Sump Pumps & Drainage Systems

sump pumpWhen snow melts at the end of winter and heavy rain arrives in spring and summer, groundwater around the foundation rises and presses in on it. Unless the home has proper drainage and water removal systems in place, water will seep in and potentially cause flooding.

RJ Kuhn specializes in sump pump and drainage installation, replacement and maintenance. We can also support you with sump pump battery backup systems, lift-station pumps and high-water alarms.

Sump Pump: When It’s Working vs. When It’s Not

Regardless of the age of your sump pump, if it hasn’t yet been inspected, RJ Kuhn can give it a thorough assessment to ensure it is working properly in helping to keep your house dry.

Indicators that a sump pump may need repair or replacement could include:

not turning on. Pooling or puddles often indicate a failing sump pump. If you see this excess water, contact RJ Kuhn right away to prevent further flooding and damage.

frequent on/off cycling. If your sump pump is turning on and off a lot, in some cases it can mean the basin is too small for the water it’s handling, which can overwork the pump. RJ Kuhn can determine if your basin is the correct size for keeping water out of your house.

odd noises. A normal sump pump will make normal sounds. If you hear noises such as clanging, gurgling or rattling, they could be indicating a jammed impeller or other damaged parts. RJ Kuhn can identify what’s wrong and correct it.

constant operation. A sump pump that keeps running regardless of water levels is telling you something. This is especially notable if the pump still runs with an empty basin, because the pump will overheat without the water to help it cool while it works.

float switch. The float switch is the device that rises as water enters the basin. A sump pump may continue to run if the switch is stuck in the “on” position. RJ Kuhn can troubleshoot the cause of a stuck switch and correct it.

What Your Home Drainage System Is & What It Does

Additional insight into your sump pump reinforces your understanding of how it protects your home and how you can support its performance by being aware.

As snow melt or rainwater gathers around your foundation, a below-grade groundwater system manages it with four important components:

perimeter tile. This collects the water from around the foundation and areas such as window wells. Its sole purpose is to let the water move around the foundation to the sump pit. Without proper installation, the perimeter tile can become infiltrated and plugged with silt. It also can be crushed by rocks or backfill or obstructed by tree roots.

sump pit. The sump is essentially a hole in the floor that allows access to the water table. The sump pit is the structure into which the water drains via the perimeter tile for collection and discharge. The pit’s main function is to house the pump and protect it from material such as gravel, dirt and other foreign objects. Many (but not all) sump pits have a lid.

sump pump. Designed to detect and move water, the sump pump serves the main function of moving water out of the house. It typically has an automatic float or sensor for activating it and does not require your input to turn it on and off. Sump pumps come in various sizes, structural components and general differences in quality – e.g. AC pumps, DC pumps and water-powered siphonic pumps.

sump pump discharge drain. This is the last part of a complete system. Most houses don’t have a dedicated channel from pump discharge to a place away from the foundation. The discharge drain is an exterior below-grade system that takes the water moved by the sump pump and allows it to flow away from the foundation.

Sump Pump: Battery Backup

A sump pump typically runs on electricity. All is well if power is available and the sump pump is in good shape. Should the power suddenly go out or the sump pump fail, especially during heavy rain or snow melt, a major problem can quickly develop.

A battery backup is a system that operates separately from the main sump pump if it should lose power or malfunction. The backup system also will turn on if there is more water than the main pump can handle alone, which can happen in flood zones. Some homeowners insurance policies may even offer a discount for having a backup system.

RJ Kuhn installs battery backups for springing into action if the main system runs into trouble. We further can assist you with choosing the right size and type of backup that will be compatible with the main pump.

When You Need Sump Pump Service Soon, Contact RJ Kuhn

RJ Kuhn has been providing sump pump installation, replacement and maintenance for homeowners since the early 1970s. Our licensed and certified technicians can provide the solutions and guidance you need for keeping water outside where it belongs. Just give us a call at 1-800-FIX-DRIP or (630) 554-3336!

24-hour emergency service is available when needed.