Why Homes in Central Indiana Need Sump Pumps

Jeff Chapman
Written by Jeff Chapman
Updated July 22, 2016
Sump pump in basement
High water tables in Indiana means many homes require sump pumps to avoid flooding. (Photo courtesy of Andrew H.)

Central Indiana homes are susceptible to flooding due to high water tables and frequent summer rains. Sump pumps can drain collected water so there is a lower chance of flooding.

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Despite what the popular song by Glen Campbell says, it does rain in Indianapolis in the summer time. When you add a naturally high water table to the frequent showers, you are likely to have flooded basements and crawl spaces.

This flooding can damage anything stored in these spaces, and the pervasive damp conditions can lead to mold formation. With a sump pump, you can worry less about flooding in your home.

Keep water out of the basement

Sounds simple; if water doesn’t get in, you don’t have to worry about pumping it back out. See if you can identify how the water is getting in. Sometimes a simple adjustment may make a big difference. 

  • Check your gutters. Make sure they are not draining directly next to the foundation. Cleaning and repairing gutters will divert a significant amount of water away from your basement. 

  • Check the slope of your sidewalk, patio or pool deck. If any of these slope toward your house instead of away from it, the water is likely to seep into the foundation. 

Even when you make these adjustments, water will seep into the basement. That’s why sump pumps are so common in homes here in Central Indiana. 

A homeowner’s guide to sump pumps

How the pump worksWater runs downhill, so sump pumps are installed at the lowest point in the basement or crawl space. As the water builds up in the sump pit, a float switch is triggered to push the water into the nearest retention pond, well or storm drain.

While sump pumps come in both submersible and pedestal pumps, we typically suggest the submersible one if your sump basin has the space. With this design, the sump pit can be covered with a lid, reducing pump noise and preventing most debris from falling into the pit. An airtight lid also helps keep moist air from being released into your home.

Why you need a battery backup

During heavy storms, your sump pump will be working overtime to get rid of excess water. Unfortunately, these heavy rainstorms are often accompanied by lightning or strong winds, which may knock out your power lines. So just when you need the sump pump most, it may stop working. A simple battery backup will keep your pump running until the lights come back on. 

How to test your sump pump

If you have an older sump pump, it makes sense to test it every three months. Let’s face it, you don’t want to discover it doesn’t work correctly as your basement starts filling up with water.

It is very simple to test your sump pump system. All you need to do is fill a five-gallon bucket with water and pour it slowly into the sump pump. As the area fills with water, the float triggers will activate the pump. If your system is working properly, it will take just a few minutes for the water level to drop and the sump pump to shut off. 

If it doesn’t drain correctly, that’s the time to call one of the licensed sump pump service technicians at Chapman before the next rainstorm.

As of July 22, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List. 

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