If there is a sump pump in a basement is that a sign that there is flooding?

Asked by Nanette, Chicago, IL Wed Aug 13, 2014

We are about to sign a two year lease on a rental property in Chicago and I wanted to be very clear about flooding in the basement that I noticed was all tiled

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Jackie and B…, Agent, Northbrook, IL
Fri Mar 6, 2015
Not at all. The sump pump just keeps the water that collects from the drain tile flowing out and away from the home.
1 vote
Noah Seidenb…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Mar 5, 2015
Not at all. It is an insurance policy so to speak. Many houses have one in case of heavy rains.
1 vote
Scott Newman, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Aug 20, 2014
Not at all. It prevents flooding. A lot of them are on battery backup as well in case your electricity goes out
1 vote
Mike Opyd, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Aug 20, 2014
No its a good thing. Prevents it.
1 vote
Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Wed Aug 13, 2014
Hi Nanette:

If you are concerned about flooding, the first thing I should do is simply ask the owner about flooding history. The second thing would be to check flood plain maps for the area in which the property is located. FEMA has maps at : https://msc.fema.gov/portal But this is not an easy system to work with. You probably will also find online maps hosted by your local government.

To answer your original question: the presence of a sump pump really means nothing except that there is a system to protect the home just in case. You may remember from news reports last September that we had a very unusual storm here in the Boulder CO area. Many people who have sump pumps reported that they had never before heard the pumps working. They were, however, very glad that they had them during our so-called "1,000-year-storm."

The saddest stories came from people with pumps that failed to work. Usually this was because they never checked to make sure the pumps were functioning. A quick and dirty check is easy to do. If you manually raise the float and it moves relatively easily to the level where the motor turns on, (and if the motor turns on, of course), then you probably are okay. If the float does not move easily, or if the motor does not turn on, then repairs may be in order.

Ron Rovtar
Boulder, CO
1 vote
Laura Beson, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Jun 22, 2015
A sump pump helps to prevent flooding, so I would take this as a good thing!
0 votes
Jackie and B…, Agent, Northbrook, IL
Fri Mar 6, 2015
It is a good idea to have a backup battery to keep your sump pump running in case of a power outage. If power goes out, the sump pump will not run & there is potential for flooding.
0 votes
Sharon Felton, Agent, Nashville, TN
Thu Aug 21, 2014
I hope everyone here has lessened your fears about having a sump pump. Yep, it's a good thing!
0 votes
Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Aug 15, 2014
No. Its something you put in to help it not flood.
0 votes
Lisa Wetzel…, Agent, Gardnerville, NV
Wed Aug 13, 2014
We have many sump pumps in our area. Some are necessary for properties with basements that are close to agricultural areas that irrigate. It brings up the ground water and can ... can ... cause water in basements. There are a lot of reasons.

Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine

Certified Distressed Property Expert, CDPE
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates
1320 Hwy 395
Gardnerville, NV 89410
775-781-5472 Lisa
775-781-3704 Jim
775-781-3703 Jessie
0 votes
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Wed Aug 13, 2014
Ask the property manager are Landlord if there has been any flooding, or any claims made to their insurance company.

The sump pump is usually there to protect the property from flooding in case water enters the basement.
0 votes
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Wed Aug 13, 2014
Bob nailed it...basements flood! Whether the water is coming in from the outside, or a burst pipe inside the house, if water gets in, it's likely headed for the lowest point...the basement. Sump pump just makes sure it doesn't STAY in the basement.
0 votes
Bob Brandt, Agent, Schaumburg, IL
Wed Aug 13, 2014
Most basements have sump pumps so that they do not flood. If you never want a flooded basement, you should not rent a home with a basement.
0 votes
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