It’s that time of the year when rain is heavier than usual and more frequent. As the ground absorbs water, that water can make its way into your basement or crawl space. Even slab foundations are susceptible to moisture damage. For homeowners with basements or a higher crawl space, a sump pump — or two — is a good way to help rid that area of excess water pooling on the concrete. A sump pump won’t prevent water from coming in, but it can help get water out.

What Is a Sump Pump?

There are three types of sump pumps: submersible, pedestal, and water-powered. Water-powered sump pumps do not have a motor so you won’t have to worry about a motor burning out or failing. That said, it is the weakest pump of the three listed and isn’t effective in locations where homeowners get moderate to severe basement flooding.

A submersible sump pump motor is located under the water level, while a pedestal pump’s motor is above the waterline. This means the submersible motor is subject to more contact with moisture and a homeowner may need to replace the motor more often than he or she would with a pedestal sump pump.

What Is That Noise?

If you have had a sump pump for a while, you may have noticed it’s developed some noises – or maybe there was already noise to begin with. A common noise is a “thunk” that occurs whenever the sump pump turns on or off. It almost sounds like someone took a hammer to the pipe and whacked it. This noise can be loud enough to startle you, especially if it’s at night while you’re sleeping.

The thunking noise likely stems from the check valve on the sump pump. The check valve opens when water runs past it and closes when the water is gone. Like a door, this opening and closing can make noises. There are “silent” check values available for a reasonable price that reduces the noise.

Sounds from noisy motors are easy to identify and tend to occur in older sump pumps. Try installing rubber stoppers to the sump pump for vibration noises and lubricate the motor if possible. If neither of these things works and the noise is driving you batty, you may want to replace the sump pump. Pedestal motors tend to be noisier than submersible motors as there is no water to muffle the sound.

Clanging and rattling happen when the pipes move and hit something. In the case of sump pumps, the movement of water through the pipes may cause them to vibrate and hit the side of the basin. For pipes above the pump, wrap insulation around them to muffle the sound.

The Underlying Problem

Having a sump pump is a good idea, but it will not fix the underlying problem of water getting into your basement or crawl space. It is important to consult an expert and discuss basement waterproofing, including waterproofing the basement floor. Excess water eventually erodes concrete, and this can result in cracked floors and walls, bowed walls, and mold growth. None of these things are safe to leave alone. After having existing damage repaired, talk to your chosen specialist about how to keep your basement or crawl space dry in the future.

Acculevel Is Your Local Specialist

If you live in the Midwest and need to use a sump pump, your basement or crawl space is not waterproof. We would love to help fix this. Our basement and foundation experts have years of experience repairing issues associated with moisture infiltration. Acculevel offers free in-home estimates, and we never suggest unnecessary repairs. We believe honesty is the best policy for running a business and keeping homes dry. So if you live in the Midwest and need an expert opinion on your basement and foundation issues, contact us at (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected].