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Do I Need A Sump Pump? Ottawa Buyer’s Guide

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“Basement flooding in Ottawa.” That phrase strikes fear into every homeowner’s heart. However, whether you’ve actually experienced a flood or you just heard about the possibility, you’ve probably also read about sump pumps as a solution.

However, what you might NOT know is:

  • exactly how sump pumps work to prevent a flooded basement
  • whether you need to have a sump pump installed; or
  • whether it is in working condition.

That’s why we put together this guide. Read on for answers to common questions about sump pumps and sump pump installation.


Why Does My Home Need A Sump Pump?

If water accumulates in your basement, install a sump pump system and it will pump it out outdoors. Most sump pumps, and their installation can save money, by preventing thousands of dollars worth of catastrophic water damage and mould growth in your basement and throughout your home.

What Causes Basement Flooding?

Basement floor flooding and the water damage from it could result from heavy rainfall or melted snow, water back up due to a blocked sewer pipe, or spring flooding along the Rideau River.

Location Of Home

If your home is located in the Ottawa area flood plain, you have a 1% chance of flooding from the Rideau every year. The grade and drainage of your lot also play a role; a poorly draining yard, or one that slopes down toward your home’s foundation, increases your danger of flooding.

Clogged Gutters

Roof gutters are designed to channel rain and melted snow away from your house. They can’t do that job properly, though, if they’re clogged with fallen leaves, twigs, and dirt. Clogs will cause the gutters to overflow, spilling water down your home’s exterior walls — and from there, into the basement.

Sewer Backup

Occasionally, the sewer line is inundated with either wastewater or floodwater, which may back up into your house via floor drains, toilets, or sinks. A backflow valve will help keep this from happening.

Broken Sump Pump

If you do happen to have a sump pump already, you’re one step ahead. However, if you haven’t been regularly maintaining and testing it, there’s a chance that the sump pump might not work correctly.

How Does A Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump is an electrically powered pump that will drain excess water away from your basement and foundation.

As a preventative measure your sump pump should be installed at the lowest point of your basement or crawl space, together with a sump pit. As the soil surrounding your home becomes saturated in rainy areas, the moisture moves into it.

The water level in the pit is constantly monitored by the pump using a flotation device. When the safe level is exceeded, the pump will begin to drain out the excess automatically, and pump water safely away from your foundation.

How Long Do Sump Pumps Last?

With regular maintenance sump pumps can last up to 10 years. In addition, sturdy cast iron is more durable than a stainless steel or plastic sump pump.

Do I Need To Maintain My Sump Pump?

Yes, have it cleaned and inspected annually by an experienced plumber. Then, test your sump pump every 6 months by pouring 20 litres of water into the sump pit… very slowly. Check that the pump turns on, pumps out the water, and then switches itself off. If it fails to perform any of these functions, you need sump pump repair. And keep an eye out for these 8 common sump pump problems, so you know how to deal with them.

What’s The Difference Between Pedestal & Submersible Sump Pump?

Pedestal Pumps. The pedestal pump is found inside the sump pit while the motor is installed aboveground. Although a pedestal sump pump is less costly, it has several drawbacks — more noise, less power, and a motor that overheats easily.

Submersible Pumps. The submersible pump is more powerful (generally 1/2 HP, as compared to 1/3 HP for the pedestal) and long-lasting. It also requires less space.

Do I Need A Battery Backup For My Sump Pump?

Once again, yes. The kind of storm that is capable of filling a basement with water will also be capable of knocking out the electricity in your home. So you need a pump that will keep working to protect your household, even in the event of a power outage. That’s why a sump pump with a battery backup system is so crucial.

Protect Your Home Against Basement Flooding

Keep your home safe and prevent flooding of your basement by installing a sump pump. Contact Out of This World Plumbing for professional sump pump maintenance or sump pump installation today. We provide both Liberty Pumps sump pumps and Hydromatic sump pumps.

We hope you’ll be as satisfied as our client Alison T, who wrote the following 5-star Google review of OOTW’s sump pump repair:

Absolutely impressive service. My sump pump discharge was going on the neighbours property. The company came up with a creative and effective solution. As I could not walk to the site they took pictures and a video testing the solution. They are knowledgeable of Ottawa building codes and bylaws. They worked in a downpour and were fast. Out of this World plumbing is a big supporter of animal rescue, and I will be making a donation on their behalf.


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