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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

    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.

    Windsor

    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.

  • Money-Saving Tips for Winter

    Winter is a time where we all get to relax more than we should, eat more than we should and spend more than we should. When it comes to spending money though, we want to be sure that it goes on gifts for our closest friends and family – not on mundane but essential updates to our home. Unfortunately, the festive period also brings with it some of the worst weather the year has to throw at us, making repairs to plumbing and heating apparatus all too common. To ensure none of this seasonal reaches you over the winter months, you may want to consider some of the following changes to keep your bank balance as healthy as possible.

    Shower pumps

    salamander shower pump

    Salamander are one of the leading pumps brands around, and from their base in the South East, they have been providing UK homes with the highest quality pumping products for years. A core part of their range that will guarantee you perfectly pressured showers in spite of any boiler problems that may arise during the colder months, is the salamander shower pump. A shower pump of this quality is as effective as they get, and will keep your water pressure intact without any of the associated extra cost that you might otherwise expect.

    Circulating pumps

    circulating pump

    Whilst you may not be familiar with circulating pumps, they are actually one of the most cost-effective heating products money can buy. By ensuring that hot water is distributed evenly throughout the home, any additional and unnecessary expense is circumvented. Not only does the efficiency of a circulating pump minimise the cost of your water bill, it also ensures that extra energy won't be expended heating up water that won’t be used - allowing you to rest assured that your actions aren’t taking a toll on the environment.

    Grey water recycling

    grey water recycling

    Similarly, a grey water pump is ideal not just for those of us who are desperate to safeguard the health of the planet for the foreseeable future; it is also perfect for those of us who are more conscious than ever of exactly how much money we are spending (which is especially true during the festive period). A grey water recycling pump achieves both of these things by repurposing all of the grey water that would otherwise go to waste (from your baths, showers, dishwashers and sinks) for use elsewhere in the home. Given that a grey water recycling system is more than capable of reducing water usage by up to 50%, the upfront investment is miniscule and one you should be certain of considering.

    Sump pumps

    sump pump

    The threat of flooding is never higher than over the bitterly cold and wet winter months - whether that is from a particularly heavy downpour or pipes frozen to the point of bursting. Fortunately, there is one simple step you can take to stave off costly water damage. Installing a sump pump provides a hardy barrier to flooding by automatically casting away any water that may accumulate in the home. Once again, it is an essential initial investment that will easily repay itself over time.

     

  • 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

    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.

  • How to avoid basement flooding

    Converting a basement or cellar, or even excavating a new one, is an increasinglysump pumps for flooding popular way of extending your property. It can provide you with more living space, a home cinema, an office or any number of other things. But it’s important to take steps to prevent flooding. Many basements rely on using sump pumps to keep them dry, but there are some other maintenance measures and checks you can carry out to ensure that you don’t suffer from flooding or water damage when the weather turns wet.

    1. Gutters and Drains

    Keeping your basement dry during wet weather actually starts outside the house. Ensuring that your guttering and downpipes are kept clear and that the drains they feed into aren’t blocked by leaves and other debris will help to make sure that rain water is kept away from the base of the building and therefore won’t find its way to the basement.

    It’s a good idea to get your drains checked too. A blockage could lead to flooding, so getting them inspected or cleared out will provide you with extra peace of mind.

    2. Property Maintenance

    You should also inspect the walls of the basement itself and around the outside of your property for cracks and damage that could allow moisture to penetrate. If there is damage, you need to get it repaired as soon as possible before it becomes any worse. If you have basement windows at or below ground level, these should be checked too. Make sure the frames are in good order and that there are no cracks in the glass that could allow water in.

    3. Sump Pumps

    If you have a sump pump, you need to ensure that the sump itself is free of debris. Make sure the pump is working properly too. It may have had an easier time over the dryer months, and you need to make sure it will work when needed. If it does need replacing - perhaps because it isn’t working as efficiently or it’s become too noisy - then it’s best to get it done before it fails completely. See out guide on how to install a sump pump.

    4. Power Supply

    Of course, your sump pump will only work if it has a power supply. If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding and is likely to suffer power failures, then you might want to consider a back-up power source - either using a generator or batteries. It’s worth finding out how long you can be without power before it becomes a severe problem. If you suffer from regular power loss, it might be worth increasing the size of the drainage sump.

    5. Get Insured

    If the worst should happen and your basement does get flooded, then the clean-up costs could be substantial. Make sure that your household insurance policy covers you for flooding to the basement. If it doesn’t, then look at taking out a separate policy, but check carefully what is and isn’t covered and if there is any excess payable should you need to make a claim. Find out more information about flood insurance.

    Shop sump pumps now to avoid your basement from flooding.

  • 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.

  • 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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