As a homeowner in Kansas City, understanding the ins and outs of your home’s sump pump system is crucial, especially given the region’s susceptibility to sudden storms and potential flooding. A sump pump plays a vital role in protecting the foundation and basement of your home by efficiently removing excess water that could otherwise lead to costly damage and repairs.

We often find that many homeowners are not fully aware of how a sump pump works or the various types that might be best suited for their specific needs. This lack of knowledge can sometimes lead to neglect of the device, decreasing its efficiency and lifespan. Our goal at Climate Control Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is to empower you with essential knowledge about sump pumps—from the basic concepts that define how they operate to the common types available and how to maintain them effectively.

Understanding the Basics: What Is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a critical device installed in many homes to help prevent flooding, particularly in lower-level areas like basements and crawl spaces. Typically housed in a specially constructed sump pit, this pump activates automatically when water fills the pit to a predetermined level. Its primary function is to pump excess water away from your home’s foundation to a place where it can drain harmlessly, such as a municipal storm drain or a dry well.

Why do homes in Kansas City specifically need these pumps? Our area is prone to sudden heavy rainfalls that can lead to ground saturation, increasing the risk of basement flooding. A sump pump acts as a first line of defense by managing the water levels around your home’s foundation, thereby preventing water from ever reaching the level where damage can occur. It’s essential for maintaining a dry and healthy home environment, free from mold and structural damage due to moisture accumulation.

Common Types of Sump Pumps and Their Features

When selecting a sump pump, Kansas City homeowners have several options, each with unique features tailored to different needs. The two primary types are submersible and pedestal sump pumps.

Submersible sump pumps are designed to be placed inside the sump pit and covered with water, making them quieter and less obtrusive than pedestal pumps. Because they are cooled by the water in the pit, they often have a longer lifespan and can handle larger volumes of water more efficiently. These are ideal for homes where the sump pit is within the main living space, as they contribute less noise and take up less room.

On the other hand, pedestal sump pumps have their motors mounted above the sump pit, making them easier to maintain because they are not submerged in water. They tend to be cheaper than submersible types and can be a good option for a tight budget. However, they are more conspicuous and noisier, which can be a drawback if the sump pit is located near frequently used areas of your home.

Each type has its advantages, and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs regarding water volume management, noise considerations, and space constraints in your home. Understanding these key features helps you make an informed decision to ensure long-lasting protection for your property.

Essential Maintenance Tips for Sump Pumps

Maintaining your sump pump is crucial to ensure it operates efficiently when you most need it. Regular maintenance not only extends the life of the pump but also prevents potentially disastrous flooding incidents. Below are essential maintenance tips that we recommend for every homeowner:

First, check the sump pump frequently to ensure it’s free of debris, such as stones or dirt, which can clog the pump. This is especially important after heavy rainfalls or storms, which can wash extra debris into the sump basin. Secondly, test the pump regularly by pouring a bucket of water into the pit to make sure the pump starts automatically and the water drains quickly once the pump is on. This test should be done every few months to ensure reliability.

It’s also important to check the power source to ensure the pump’s cord is in good condition and the outlet is functioning. Considering that sump pumps rely on electricity, installing a battery backup can be a lifesaver in the event of a power outage during a storm. Lastly, inspect the discharge line regularly to ensure it isn’t blocked, frozen, or damaged. A clear discharge line is essential for effective operation.

Troubleshooting Common Sump Pump Problems

Even with meticulous maintenance, sump pumps can encounter issues. Here, we discuss some common problems and troubleshooting tips. If your sump pump is not starting, it could be an issue with the power supply — check whether it’s plugged in, the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped, and if applicable, that the backup battery isn’t depleted.

If you find that your sump pump runs continuously, this could be due to a stuck switch or a problem with the float arm, which might be stuck or entangled. Adjusting the position of the pump in the basin often resolves this. Alternatively, it could indicate a more severe problem like an undersized pump or an unusually high water table, in which case consulting with a professional might be necessary.

If the pump is making excessive noise, it might be due to worn or damaged parts such as bearings, which might require replacement. Loud noises can also indicate hard debris impacts within the pump, so ensuring the pit is clean can often alleviate this problem.


Efficient and functional sump pumps are pivotal for avoiding water damage in your home, particularly in areas prone to flooding. By understanding the basics, choosing the right type of pump, and sticking to a regular maintenance routine, you can greatly minimize the risk of basement flooding. If problems persist or if you need professional advice or installation, remember that help is just a call away.

Our Climate Control Heating, Cooling & Plumbing team specializes in helping Kansas City residents effectively manage their sump pump needs. Whether you need maintenance, installation, or expert advice on choosing the right sump pump in Kansas City, MO, we are here to ensure your home remains dry and comfortable. Protect your home today; contact us for all your sump pump needs. Let’s ensure your system is ready to handle whatever the weather throws at it.