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Can A Sump Pump In Your Crawl Space Help With Moisture?

Sam Smith Foundation Repair Consultant

Sump pump is a water pump that gets installed in the floor or ground under your home

Looking for accurate cost information related to crawl space sump pump?

Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What is a sump pump?
  • When is a crawl space sump pump needed?
  • What kinds of sump pumps are there?
  • How many sump pumps do you need?
  • Can they be installed as DIY projects?
  • How can you save money on sump pump installation?

Crawl spaces are at high risk of water intrusion and moisture problems because they’re set underground and continuously exposed to water in the surrounding soil.

Preventative measures to help remove rainwater and groundwater can help reduce these problems, but regular flooding or frequent moisture issues after heavy rains may require the need for backup measures.

Many homeowners find that a sump pump set into their crawl space floor is an excellent option for removing standing water, reducing water damage to their homes, and helping minimize moisture buildup.

Below, we’re going to discuss what a sump pump is, why you might need one in your crawl space, and the different kinds of pumps available.

We’ll also go over DIY and professional installation options and offer some tips on how you can save money on sump pump installation.

What Is A Crawl Space Sump Pump?

A crawl space sump pump is a water pump that gets installed in the floor or ground under your home. It sits in a sump pit or sump basin and includes a float to detect the presence of water below ground.

The float activates a pump that moves water through a check valve and into a discharge line. The line moves the water to a discharge pipe situated in a safe area of your property for disposal.

Do You Need A Crawl Space Sump Pump?

Sump pumps are reactive measures to water problems, so you may need one if your area is prone to flooding, if you have a high water table on your property, or if you experience frequent problems with moisture in your crawl space.

While proactive solutions like adequate drainage outside can often reduce or eliminate water intrusion, a sump pump system can be added to your basement waterproofing system for added protection in case water does get into your home.

It can get rid of standing water and reduce the chance of mold or mildew forming in your crawl space.

They’re also handy for protecting against water damage from boiler, hot water tank, or other plumbing leaks, which wouldn’t be caught by exterior drainage systems.

What Are The Different Types Of Crawl Space Sump Pumps?

There are two main kinds of sump pumps, both of which require at least partial installation in a ditch in your crawl space floor.

We’ll discuss the differences between the two types below.

Pedestal Pumps

Pedestal sump pumps need less excavation and a smaller ditch in your floor because the motor is situated on a pedestal above the hole in the ground. The float remains in the ditch to detect when the water level rises.

Pedestal pumps aren’t as efficient because they have a slower rate of water extraction. They’re also louder and may be heard from your living space because the motor is suspended above the ground as opposed to being submerged in water.

Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps have more power and can remove larger volumes of water faster. The motor is located within the ditch, so it’s meant to operate when fully submerged.

As such, these pumps are much quieter and are less likely to disturb anyone on the floor above.

However, submersible sump pumps require more excavation and a larger ditch, so they take up more floor space in your under-home area.

Do You Need More Than One Sump Pump?

The general recommendation is to get two sump pumps for a standard-sized crawl space.

Having a backup sump pump doubles your extraction rate in the event of a basement flood or significant water issues, prevents flooding if one pump suffers from clogging, and it also reduces the risk of standing water in case one pump breaks down or malfunctions.

Larger crawl spaces may require three or four pumps, depending on the size. We recommend two pumps for every 2,000 square feet.

In addition to adding a second sump pump, we recommend installing battery backups, as they will keep your pumps running in case of power outages.

Can You Install A Sump Pump Yourself?

Many homeowners turn to the idea of DIY installation for sump pumps to cut down on labor costs. However, we strongly recommend having a professional install your pumps.

Sump pumps need to be set into your crawl space floor.

If you have a cement floor, excavating through your foundation floor can be very dangerous and lead to significant damage. Even digging into a dirt floor without the proper equipment for use in limited space can be very time-consuming.

Sump pumps need to be installed at the correct depth and in the right area of your crawl space for maximum efficiency. DIY installation is often possible but may not lead to proper installation.

Lastly, sump pumps use electricity to manage water removal. We recommend that most inexperienced homeowners stay away from anything involving electricity and water, given the risk of fire, property damage, and electrocution due to improper installation.

For things like this, your best bet is to work with one of our professionals to handle the situation correctly which will ultimately save you time and save you the headache of things potentially going awry.

How Else Can You Keep Your Crawl Space Dry?

Sump pumps are reactive solutions to water intrusion that are meant to operate once water has already gotten inside. Other reactive solutions include dehumidifiers, floor drains in crawl spaces with cement slabs, vapor barriers or other encapsulation methods, and tile drains.

There are proactive solutions you can implement on the outside of your home. These include gutters and downspouts, exterior drainage like a French drain or footing drain, and grading your soil away from your foundation walls.

How To Save Money On Crawl Space Sump Pump?

The average cost to have a sump pump installed in your crawl space is around $1,250, so many homeowners look for ways to save money on the installation.

The best way to save money, in the long run, is to pay more upfront for a professional installation rather than doing it yourself.

A lot can go wrong when installing a sump pump, and spending just over $1,000 can pale in comparison to property damage costs or physical injury that can result from improper installation. Over time, it doesn’t pay to do a DIY sump pump installation.

A good way to reduce the risk of pump failure and associated repair or maintenance costs is to invest in a high-quality pump upfront. Again, you’ll spend more for a cast iron pump with a mechanical float, but it’s less likely to break down and require maintenance.

More money can be saved over time by carrying out routine maintenance and inspections of your sump pumps. Ensuring proper functionality can reduce the cost of future repairs and the risk of significant flood damage if your sump pumps fail and allow water to accumulate under your home.

Lastly, you can save some money by installing a pedestal sump pump rather than a submersible pump. Pedestal sump pumps require less excavation and are usually a bit cheaper to install.

As long as you don’t mind the potential of hearing the pump running from your home’s first floor, choosing a pedestal pump can save you a few hundred dollars on average.

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Sam Smith Foundation Repair Consultant
SHORT BIO: Hey, I'm Sam Smith. I'm one of our service techs here at Regional Foundation Repair. I'm here to help you learn more about your home's foundation. I've been doing this for a while, so I have a few insider tips and tricks to share!

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