Sump Pump Maintenance For Your Home
A sump pump is one of the most important parts of basement plumbing equipment. It makes sure that any accumulated water in your home and around its foundation is promptly pumped out and away from your home to a storm sewer or containment pond, so it doesn't allow your basement to flood, damaging your possessions. At least, that's what it is supposed to do. If your sump pump is not regularly and properly tested, then you can't guarantee that it will come through when you need it most.
1. Inspect the pump and its outlet pipe
Start the inspection by listening. If there is excessive groundwater around the foundation, the pump should turn itself on, pumping out the water and turning itself off again. Next, remove the cover and look inside the sump pit. If the level of water is low, there is a high chance the pump is working properly. Examine the sump pump for any signs of external damage, as well as any obstructions or debris in the surrounding pit. You will also want to see if the outlet pipe that carries water from the pump to outside your home is free of any blockage. And the check valve is working properly.
2. Check the electrical components
Your sump pump should be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which protects it from a potential short while it is submerged. Consider getting yourself a battery-based backup pump for your sump pump that will kick on if your primary sump pump fails.
3. Test the sump pump
Test your sump pump by pouring in five gallons of water. The pump should then turn on once the water level reaches a predetermined level below the basement floor. If the pump doesn’t turn on, it could be either clogged or damaged, and you should call a licensed plumber for help.
4. Clean and maintain your sump pump
The typical lifespan of a sump pump is 10 years but if your sump pump is running often, you should consider replacing it every 5 to 7 years. Inspect and test your sump pump at least once a year. To be safe, check your sump pump before a big storm hits your area.