Sump Pump Contractor Advice – by Mike Even – For Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty

360006-631My sump pump contractor advice is time-tested and solid. I’ve been doing residential and commercial plumbing in this area for many years. While sump pump technologies have improved, the benefits are still the same. I’m often asked for advice on sump pump installation (specifically for Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty areas), and so here are answers to the most common questions people generally have…

What kind of water issues can a sump pump resolve?

In this area, water leaking into your basement is the main problem at hand. (Some areas have high water tables, which also cause issues.) If your property has poor drainage overall, you’ll probably need a sump pump. Poor drainage issues are exacerbated by grades that slope inadequately from your foundation. If the problem is debris-obstructed gutters and downspouts, which overflow during heavy rains, you may not need a sump pump if you can keep those clean and flowing away from the foundation. Many older homes leak through cracks in the foundation, which could be mitigated by a sump pump.

Where is the best place to install a sump pump?

In most basements, a sump pump can be installed in any corner where water tends to gather, assuming a few caveats. There must be enough room to break through the concrete and install a pit (often a 3 to 4 foot square area). That will then become dedicated floor space for the sump pump. The exact location will depend on your particular layout, including the location of sewer and waterlines that may be running under the floor. The concrete floor will be broken open, a pit will be dug, and the sump pump will be installed into the pit.

Which brands are the most reliable?

Zoeller and PHCC Pro Series sump pumps have performed very well for us. We have tried other brands and found many to be inadequate or unreliable. We definitely recommend spending the difference to get a high quality pump, because cheap pumps have proven to fail and the resulting water problems easily cost much more. During heavy rains, you’ll sleep better knowing you bought a solid unit that’s doing its job reliably, rather than a cheaper made “bargain” unit. Here is a short video about Zoeller pumps.

Do sump pumps run automatically?

Yes, assuming they are installed and working properly, modern sump pumps have a pressure sensor or float activator that engages the pump when water begins to be present.

Is it difficult to install a sump pump?

Not for a qualified professional. We have installed countless sump pumps over the years, and our recommendation for the do-it-yourselfer is to hire out this job. Unless you’re comfortable with heavy plumbing work, including breaking open concrete basement floors, finding and working around buried sewer and water lines, and getting down into the sloppy pit, you should probably call a pro.

How do I find a qualified sump pump contractor?

Of course, Oehl Plumbing is a qualified sump pump contractor. We handle all situation, including emergencies, for the following areas: Cedar Rapid, Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Fairfax, Marion, Williamsburg, Amana, and all surrounding areas. We are approved installation dealers for Zoeller and PHCC Pro Series sump pumps, and all our technicians are thoroughly trained. What’s most important is to find a contractor who will be there when you need service fast, especially during an emergency. Hiring the cheapest plumber in town, or the fly-by-night one-man-show, is never advised for sump pump installations or service. If your basement is flooding, you’ll want the best contractor, not the the cheapest. A qualified contractor properly installs the right equipment to give you peace of mind.

Mike20131-225x300Thank you for reading.

Until next time…

Take care.

Mike Even, Sump Pump Expert





If your property is within our service area (50 miles or so around Amana, Tiffin, Fairfax, Williamsburg, etc.), and you need any help with your plumbing (including 24/7 emergency plumbing service), please do not hesitate to give us a call.

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