Sump pumps are installed beneath the floor of your basement, and pump water out of your home in cases of heavy precipitation, protecting your basement from flooding and water damage. While they do not require constant tending to continue working, a sump pump failure can prove disastrous, leading to widespread water damage in your basement that can lead to mold and mildew growth, a serious health concern. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to ensure that your sump pump is working effectively.
Maintaining a Sump Pump
- Debris: Open the cover to your sump pump and do a visual check for any noticeable debris, like leaves, twigs, or rocks that could clog your sump pump. Remove any foreign objects from the installation.
- Flush the pump: Unplug and disconnect the pump and remove it. Clean it thoroughly, using plain clean water to flush the pump itself to remove any debris or minerals that may have collected in the pump. You should do this before every expected period of heavy rainfall or snowmelt.
- Check the grate: Before you reinstall the sump pump, check the grate at the bottom of the compartment and remove any debris that may have gotten stuck there. Some grates can be removed from the compartment, which makes the cleaning process much easier. Just rinse it out under clean water and reinstall it.
- Float: Check to make sure that the float is free and untangled from the pump or any debris. Pour a bucket of water into the sump pump compartment to ensure that the float can rise normally. Once it has risen a few inches, the pump should start working, removing the water from the hole. If it does not, check to ensure that the pump is plugged in. If it is and still isn't working, call a plumber such as Dependable Plumbing, as the issue may be with the pump itself.
- Outflow pipe: Check the pipe outside your home to ensure that it is unobstructed. Check for any signs of damage. Holes or punctures will need to be dealt with immediately, as they will allow water to leak out of the pipe too close to your house, which will just let the water seep back into your basement to be pumped out by your sump pump again.
You should complete the above steps at least once a year, or right before expected periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt. At any signs of damage, you should call a plumber immediately to have the pump looked at before water damage becomes a reality for your basement.