A wet basement is more than just an inconvenience. It's also deleterious to the health of your house. If you get water in your basement whenever it rains, it can cause mold and damage to your flooring and subflooring. It can also damage whatever you may have stored in your basement. There are a couple of ways to deal with water in your basement. One of them is to have a sump pump.
A sump pump is actually made up of a couple of different parts. One is the sump itself. The sump is a basin or pit that is dug into your basement. If at all possible, there is a very slight grade to your floor leading toward the sump so that water naturally flows down towards it. However, that isn't always possible. Inside the sump is a pump that is used to pump all that water out and into a pipe that carries it away from the house to drain harmlessly. Generally, that pipe goes to a storm drain or sewer system.
How a Sump Pump Works
The way that the sump pump works is that water collects in the sump. As the level of the water inside the sump rises, it triggers a float on top of the water. The float is similar to the float in your toilet. That float stops the water from filling your toilet tank when it reaches a certain level. In a sump pump, the float does the opposite. When it hits a certain level, it triggers the pump to turn on and start pumping water out of the sump. The pump will keep pumping until the float goes back down to a pre-set limit.
The sump pit will always be in your basement, ready to catch the water when it comes in. Having the pump turn on when there is a pre-set level of water in the sump means that the pump will turn on during that unexpected heavy rain storm which causes your basement to flood. Some people have their sump pumps turn on at a certain pre-set time interval, but you risk several things happening if you do that. One is that the pump could burn out since it doesn't need to be on. Another is that the pump won't be on when it's needed, because it is in an off period.
If you have snow melt or rainwater flowing into your basement, you want to get that water out as soon as possible. A sump pump will do that for you. Visit http://www.permadrywaterproofing.com/ for more information.