Sump pumps - Jargon Busters


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What is a Sump Pump?

Welcome back to Jargon busters!

In a new series of articles, we are going to look at some popular industry terms and let you know exactly what they mean.

Next up is a vital part of many basement waterproofing systems - the sump pump. The term is widely known, but how many people actually know what they do and how they work?

Read on to find out more...

What is a Sump Pump used for?

The sump pump is the heart of many basement waterproofing systems. In a nut-shell, it collects water entering a property and pumps it back out, usually to the nearest drain.

Although it is predominantly used for basement waterproofing, the one in our head office at Wise is actually installed in a ground floor storage room which suffered from water entering through an earth retaining wall.

How does a sump pump fit into a water management system?

The most common, modern, approach to structural waterproofing involves allowing water to enter the property and channelling it out again. There are many benefits to this but the main one is that attempting to hold back external water can cause extreme pressure on the building structure, leading to cracks and leaks.

When water is allowed to enter the property a combination of membranes and drainage channels will safely direct it to the sump pump.

The sump pump itself is installed in a hole in the ground; however, you can always see the top of the pump which allows easy access if and when required.

There is one pipe going into the pump where water travels from the drainage channel, and another pipe coming out providing a safe exit for the water.

As the water basin in the pump starts to fill, the pump turns on automatically and sends the water through the exit pipe leaving you with a safe, clean and dry basement (or storage space in our case).

What are the key features of a Sump Pump?

The ideal pump should do the following

  • Minimise noise during operation 
  • Properly sealed to prevent odours and humidity from escaping 
  • Provide reliability and power
  • Equipped to handle unforeseen circumstances

Find out more about Sump Pumps 

Contact the teamWise and we’ll be happy to answer any further questions you may have. You can email us at or why talk to us on Facebook or Twitter.