Keep Your Sump Pump Clean
The sump pump is an essential part of the home and its job is to help prevent basements from flooding and keeping the area under the home dry. That’s why it’s so important to maintain it, having repairs or a sump pump installation performed when necessary.
How Sump Pumps Work
As the sump pit fills up with water, the pump itself turns on and starts “pumping” to remove excess water, preventing flooding. If the sump pump isn’t working properly, costly problems occur. Keep your sump pump clean (and performing efficiently) using the following tips.
Clean the Sump Pump Filter
As time passes, the sump pumps filter/screen ends up collecting leaves, mud, stones, and other debris. If the dirt and grime accumulate, it can cause clogs, and prematurely shut off the sump pump, both problems that can result in a flooded basement. If the filter needs cleaning, you might as well clean off the sump pump and its pit at the same time. These steps should be a part of regular home maintenance.
Cleaning the Sump Pump
It is highly recommended to call a professional plumbing service if you’re not sure your sump pump is functioning properly.
• Turn off the power on the circuit breaker or unplug the sump pump.
• Make sure nobody in the house uses appliances that can drain into the pit.
• Disconnect the sump pump from the discharge pipe.
• Position the pump outside of the pit and hose off to remove dirt, debris, and residue from the surface. Let dry.
• Use a shop vac to drain away standing water from the sump pit.
• If the check valve you have can be disassembled, do so carefully and let any water inside drain out first, then remove it. Thoroughly rinse with water.
• Let dry and reassemble.
• After all pieces are dry, reattach the sump pump to the discharge pipe and put it back in place.
• Check to make sure the pump is working by filling the basin with water.
Regular Maintenance – Visual Inspections
During the wettest weather, whether it’s rain or melting snow, do a visual inspection of your sump pump. Regular maintenance steps like this will help let you know if there’s a problem with the pump, catching potentially costly plumbing problems before they occur. Routine maintenance is even important when the weather’s dry to avoid problems down the road.
Warning Signs of Sump Pump Problems
The following signs help determine if you need sump pump replacement or repair.
• Water is taking a long time to drain
• The sump pump frequently cycles on and off
• It’s noisier than usual
• Water isn’t being drained or the sump pump doesn’t turn on.
The warning signs listed here could indicate that a simple repair needs to be made, or you need a new sump pump installation. It is highly recommended to contact a professional plumber who will be able to help troubleshoot potential problems, and repair or replace the sump pump if necessary.
Keeping your sump pump clean goes a long way towards protecting your home from basement flooding. Inspections by a professional plumber a couple of times a year is the key to keeping your sump pump working perfectly.