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Sump Pumps

  • Fighting off floods: Six tips and tricks

    Floods count as some of the biggest and most costly natural disasters to befall the British people—and the long-term forecast is bleak as climate change predicates longer and more intense rainfall.

    So, get your wellies on, your umbrella out, and give this a good read. The chances are, unfortunately, you’ll need it.

    Know the risk

    In England and Wales more than five-and-a-half million homes are at risk of flooding, and despite the increasing concerns over exacerbated flooding more than 10,000 new homes are built across flood-prone areas in Britain every year.

    Some areas, however, are more prone than others. And though the Environment Agency has said it is impossible to completely protect your property, the Agency can help homeowners with a “flood plan” that could keep you and your property safe.

    Make your house less permeable

    Arguably the best form of damage limitation is to prevent the water from entering your home in the first place. Water often seeps in through doors, air bricks, and other gaps. A form of reverse pressure can even force water to back-up through the sinks, even the dishwasher.

    Fortunately, guards and covers can be fitted in times of emergency, and “non-return” values can be fitted to pipes susceptible to backing up. Be sure to look for any flood-prevention products with the “kitemark” accolade. The kitemark is a symbol that the product has been tested to the rigorous standards of the Environmental Agency.

    Limit the damage with Clarke pumps

    clarke pumps

    The Clarke pumps available in our catalogue are submersible and known for their durability; they operate in dirty water—even water containing solids in suspension—as flood water undoubtedly will have. Now for the ingenious part: the pump has a float switch that enables it to operate automatically, whenever it detects a rise in the water level. So, if disaster strikes, this pump will be one step forward on the road to recovery.

    For more information on the kinds of pumps we sell, check out our article about it here.

    Keep the important belongings safe

    Expensive electrical gadgets, that handmade rug from overseas—any sentimental/irreplaceable belongings should be kept far from range of any floodwater; ideally upstairs, in waterproof cases, even in a different building. The plug sockets, if they aren’t already, should be relocated to higher ground.

    Prepare an emergency flood kit

    Ideally this should contain your ID, a change of clothes, any medication you should require, and some first-aid equipment—in addition to a list of useful contacts such as Floodline and your home insurance and policy number.  

    Be wary of the hidden costs for homeowners on a floodplain

    In addition to the already enormous cost of buying a home in Britain, an increasing number will require substantial investment into flood deterrents. Think, are you buying a home in a flood-prone area? Is it flood-resistant and, is it worth the price if not? It can cost anything up to £5,000 to resist quick, flash floods and this number can be expected to accumulate to as much as £40, 000 in the long term, in the more vulnerable flood hot spots. So think carefully before you commit.

    Do you live in a high-risk flood area? Read our blog here to find out, then take the appropriate measures.

  • The UK Locations Most At Risk of Flooding

    As global warming continues its march relatively unimpeded, sea levels and the incidence of tumultuous weather will continue to rise. And while many may assume that coastal regions of the UK are far and away the most susceptible to flooding, data collected by the Environment Agency actually shows that the network of rivers and tributaries that wind their way throughout Britain make inland areas just as vulnerable.

    Boston and Skegness

    It is however, a coastal region that is most in dangerous in terms of flooding. Boston and Skegness, both perched precariously on the Lincolnshire coast, are subject to frequent storm surges that plague that particular stretch of the east coast. When deep depressions track across the Atlantic Ocean (resulting in lower pressure and rising sea levels) winds push the surface waters forward as part of a process known as wind drift. When these depressions reach the North Sea, they are forced southwards. Because this water cannot escape through the Dover Strait, it accumulates in this region and causes sea levels to rise dangerously, afflicting the east coast in the process. Just earlier this month, over 3000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes in the face of warnings of gale force winds and high tides.


    Nottingham is perhaps the most populous area that is perpetually under threat of sustaining damages from flooding. The city has been associated with flooding throughout its history, so much so that indentations marking the height of its historic floods have been engraved into Trent Bridge since 1852, and had been marked into the Hethbeth Bridge before it. The concern over flooding is so dire that £1 million of funds have been invested into flood defences to protect the Mapperley Park region of Nottingham. Everything from flood-resistant doors to storm gullies is under consideration.

    Vale of Clwyd

    The low-lying nature of the Vale of Clwyd puts it in jeopardy of regular flooding. The Welsh region owes this unenviable status not only to how low-lying it is, but also to its proximity to both the River Clwyd and the Irish Sea. Any time flash floods are forecast, more than 137,000 properties are at risk of being enveloped by water. The floods that devastated the region in 2012 are just one example of the area being affected by flooding.


    lowara pumps uk

    The River Thames continually threatens to put the residents of Windsor at risk. The 5000 residents that call the river’s banks their home have experienced severe flooding numerous times over the course of the last decade - the worst of which was the floods of 2012. The majority of residents were affected and train lines were wrought with delays and cancellations.

    If you live in an area that poses a risk of flooding, it is well worth opting to buy from lowara pumps UK. With a wide range of drainage and sump pumps available, a Lowara pump is a dependable ally for anyone who is wary of flooding affecting their home.

  • How to prevent your home flooding

    Unfortunately, as climate change rages on and continues to worsen over time, so too, does the risk of flooding. Over the past few years, we have seen flooding become an increasingly frequent topic on the news, with intense rainfall causing over £1.5 billion worth of damage in late 2015/ early 2016 in the UK. No longer is flooding something to marvel at with a sense of morbid curiosity as it affects other areas across the globe, flooding is now a very real threat at home as well as abroad.

    How then, can you best defend your homes, containing everything and everyone you love, from flooding? The bad news is this - it isn’t going to be a cheap. The good news is that we are here to advise you on the most cost-effective and worthwhile changes you can possibly make to protect your home.

    Covering air bricks

    air brick

    Air bricks are an easily overlooked flaw in any home’s composition. As effective as they are at allowing air in for ventilation purposes, they are also effective at allowing water into your home. The solution to this problem depends on how much money you want to spend. Smart airbricks have water sensitive valves that close when water is detected. Pretty clever? As you’d expect, they are pretty expensive too. The alternative is a vent guard, which can be snapped shut when relentless rain is forecasted. Less expensive, but also less visually appealing.

    Alternatives to sandbags


    Sandbags are the traditional defence against flooding, but they are also the outdated defence too. Absorbent polymers are the new sand. The reason they are so popular is down to the deficiencies of the sandbag - they are tricky to store, not to mention move, owing to their size and weight. The new school of sandbags only increase in size and weight with the arrival of water, and do not leave behind the same melted pile of sand afterwards.

    Regular maintenance

    window sealant

    While you may be tempted to invest in some of the more heavy-duty anti-flood measures like an anti-flood door, these are unsightly as well as expensive. You would be better off ensuring your home is properly maintained. An anti-flood door is redundant if you have gaps in your roof. That is why it is worth the hassle of having a tradesmen round to shore up your home’s first line of defence against the elements. Doors and windows can be sealed off and any gaping flaws in your roof can be addressed and amended.

    Submersible drainage pump

    ksb pumps uk

    All of these precautions are undoubtedly helpful, yet none of them are capable of providing a 100% fool-proof barrier against floodwater. The one thing you can rely on to be effective is a submersible drainage pump. And there is no better manufacturer to buy from than ksb pumps uk. As well as being renowned for their reliability, the sheer range of variations that are available mean that there is bound to be a pump that is tailor-made for you.

  • What you need to know before buying a sump pump

    What you need to know before buying a sump pumpIf you notice that your basement is a little damp, there could be a risk of flooding, a serious problem that can cause a multitude of problems for your home. A flooded basement can lead to some serious health and safety issues, including rotting, rusting, moulding and unclean air. This can often result in a putrid smell lingering around your home. With this in mind, you will want to do everything you can avoid this problem.

    One solution to this problem is investing in a sump pump. Installing a sump pump in your basement can be done either beneath or above the floor and will pump the water that amasses in the sump basin and eject it outside safely.

    Should you be unfortunate enough to experience a damp basement, don’t panic, we’ve got you covered. Here at Pump Sales Direct, we have a wide range of sump pumps to choose from. If you are unsure about which pump you require, then have a read of this useful guide about what you need to know before you invest.

    Manual or automatic sump pump?

    You need to decide whether you want your pump to work manually or automatically. Generally, we think you should go with an automatic as the intelligent systems can be configured to pump water when needed. Although, we do understand that due to budget limitations it isn’t always possible to buy a more expensive automatic model, but if you can spare the money it will save you a lot of time and effort.

    How big should your motor be?

    It goes without saying that the more powerful the motor, the more water it will be able to pump out of your basement. So you will need to judge how much your pump will need to work for you.

    Should you go with a submersible pump?

    If the sump basin in your basement has the space, we would recommend a submersible pump. Having a submersible pump gives you the ability to use a lid to cover your sump pit, which will massively reduce the noise and keep out unwanted debris that could cause clogging. Another idea is to invest in a lid that is vacuum sealed, that way there is no chance of the air seeping out and causing damage.

    Can it handle debris?

    As mentioned before, debris can be incredibly damaging to a pump if it causes blockages and stops it functioning. Some pumps have an intricate design with impellers that can handle larger debris than normal, which should be quoted in the product description.

    Is one enough?

    Usually, yes. Although a bit of insurance never hurt anyone. Having a back-up pump alongside the first would be essential should you use your basement as a living area and cannot afford for this space to be damaged. If the first cuts out, the second will pick up the slack.

    Shop sump pumps online now.

  • How to install a sump pump

    More and more householders are making use of their basements to provide extrasump pumps for basement conversions accommodation. Rather than trying to keep water out completely in order to keep the area dry, most conversions now rely on a system that allows water to drain down the walls behind the décor and then uses sump pumps to remove the water that accumulates.

    Many people will have a builder install the pump as part of a basement conversion, but if you’re doing the work yourself, installing sump pumps isn’t as difficult as you might think.

    1. Low points

    The first thing to do is identify the lowest part of your basement. This is where you’ll need to locate the pump. Excavate a hole deep enough to hold the sump and the pump. The top of the pump generally sits flush with the floor, though various types of sump pumps are available. A layer of gravel in the bottom of the hole gives a firm level base for the sump to sit on.

    2. Drainage

    Water needs to get into the sump in order for the pump to remove it. Usually, there are channels around the edges of the basement, and water will be piped from these into the sump itself. In some cases, it may also be allowed to ‘weep’ into the sump from the surrounding soil. In the latter case, you need to line the sump cavity with filter fabric to prevent clogging with dirt and debris.

    3. Choosing your sump pump

    When you choose a pump, you need to ensure that it has sufficient capacity to cope with the volume of water you expect to move - also that it’s powerful enough to be able to lift the water away to your chosen drain point. Note too that some pumps are submersible, whereas with others the motor needs to remain clear of the water.

    It’s important to understand the valves on your sump pump. The float valve triggers the pump to operate based on the level of moisture in the reservoir. Make sure that it is unobstructed and able to move freely. There will also be a non-return valve which prevents the water that’s being pumped out from running back into the sump.

    4. Piping

    The water that the pump removes needs to go somewhere, and this involves piping it out of the basement to a suitable drain. Most systems use plastic piping to take the water out of the basement. Make sure that this is securely fitted and that the joints are properly secure. The pipe needs to run to a drain or gulley outside the house to ensure water is carried away safely. Make sure any places where the pipe passes through walls are properly sealed.

    5. Ready to go

    With everything connected up, you can test that it all works. Slowly pour water into the sump and check that the float valve operates and the pump starts up. With the pump working, check all of your pipe joints for leaks. Once you’re happy that everything is fine, you can fit the sump cover and seal up around its edges. You’re then ready for anything the weather can throw at you.

    Need help choosing the best sump pump for your requirements? We've got you covered.

  • How to choose the right sump pump

    sump pumpsConverting basements and cellars into living space has become increasingly popular in recent years. But for them to be usable, it’s important that they stay dry throughout the year. In most cases this means installing sump pumps.

    Many basements use a system that allows water to drain into a basin or sump. A sump pump, as its name suggests, is used to remove this water safely to outside the property. But all sump pumps are not the same: there are various different types, and it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.


    Types of pumps

    There are two main types of sump pump. Pedestal pumps are designed so that there’s an impeller at the base to draw the water up, but the top part of the pump body is designed to stand clear of the water. Submersible pumps, on the other hand, are designed to operate completely underwater. These are generally quieter in operation and more efficient than pedestal pumps.

    A third type of sump pump you may encounter is the effluent pump. These are designed to remove wastewater from sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, showers and so on. They can handle solids up to half an inch in diameter and should be clearly marked “effluent pump”.


    Selecting a sump pump

    If you’re replacing a pump, a good place to start is by looking at the old installation. The size of the sump and the diameter of the discharge pipe will determine the size of pump you need. A look at the existing pump will give you useful information too, as there will be a spec label telling you the horsepower. Unless your pump is struggling to cope, there’s usually no reason to move up to a more powerful model.

    If you have a pedestal pump, then this may be a good time to think about switching to a submersible version. Not only are these quieter and more efficient, as we said above, but they are longer-lasting and make for a neater installation as they’re totally contained within the sump.

    The next thing to consider is the float switch type. Again, there are two types. Tethered switch types need a minimum sump diameter of 14 inches. As water enters the sump, the switch floats up at an angle to activate the switch. The other type is the vertical switch pump - these can be used in smaller 10-inch diameter sumps. With this type, the float to activate the switch moves straight up to turn on the pump.

    To protect your home from the risk of flooding, it may be worth having a back-up system. These are run from a battery so that in the event of mains power failure the water from the sump still gets pumped out. A back-up pump also helps protect against heavy rain that could overwhelm your normal system.

    Choose a good-quality sump pump from us and ensure a long life make sure it’s backed by a manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Sump pumps to sandbags: Flooding essentials for winter 2016

    Local knowledge is an essential starting point for assessing and mitigating winter flooding risk. You can find this out from the local council as well as from the Environment Agency website that covers flooding risk over England and Wales.

    From Sump Pumps to Sandbangs: Flooding Essentials You Need for Winter 2016

    Invest in a Sump Pump

    Even if your property does not lie in the most high flood risk areas, heavy rainfall could cause flooding in your home either by flowing from the outside into a cellar or crawl space, or by raised groundwater levels. This is the point at which you should invest in a sump pump, a type of submersible pump, which will clear away floodwater before it can do much damage to the structure of the house.

    The benefit of a submersible pump is that it is designed to be hermetically sealed and so that water does not penetrate and damage its components. It is best placed in a small pit in the basement of the property. When any water reaches a critical level, the sump pump automatically switches on and removes the water from the basement to an outdoor drain or drainage area, so preventing further damage. The sump pump will also ensure that the basement humidity is kept under control and that any mould and mildew growth is discouraged.


    Removal of Vulnerable Belongings

    One precaution ahead of or immediately after a flood warning should be aimed at preventing any water from entering the property. Furniture, electrical devices, and carpets, that are on the ground floor level should be moved upstairs if the property has an extra storey, These are especially vulnerable to the slightest of water damage.


    Water Prevention with Sandbags

    Sandbags are a quick option to prevent water from entering the house through the bottom of doorways and some windows. These should also be placed against ventilation bricks on basement walls. Sinks and baths inside the house should be plugged firmly. It is always a good idea to use a heavy item, such as a large tin of beans or the like, to weigh down the plug should any water rise up the drain and force the plug away. Similar plugs are available for toilets and washing machines that are also vulnerable to flood water flowing from outdoors to the interior.


    How prepared are you?


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