Here’s what you can do to make sure it is doing its job even while you are on summer break!
What is a sump pump and what does it do?
A sump pump is a self-activating electrical pump which means its triggered automatically by water. The sump pump is usually in a crawlspace or unfinished basement area where it can expel water through a series of pipes that lead to the exterior of your home.
The sump pump is activated by a float that gauges the amount of water level in the sump trench. When it’s doing its job, sump pumps are quietly protecting your home from accumulating water that can cause major interior damage to your home, as well as mold, mildew and fungus growth.
Six easy steps to make sure your sump pump is ready for summer storms.
Before you escape on that summer vacation get-away, take a few moments to make sure your sump pump is ready to do some heavy lifting at home.
- Visually inspect your sump pump and make sure it is plugged into a working ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and the electrical cord is not damaged or frayed.
- Find the sump pump’s discharge pipe and vent. Make sure it is clear of any debris or dirt. Bits of gravel can clog up the pipe from being pumped out making the unit work harder to drain the sump basin.
- Do the same inspection for debris of the intake screen and the sump pit. The screen and pit should be clear so the water can flow smoothly through it without a chance of overflowing.
- Check that the sump pump float can move up and down freely. This is the trigger for the sump pump to turn on and off. If it is obstructed or bent, the float will not activate the system properly.
- Run a simple test to make sure your sump pump is working properly. Pour a 5-gallon bucket of water into the sump pump pit. Watch to make sure the pump is unobstructed as it rises with the level of water. When it reaches a certain height, the float should trigger the pump to come on. Take a look to be sure the pump is expelling the water out of the home and there is nothing in the way of the exterior pipe that could block that water from draining away from your home.
- Many sump pumps have a back-up battery. Check how long that battery has been installed in your pump. If it is older than three years, it’s a good idea to install a new one.
What do I do if my sump pump fails?
When that summer storm hits and the soggy ground can’t absorb the downpour, make sure to take a quick check of your basement. A dry basement means your sump pump is keeping you protected. But if you find water in your basement it might mean your sump pump has failed.
When your sump pump fails it’s time to call in the expert. An All Clear Plumbing professional can quickly diagnose your sump pump problem and get it back online. In addition, All Clear Plumbing can help you with preventative sump pump maintenance too.
One way to get a bit of sump pump peace of mind is to install a backup sump pump system. Because water can be one of the most damaging and expensive repairs to your home, a sump pump backup system either battery or water-powered, is a good investment. A backup battery-powered system has a large battery that will kick on when the power kicks off. This is great peace of mind especially if you rely on a well for your water. A water-powered back up system is powered by your home’s water supply. Your All Clear Plumbing expert will suggest the best backup sump pump system for your home.
Enjoy your summer vacation and make sure your sump pump is soggy weather ready!