Sump Pumps for the Backyard: Avoid Foundation Water Damage

Outdoor Sump Pump Drainage Systems

As a homeowner, keeping water away from your home is essential to maintaining long-lasting value. The last thing you want is bowing walls in your basement or crawlspace. Even worse, drainage problems left unchecked could result in a flooded basement.
So when your backyard collects water near your home, installing a yard drainage system will add tremendous value to your home and keep your foundation safe from the elements.
As far as drainage systems go, an outdoor sump pump can be an effective tactic to fit into your overall waterproofing strategy.

What are Outdoor Sump Pumps?

Exterior sump pumps take unwanted pooling rainwater in your backyard and drain it to a location safely away from your foundation. Outdoor sump pumps can accomplish this in two ways. First, they can collect excess rainwater in one area and pump that water into a storm sewer. Alternatively, they can allow it to percolate naturally in a safe area of your yard.
Whichever route you choose to go within your yard depends on a few things, such as your property’s existing water table or the Gallons-Per-Hour (GPH) you need draining. For questions on the functionality, it’s best to talk to have an expert assess your yard drainage system personally.
Outdoor sump pump drainage systems are great at relocating water quickly during emergency situations, such as storms or flooding. However, they are not a magic bullet for solving your drainage problem at its source. With that in mind, it’s best to use sump pumps in conjunction with other long-term yard drainage solutions. These include waterproofing tools like perimeter drain pipes, dry wells, and French drains.
Backyard sump pumps are effective at directing water in emergency situations. In fact, many residential sump pumps can transport up to 20 gallons of water per minute.

If you’re thinking about installing a backyard sump pump, though, it’s important that you choose the right pump for your home’s drainage needs and know where to pump the water. Most importantly, though, you need to have it installed correctly.

At Helitech Waterproofing & Foundation Repair, we offer free consultations to homeowners just like you. At that time, we’ll make external sump pump recommendations that will ensure you choose the right outdoor drainage system for your home. We’ll even give you a free estimate for how much the necessary installation and maintenance work might cost.

How Outdoor Sump Pumps Work

An external sump pump is somewhat of a finishing touch for a drainage system. You start by installing perimeter drain pipes, a French drain or some other yard drainage solution. Once they are in place, you connect your draining system to the backyard sump pump.
The submersible pump exists inside a sump pit burrowed into the soil. It’s connected to an electrical source and sometimes requires a battery backup for emergency situations. The power source allows it to effectively pump water issues away.
When water levels in your sump pit reach a certain threshold, the pump pushes the water up and out through a discharge line. Depending on your setup and the amount of water, you might drain into a storm sewer or to a safer section of your yard.

Pedestal vs. Submersible Sump Pumps

There’s a lot to think about when you’re getting a backyard sump pump.
One of the most significant decisions is choosing between the submersible and pedestal pumps. Both drainage systems are effective at collecting water through a check valve and discharging it. However, the main difference lies in how the pump draws the water and the size of the sump pit.
In a pedestal sump pump system, the pump sits above the underground sump pit. The sump pit is a collection basin, which contains liner, gravel, and a discharge pipe. Your pump usually sits idle until a pressure sensor or float switch within the sump pit indicates the tank is full. When the pump kicks on, it draws the water out through a pipe and toward your desired location.

Submersible pump systems lie within the sump basin. This requires you to dig a bigger sump pit during installation since the pump will lie right above a filter within the pit. When the pump kicks on, a centrifugal pump configuration draws groundwater up through the filter and out the discharge pipe.
Submersibles are the superior pump because they’re quieter and often last longer, but they’re also more expensive than pedestal systems.

How To Install An External Sump Pump

There are particular guidelines for outdoor sump pump installation that promote the safety and effectiveness of the complete system.
For example, while you can connect outside sump pump drainage systems to a storm sewer, you should never connect them to a sanitary sewer for obvious health reasons. As additional health and safety precautions, we typically recommend that you choose a system with an anti-siphon device that prevents backflow from the storm sewer.

Electric shock is another concern. Sump pump systems operate on electricity but transport water, a known conductor. To reduce the risk of electrical shock, you should never plug your power cord into an ordinary outlet or an extension cord. Instead, set up a GFCI outlet. GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets are specifically designed to prevent electrical shock.
Finally, to prevent water from pooling around your foundation and causing water damage to your home, it is recommended that you direct the water at least 10 ft. away from the exterior of your home. You should also lead standing water toward a low part of your yard, or a storm drain.

When To Hire a Professional Waterproofing Company

Since there are so many things to consider when it comes to sump pump installation, it’s essential to have a qualified team—like the waterproofing experts at Helitech—perform the work rather than attempting a DIY job.
While sump pumps can be an effective way to solve water problems in your backyard, they may not be the best fit for you. Every home and foundation is different, so a waterproofing drainage system should be customized.
At Helitech, we examine your property and provide a full, honest assessment that tackles your specific waterproofing needs for free. If you have questions or concerns about your backyard’s drainage system, set up an appointment with one of our waterproofing experts today.

Got backyard drainage problems?

Call the outside sump pump drainage experts at Helitech today.


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