Sump Pump...Good or Bad?

This house has a sump pump, is that a good thing or bad? What is a sump pump and what is it doing in my house?

Common questions that I have heard from buyers. Depending on the age and location of your home you may have a sump pump.

A sump pump is, a pump that moves water from a basement sump pit.

Ok a sump pit is...? A sump pit, commonly found in the home basement, is simply a hole to collect water. The water may enter via the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system, funneling into the pit, or may arrive because of rain or because of natural ground water, if the basement is below the water table level.

Below the water table??? What the??

Ok don't panic. The water table in central Alberta is High. Higher than in other areas, and if you have lived in a house in Central Alberta I would venture a guess that you had or have a sump pump. You will find homes with sump pumps in just about every neighborhood of Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Blackfalds, Springbrook, Penhold, and Innisfail. I could name more but I might as well say "Central Alberta". They are common and no cause for alarm.

Is it good or bad to have a home with a sump pump? That depends, is it working and/or working a lot.

For most of us the sump pump will occasionally kick in during a wet spring. The ground is soggy from the winter thaw and melting combined with rain or heavy snow fall and you have a lot of water going down into the ground. The Sump Pit is designed to provide access to that water rising up to your basement floor, and an opportunity for you to stay ahead of the water. The Pit will start filling with water, and the pump will remove the water keeping your basement dry.

So yes, in my opinion a Sump Pump in my house is a good thing. Think of it as a first line of defense against flooding. I would rather be prepared in advance with a pump, than have to remove soggy carpets and re-mediate water damage. Dos this look like fun?

So if you see a house with a "Sump Pump" it's ok. A question for your Realtor is "how wet is this area, and are some homes at greater risk than others?" and a seasoned knowledgeable Realtor will have excellent neighborhood knowledge to guide you.

As we think of our friends in Calgary sand bagging to safety from the Elbow river, stay dry and enjoy the greening that rain brings.

Your Friend In real Estate,

Patrick Galesloot

More resources:Definitions of Sump pump on the Web:

* A pump that moves water from a basement sump pit.

* An electric pump, usually installed in the basement to prevent water from entering the basement area. It empties water from a "well or pit" where it is collected and pumps it to the outside of a home.

* Device used to remove water from seepage or rainfall that collects in areas protected by a levee, floodwall, or dry floodproofing. In addition, a sump pump is often part of a standard house drainage system that removes water that collects below a basement slab floor.

* An electrical pump normally located in a hole in the basement slab with the purpose of pumping accumulated water away from the footings. The water should be discharged to the exterior of the building.

* A pump designed to pump water out of a sump or basement.

* Pump in the basement or crawl space connected to a drainage system under the house. Works automatically, keeping area from flooding.

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