How the Sump Pump Works
A sump pump is an electrical pump that is used to pump excess water out of an area, usually a basement that is below ground level. The pump is connected to a hose that directs the water away from your house. A sump pump that turns on itself does so with a floater mechanism that turns on the sump pump automatically when water in the hole rises above the set level of the floater.
The Exterior Sump Pump
An exterior sump pump works the same way but is located in an outside area of your house. The hole you place this exterior pump should be dug out below the frost line of your part of the country. Hoses can be attached or taken off as needed. CheckThisHouse.com has a picture of an exterior sump pump that has been installed in a patio.
The Benefits of an Exterior Sump Pump
Having an exterior sump pump can insure that your outdoor patio or yard area does not become a permanent pond. It can run on a direct electrical power line or batteries so that the pump only works when the floater indicates there is water in the hole. It can also protect the foundation of your home by directing water towards a different area of your yard and away from the house.
The Disadvantages of an Exterior Sump Pump
Exterior sump pumps are best suited for a climate that is warm all year long. For those climates that get below freezing temperatures, it is best to take the sump pump out of the pit and store it indoors for the winter in order to prevent the plastic parts from breaking. Not all municipalities allow exterior sump pumps and they need to have their run-off in the same manner that your local municipality allows for basement sump pump runoff. The exterior sump pump will need a cover that has to be removed every time you have to move it or do general repairs on the unit.
Making the final decision
Deciding whether or not to put in an exterior sump pump depends on a few factors. What are the municipal codes in your town? Can it solve your flooding problems? Do you want to be bothered with removing the pump for the winter every year if you live in a climate that has winter temperatures below freezing? Once you answer these questions you should know if you want to install an exterior sump pump in your area.