though a submersible pump’s life span is short it will do a more robust job because it will push the water out instead of pulling it.

As the water level rises inside the pit the pump there floats attached inside. These floats have switches that tell them when to turn on and off. There are three types of controls on the market.  They are.

1:A tethered float switch

2: A vertical float switch

3: A pressure switch

Either way, the float will activate the pump, and the pump will direct the water into a tubing pipe and out of your home to a suitable drainage location and not back into your home or your neighbor’s property.

Keeping water out of your home is very important because water moisture can damage your home. You need to control the growth of mold and mildew as low as possible. If allowed, the grow mold and mildew can bring about serious health problems, and no one wants to buy a home with mold on the walls. Even with a sump pump, too much water can overwhelm the pump. The primary pumps will sound an alarm, but the more advanced models can alert you via phone.

Do not take your sump pump for granted. You should check your sump regularly to make sure it is working correctly. Unfortunately, many homeowners found out that their sump pumps were not working, and water flooded their basements, destroying everything.

2: How to make sure your sump pump is working?  

A: Make sure the sump pump is standing upright inside the pit

B; The pump should turn on automatically when it comes into contact with water. You can test it by pouring water from a bucket into the hole, and if it comes on, good. If not, then please get in touch with a licensed plumber.

C: If the sump pump is working correctly, the water inside your home will be pumped out thru the discharge pipe, so inspect the discharge pipe for any blockages and keep leaves and rocks away from the tube.

D: Your pump needs an electrical current to operate, so check your pump’s electrical cord for fraying. And make sure your pump is connected to a grounded outlet with its circuit breaker. If the pump fails to turn on, reset your breaker. Many homeowners have their sump pumps connected to a backup power supply. Finally, make sure all electrical connections are in working condition.

3: Can I install a sump pump on my own?

I will say hire an expert licensed plumber. Why? Sump pumps are very complex and have to be correctly installed. If you play it cheap and install it wrong, you will be asking for trouble down the road. The aftermath could be extensive damage to the floors, the walls, the furniture, the furnace, and everything else located in the basement. Also, will your insurance company cover the costs of the repairs if they discover that you did not hire a professional installer?

4: What is the life span of a sump pump?

My answer is to consult that expert and have your sump pump inspected annually by a licensed plumber, usually before winter. How much do new sump pumps cost? The pump needs to fit your home’s dimensions, so no size fits all. Depending on where you live, the price varies for the initial installation. It could be as low as $2.500 and as high as $6.000. This price covers everything pipes, drainage, pumps, and other items. But if the pumps fail in the future, all you need to do is replace the pump and nothing else, and that price could be $500.00  and upwards. Please read this follow-up article to learn more about how sump pumps work.>>click here

Here are some additional questions regarding sump pumps.

5: Should my sump pump be free of water?

Answer: Experts say it is normal for water inside the sump pump pit because of rain, snow, or seepage from the ground. If the water level is always too high it could mean that the water table where the pump is installed is too high. Or water from a broken sewer line or something else is causing the ground around your home to be saturated with water and seeping into your home.

6: My sump pump pit never has water in it. Is that ok?

Answer. That is a tricky question to answer. To have no water is a good thing because you are not experiencing any sort of seepage, but that could also be a bad thing because your pump’s plastic components need to be submerged inside of water, and if they are not, the plastic and rubber parts will wear out prematurely. Talk with your licensed plumber about that issue.

7:Will having a sump installed in my home increase my home’s value?

Answer That debate is an ongoing issue. Some homebuyers will never own a home with a sump pump, while other homeowners will not buy a home if it is not included. Where do you stand on that issue?

What happens when rainfall does not flow into the sewers?

I hope you found that information beneficial because rain or snow showers can cause flooding issues in the Chicagoland area. It does not rain as much here as it does in the South or Eastern part of the country, but it can come down hard and steady when it does rain. For example, we had a steady downpour of heavy rain on Tuesday, May the 3rd, 2022. I imagined many homes’ sump pumps were busy that day. Some homeowners’ basements were damaged. I was out in that severe rainfall, and I noticed something that I would like to share with you.

I saw a lot of water pooling or standing still on lawns, sidewalks, and driveways as I drove around. That water was supposed to drain away into the sewers, but the water was collected and rose towards the home. Those homeowners have drainage problems. That is something a future home buyer should be made aware of, but how can they if they do not know about it, and how will you know about it unless you are outside that property when it is raining. So it is crucial when you see a home that you are interested in visually inspect the exterior to ensure that rainwater will drain away from the house. That is just food for thought.

  Certain Chicago suburbs were once known for their flooding issues. Years ago, the Cook County government invested in the deep tunnel project, which has solved many of those problems. But you, the homeowner, must look out for yourself.  Please consider a sump pump if you genuinely value your home as your number one investment. Properly installed rain gutters will divert water away from your home, and if by chance water still finds its way into your home, your sump pump will prevent significant home damage. So if your home has a suitable sump, please keep it in working order. 

Local News!

 As of this writing, the Chicago Cubs and White Sox openers are into their second month. The Chicago Bulls lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first-round playoffs. We still have variants coming upon the scene regarding the coronavirus, but all face mask restrictions have been done away with. Employment signs are everywhere. Chicago’s weather is typical, warm one day and cold the next. Unlike last year at this time, people are outside in record numbers. Here are some local Chicago events occurring in May .>>click here.

If you love going to theatres, check out this playlist for May >>click here.


Real Estate News for Renters and Homebuyers!

 As predicted by the experts, the cost of living in the Chicagoland area is rising. As a result, apartment rental prices are higher, and affordable rental units are dwindling. You will need a 650 or higher credit score to qualify for most rental units. The truth of the matter is local governments need to produce more revenue. Gasoline and diesel fuel prices are through the roof. So property tax increases are coming. You know the deal. The politicians will not raise the taxes during an election year, but those taxes will go up once the election is over. And the landlords will pass those increases down to the tenants. So if you are renting a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment in the Chicagoland area, it is only a matter of time before your rental payment will match a mortgage payment. Check out what this expert has to say on that subject. Click here

Because of rising prices, new home construction is slowing down once again. Housing inventory on existing homes is still at an all-time low, and home purchases are growing. Due to inflation. When will this low inventory of homes end? Opinions vary on that subject, but here is an article that addresses that subject in detail. Please click this button click here.

Yes, these are challenging times for homebuyers. You are looking for a home in a specific location with a special price, and most of your wants and needs within that home. Unfortunately, there is low inventory, and if you find that one house, here comes the bidding wars. So to become a homeowner in today’s market, you must stick to your game plan. I post many articles on my Facebook business page that will help you purchase that home of your dream. That Facebook contact information is below.

Tips for selling your homes in less than desirable areas!

Last but not least are the homeowners selling their properties. If priced right, most homes are not staying on the market long. But all neighborhoods, cities, and towns are not the same. Here are some excellent real estate tips for a person thinking of selling their home in a community with declining home values or the area is not as safe as it once was. To get the maximum price for your home, fix the plaster cracks and the water-stained walls, replace filthy carpet and eliminate persistent odors. Fix the leaking faucets, broken windows, screens, and floor slats. Paint the basement floors and walls. If your sump pump is not working, fix it or install a new one. Check the condition of all your steps and fix those broken doorknobs. Do not give a person a reason not to choose your home. and pick the house down the street.

Here is a touchy subject, but it has happened more than it should. Nothing looks worse than roaches, mice, and rats running thru your home when it is on display. So if you know beforehand that there is a pest problem and you should know that because you live there, then contact a professional and take care of it before you put your home on the market. The same rule applies if you have a termite problem. Take care of it right away.

  You cannot do anything about your neighbor’s exterior property, but you can maximize your home’s value. First, hire a professional landscaper to do the front and back lawn. Then, spruce up that garage’s exterior and driveway. Next, fix that broken fence and put a fresh coating of paint on your home if you can afford it. The key is to make your home the best on the block if the block is not looking that good. That will achieve two purposes.

1:It will make your home look welcoming, it will stand out, and someone will want to buy it regardless of the neighborhood.

2:By making these improvements, your home’s appraisal will be much better.

Here are two articles about landscaping from two different viewpoints. You pick the one that will work for your particular home.  At first glance article, it would appear that this article is for the rich and the famous with huge yards, but if you read it carefully and apply specific tips to your normal-sized front and back yards, you will find value in fixing and organizing the small things and leave the other stuff alone like planting trees. click here

The second article gives more practical advice for homeowners with average or neglected yards. click here

.If you are thinking of selling your home once again, I have many articles on that subject on my Facebook business page; my contact information is below.  7300 N.Western ave is the location of my office. We have over 75 Brokers of all ages and nationalities working together. Some people say that Real State Agents are a thing of the past in this day and age. I’m afraid I have to disagree. All you have to do is come to my office or any other real estate office and see the brokers working hard for their clients.  And I am not saying that because this is my job, but the facts bear out that point;  I wrote a blog post on that subject back in 2020. It is still relevant today. If you wish to read it, please click here


  I want to thank you for reading this article.  As I wrote in the beginning, I have seen homes that survived past floods with little danger because of a working sump pump, and I have seen homes that flooded out due to the sump pump malfunctioned or no sump pump installed. So keep your sump pump in working order, your rain gutters free of leaves and debris, and keep your home’s foundation caulked, and you will be alright. I also covered various real estate topics that I hope were of value to you. Soon, I will be launching my newsletter entitled.” Chicagoland Realtor” any day now, so please subscribe. Until the next time, take care and be safe.



                                                                   Charles McShan

                                                                Cell:  312 9143678

                                                                Email: [email protected]

                                                                Website  https://www.charlesmcshanchicagolandrealtor.com

                                                              Facebook  http://www.Facebook.com/charlesmcshanrealtor/

                                                               Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/cmac2121/





Here is the latest home selling guide for Spring 2022 >>click here 

Here is the newest homebuyer’s guide for spring 2022>>click here

Search Categories

Related Posts