The Basement Sump Pump In Your Home: Does It Need A Cover?

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You may not spend a lot of time in your basement, but many important systems are located there, including significant parts of your plumbing system. One such system is your basement sump pump. This device pumps out any groundwater that could naturally seep into your basement.

Sometimes, there isn’t a lid on the sump pump; maybe it got lost, broken, or was never there to begin with. You may be wondering if you should find a cover for your basement sump pump, and the answer is yes.

What Is a Sump Pump Cover?

sump pump cover and tools and fittings

A sump pump cover is an airtight and gastight cover used to protect both the sump pump itself and your basement. While the sump pump cover serves no purpose in regards to your plumbing system, it is an important part of keeping your sump pump clean and avoiding safety concerns.

Sump pump covers can come in many shapes and sizes. Keep in mind that all sump pump covers must meet certain requirements and specifications when being installed. These requirements include:

  • Making sure the float is unobstructed.
  • Using a cover that is tight fitting to prevent air from coming in and gas from leaking out.
  • Using one made with plastic or another durable material.
  • Fastening the cover screws to ensure it’s airtight.

Why Is a Basement Sump Pump Cover Important?

There are many reasons why having a cover on your basement sump pump is important. Above all else, an exposed sump pump is a huge safety concern, since it leaves the potential for toxic gases to enter the breathing air in your home. Additionally, if your sump pump is exposed, it can easily collect debris and lead to blockages.

Furthermore, despite sump pumps being incredibly effective in removing water, an uncovered pump can create a number of water management issues. Having a sump pump is one of the best ways to prevent water damage in your basement, so it’s best to not negate this by using a sump pump cover.

5 Reasons to Get a Lid or Cover For Your Basement Sump Pump

To protect your and your family’s health and belongings, as well as prevent foul odors from entering your home, you should install a cover on your basement sump pump.

Consider the following reasons to get a lid for your sump pump.

1. Code Requirements

Residential homes must follow specific codes and requirements to be considered safe and livable. One such requirement is using an airtight and gastight sump pump lid. Different locations may have different codes and specifications that homeowners will need to consider, so it’s always best to check with your community.

2. Radon

Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that is naturally released into the environment from rocks, soil, and water. Unfortunately, it is possible for radon to enter your home through small cracks and holes, which can pose a safety concern for your family.

Having a basement sump pump cover is one of the best ways to prevent radon leakage into your home. If you haven’t had a cover on your sump pump in a while and you suspect that radon may be an issue, it’s best to call a specialist who can test your basement for you.

3. Injury Protection

Because basements are not often well-lit, an open sump pump can quickly become a safety hazard. Accidentally slipping into a sump pump can cause injury, especially to children and pets. Using a sump pump cover can help prevent injuries and mishaps.

4. Sump Pump Protection

Basements are often used as storage rooms, which tend to be regularly ignored. Dirt, debris, and objects can fall into the sump pump and into the water. This can fill the sump pump basin up, restrict water flow, and potentially strain the pump and reduce its service life.

Keeping dirt, debris, and other objects out of the sump pump is worth the effort of finding a suitable lid or cover.

5. Indoor Air Quality

Sump pumps purposely keep standing water sitting in their basin to help the pump operate properly. This standing water can have all kinds of mold, mildew, and bacteria growing inside of it.

If mold and mildew spores fill the air in your basement, it can dramatically impact indoor air quality and give the basement a musty, humid smell. Sealing up the sump pump can significantly reduce or eliminate the smells that come from musty basements and keep the air cleaner.

How to Get a Sump Pump Cover

Standard covers can be purchased for most sump pumps, either from the manufacturer or hardware stores. Third-party adjustable cover kits can also be purchased.

Crafting your own cover using plywood and rubber gaskets is another option that’s relatively easy. Simply drill holes for exposed pipes or cables, and make sure you can easily remove the cover for maintenance and evaluation of your sump pump.

Bonus tip: A backup battery is a good idea if your sump pump relies on electricity. If a storm knocks out your power, your basement could quickly fill up with water and cause a lot of water damage. Alternatively, you can install a water-powered sump pump. These pumps use water as an energy source to keep water flowing away from your home.

Your sump pump is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home. To make sure it’s running the way it should, call the experts at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We serve homeowners throughout the Cincinnati area. Contact us today at 513-540-2732 to learn more.

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