Precautions You Can Take to Prevent Basement Flooding

Basement flooding is quite common throughout the country. With the seasons switching from winter to spring, snowmelt and increased rain can cause water to leak into your basement or back up through your plumbing. Any house can be at risk, and water flooding can result in costly repairs due to water damage or mold and mildew growth. Spring may try to bring water into your home, but fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent basement flooding from happening.

Common Causes of Flooding

Before any water damage happens in your home or property, you should know the most common causes. Awareness can help you avoid any unfortunate or potentially dangerous situations in the future. The most common causes of basement flooding are:

  • Increase in rain or snowmelt
  • Leaks in your pipes or plumbing
  • Damaged, cracked or broken pipes
  • Toilet clogs and system backups
  • Frozen pipes
  • Unsealed basement walls and floors
  • Sewage backup

There are several factors that can cause flooding in your home, so it’s important that you know the dangers and how to prevent them from happening. When it comes to basement flooding, prevention is key.

Flooding Prevention

Any sort of water present, large or small scale, can cause damage to your home. Water in your home or basement can lead to serious damage, ruined belongings, and even health hazards for you and your family. If any water is left standing, mold growth can happen very quickly. At the first sign of any water present, you should call a professional immediately.

Sump Pump

If your home is prone to basement flooding, you should seriously consider a sump pump installation. A sump pump removes groundwater accumulation underneath your home and pushes it away from your home. Typically installed in your basement or crawlspace, sump pumps are extremely effective in preventing water accumulation. Because they run on electricity, you may want to consider a battery backup, so you continue to be protected in the event of an outage.

Ejector Pump

If your basement is finished and has a bathroom, it’s likely that you already have an ejector pump. Plumbing systems use gravity to their advantage, and if your bathroom is lower than your sewer line, it may need a little extra help. An ejector pump helps to carry waste to the sewer line, so it if malfunctions, you could end up with sewage in your basement. Ejector pumps also run on electricity, so a backup is important.

Now that you know how you can prevent basement flooding in your home, what are you waiting for? Call 3 Mountains Plumbing today! 


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Portland Plumber: Sump Pumps vs. Sewage Ejection Pumps

What’s the Difference?

While somewhat similar, we find that many of our Portland-based customers confuse the differences between sump pumps and sewage ejection pumps.  We felt it was worth witing up an easy guide to help clarify the differences and similarities between the two, and to explain why you might need one or both in your home.


Both sump pumps and sewage ejection pumps are located in basements or crawlspaces.  Sump pumps function to move excessive water from your home in an effort to keep your basement or crawlspace free from flooding.

Sewer ejection pumps help move sewage away from your home.  To summarize, here’s a look at the similarites between the two:

Both sump pumps and sewage ejection pumps…

  • Work to move water and waste away from your home
  • Function to keep your home safe
  • May be installed with an alarm sound that alerts homeowners to problems
  • Are located in crawlspaces or basements


There are more differences between sump pumps and sewage ejector pumps than there are similarities.  Although commonly confused, the two each fulfill very different functions in your home.

Sump Pumps

As mentioned, the primary function of sump pumps is to keep your basement or crawl space dry.  Sump pumps, as their name suggests, safely pump water away from your home to reduce the risk of damage caused by flooding.

While basement or crawlspace flooding is something we always want to avoid, sump pumps are especially important during Portland’s rainy season in the springtime.  We always encourage our customers to be proactive in checking sump pump float switches to ensure everything is in proper.

Sewage Ejection Pumps

Sewage ejection pumps are necessary for homes with bathrooms and toilets installed below the water main line.  Sewage ejection pumps help push sewage away from homes in cases where gravity alone can’t do the job.

Plumbing jobs involving sewage ejection pumps may be more costly than others because of the mess and health risks naturally associated with sewage.  At 3 Mountains Plumbing we do everything in our power to ensure the safety of your home.

Please contact one of 3 Mountain Plumbing’s experienced technicians to learn more about the differences between sump pumps or sewage ejection pumps, and to determine if you may need either or both for your home.

Ask a Portland Plumber: Do I Need a Sewer Ejection Pump?

Bathrooms Located Below Water Main Line, Need Ejection Pump

Some homes, bathrooms, and toilets are built or installed in such a way that they are placed below the water main line. This means that gravity alone cannot clear out sewage.

Sewer ejection pumps, or sewer injection pumps, are pumps that work to move sewage to a point where gravity can take over and eliminate waste.  Sewer injection pumps often work in collaboration with sump pumps to clear sewage and unnecessary water from basements and crawlspaces.

How Do I Maintain My Sewer Ejection Pump?

Proper maintenance is the key to success with all plumbing systems, particularly sewer ejection pumps that are exposed to especially harsh elements.  Sewer ejection pumps are perhaps more important than most other plumbing systems because of the possible contamination and even health risks that can occur if and when the system fails.

Here are a few things you can do to help prevent a sewer emergency:

  • Alarm installation: A good preventative action is to have an alarm installed into your sewer ejection pump.  The intent is that the alarm will sound when there is a problem (and hopefully when you are home to hear it in time).  Unfortunately, even alarms are not entirely failsafe.
  • Make sure it is correctly sized: If your ejector system is straining, it could be that it has been improperly sized to fit the space or household size.  To be safe, we recommend basing sewer injection pump size on full capacity usage.  This means that simultaneously the toilet is flushing, the shower is on, and both laundry and dishes are being washed.
  • Proper installation and maintenance: Proper maintenance means maintenance performed by a fully licensed journeyman plumber.  Remember that 3 Mountains Plumbing provides a one-year warranty on all parts and service in addition to up-front, fixed pricing.  It is always worth having an experienced professional manage your household plumbing needs, particularly when it comes to the possible health risks associated with sewage.

Your best bet is to have a professionally licensed plumber install your sewer ejection pump to avoid sizing and other potentially hazardous problems, and then schedule at least annual maintenance appointments.

Please give 3 Mountains Plumbing a call if you have additional questions regarding sewer injection pumps and the safety of your Portland home.