Skip to content

Sump Pump Essentials: Addressing Top 5 Homeowner Questions

Homeowners often have concerns and questions about sump pumps and their operation. To help clarify common misconceptions, we have compiled a list of the top 5 sump pump questions backed up by expert opinions and trustworthy sources. In this guide, we will also provide maintenance tips and advice on choosing the right sump pump for your needs.

Table of Contents

Is it necessary to install sump pumps if I rarely experience floods?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), even small amounts of water intrusion can cause significant damage to your home’s foundation and interior. Installing a sump pump system can help prevent this damage by keeping your basement dry, regardless of whether your home is prone to flooding [1]. Weigh the costs of installing a sump pump against the potential costs of flood damage, and consider the peace of mind that comes with a proactive approach.

Waterproofing Toronto - Sump Pumps System
Sump Pump Essentials: Addressing Top 5 Homeowner Questions

How do I prevent the sump pump drainage pipe from freezing?

To prevent the sump pump drainage pipe from freezing, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recommends insulating the pipe and ensuring it has a proper slope to encourage water flow away from home [2]. Additionally, you can use a device called a Freeze Stop, which helps keep water flowing even when the pipe is frozen.

What is the most common reason for a sump pump failure?

The most common cause of sump pump failures is switch-related issues. The Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association (SSPMA) notes that a float switch can become dislodged, or debris can interfere with its operation [3]. Regularly inspect the sump pump switch and the float-arm system for obstructions, ensuring that it moves freely.

What is the difference between a standard sump pump and a grinder sump pump?

A standard sump pump removes water that collects in the pit inside the basement and directs it away from the home’s foundation. In contrast, a grinder sump pump is designed to macerate sewage and pump it into the main sewer line [4]. Choose between the two based on their intended function and your home’s specific needs.

How do I know my pump will still work after a long period of disuse?

To ensure your sump pump operates correctly after a period of disuse, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recommends checking it regularly for debris and testing its functionality by pouring water into the pit [5]. A well-maintained sump pump should activate when the water reaches the appropriate level.

How to Choose the Right Sump Pump for Your Home

When selecting a sump pump, consider factors such as the frequency of flooding in your area, the size of your basement, and the intended usage of the space. The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) suggests that homeowners assess the required pumping capacity, power source, and backup system options when making their decision [6]. Consult a professional plumber or home inspector for personalized recommendations based on your specific situation.

Sump Pump Maintenance Tips

Proper sump pump maintenance is essential for ensuring its optimal performance. The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) recommends the following maintenance tips [7]:

  • Inspect your sump pump every three to four months for debris, signs of wear, or damage.
  • Test the pump by pouring water into the pit and observing its activation.
  • Clean the sump pit and surrounding area to prevent debris buildup.
  • Replace the backup battery every two to three years or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

By following these tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your sump pump and keep your basement dry and protected.


Understanding sump pump essentials is crucial for homeowners looking to protect their property from water damage. By addressing common questions and concerns, we hope to provide valuable guidance on sump pump installation, maintenance, and decision-making. Regularly inspect and maintain your sump pump to keep your home safe and dry.


The sources of information

[1] Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2019). Protect Your Home from Basement Flooding. Retrieved from

[2] American Society of Home Inspectors. (n.d.). Preventing Frozen Sump Pump Discharge Lines. Retrieved from 

[3] Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association. (n.d.). Sump Pump Maintenance. Retrieved from

 [4] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2018). Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Systems. Retrieved from

[5] National Association of Home Builders. (2020). Sump Pump Maintenance Tips for Homeowners. Retrieved from

[6] Home Improvement Research Institute. (n.d.). Choosing the Right Sump Pump for Your Home. Retrieved from 

[7] Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association. (n.d.). Sump Pump Maintenance. Retrieved from


More about Basement Construction in Toronto:

  • Toronto
  • Etobicoke
  • Mississauga
  • East York
  • North York
  • Leaside
  • Scarborough
  • Vaughan
  • Oakville
Regular Inquiries:

09:00am - 09:00pm

Monday - Saturday

Emergency - 24/7

1368 Blundell Rd. Unit 11, Mississauga, ON L4Y 1M5

error: Content is protected !!