Suck It Up: Swimming Pools and Wet Basements

Suck It Up: Swimming Pools and Wet Basements

We all love a comfy cozy basement done up in our favorite colors to serve as a book nook, guest room, man cave, or game room for the family. What we don’t love is a damp, musty basement that smells like mildew. To put it bluntly – yuck!

This is where sump pumps, like the ones from Barracuda, come in. While the name “sump pump” may not evoke romantic images or snuggly feelings of being wrapped up in a soft blanket, the results of using one – does.

Installing a Sump Pump

The best time to install a sump pump is when you’re building your house or just after you’ve bought it. Most people are able to pull some money out of closing when they get a new house so that’s the perfect time to spend a few hundred getting a good sump pump  (You can check out Pumpiee). Many of them don’t need to be mounted on anything so you can do all the work yourself.

If you’re building your dream home, even if you’re on a tight budget, a little money spent then will save you thousands later on if the worst should happen. Compared to everything else you’re doing during the construction, this may be the easiest thing on the list.

Basements can accumulate water in an amazing variety of ways. Having the sump pump installed and ready to go will save your carpets, flooring, wallpaper, furniture, and more.

Disposing of the Water

As with anything else, there’s a right way and a wrong way to properly drain and dispose of water. The main thing you need to know (aside from not draining the water onto your neighbor’s property) is that end of the drain pipe should be at least twenty feet away from your house. Otherwise, the water will just be reabsorbed by the ground around your house and find its way back into your basement again.

Don’t drain it into the septic tank. If your basement is experiencing water build-up, your septic will be having the same problem. Don’t overload it by adding more.

Draining the sump pump into the city sewer system isn’t a good idea either since it’s against many city ordinances. You could wind paying a huge fine. You might even wind up with a reputation as a polluter if the local news media catch wind of it.

Swimming Pools

If you’ve got an above ground swimming pool or a pool cover on any kind of pool, eventually you’re going to need a sump pump to drain it. In-ground pools generally have a drain mechanism built into them but above ground pools, by their nature, don’t.

There are a lot of tools for maintaining your swimming pool but occasionally it can get away from you and you need to drain it and start over. A garden hose can handle most of the water but once you get down to the last two to three inches you’re going to need a pump.

Why not save yourself some time and effort? Since you’ll need the sump pump anyway, use it to drain the whole pool. It’ll be faster than using the garden hose then switching to the pump.

Draining the Pool Cover

During the winter most people put a cover over the swimming pool to keep leaves, twigs, insects, and other debris out of the water. Part of the process for preparing a pool for the winter involves draining the water below the level of the pump return from the pool pump. This prevents water from freezing inside the mechanism and possibly ruining it.

But it means the pool cover will have several inches of extra “sag” to it for water to accumulate in over the winter months. Sometimes it amounts to a couple of hundred gallons.

To use the sump pump, attach all the hoses to it and plug in with an extension cord. Check to make sure it’s working.

Next, place the sump pump as close to the center of the pool cover as you can. You can use a long pole to position it. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly centered. The pump’s own weight will depress the cover down, causing the water to pool around it.

Turn on the pump. Give it a minute to begin draining the water out the exhaust hose. After that, keep a close eye on it. Draining the cover shouldn’t take more than half-an-hour and you don’t want the pump running when it’s dry.

Turn it off, take it out, and you’re done!

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