Sump Pump Maintenance Tips

Sump pumps help keep basements dry by pumping water away from your home. However, they are susceptible to problems during long periods of rain.

Sump Pump

Checking your sump pump regularly is a great way to make sure it works when you need it. For professional help, contact Plumber The Woodlands now!

Most sumps have a float switch that controls when they will turn on to pump water out of the pit. If you manually lift the float and it doesn’t turn on, there may be an object stuck in it that’s blocking it from engaging. If you can’t find anything stuck in it, try to reposition the float so that it rises and falls freely with the water.

Another common reason a sump pump doesn’t turn on is that the discharge line outside is clogged with debris and isn’t draining properly. This can also cause flooding in your basement if it’s not fixed quickly.

If you have a battery backup for your sump pump, be sure to check it to make sure it’s charged and that it still operates when the power is cut off during a severe storm. You can do this by connecting a light to the pump’s outlet and checking your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box to see if the pump is receiving electricity.

Lastly, it’s important to visually inspect the sump pump to make sure it’s clean. Most pumps will have a coating of grime and sludge that needs to be removed periodically, which can be done by spraying it down with a hose. You can also use vinegar to loosen the gunk and make it easier to scrape off with a wire brush or even just your fingers. After you’re finished, be sure to reinstall the pump and reconnect all the lines.

Clean the pit.

If a sump pump has a pit, it must be cleaned regularly to ensure the proper function of the unit. Children’s toys and other debris often find their way into the pit, and this can hinder the float mechanism of the sump pump by causing it to malfunction. It is recommended that homeowners clean the pit and pump every three to four months.

To clean the pit, a homeowner must disconnect the discharge pipe. A plumber can help if a homeowner is unable to do this on their own. A plumber can also inspect the pump’s discharge pipe to make sure it is clear of any clogs. If a sump pump isn’t draining water correctly, the discharge pipe may be damaged and will need to be repaired.

Once the discharge pipe is disconnected, a plumber can clean the pump inside and out using a vacuum cleaner, wet or dry. If the pump has a screen, it should be cleaned as well to prevent debris from sticking to it and causing the pump to clog. A plumber can also check the float switch and pressure sensor to make sure they are working properly. In addition, a plumber will check the pit to ensure it is large enough and that the check valve is functioning properly to keep water from flowing back into the sump basin when the pump shuts off.

Lastly, a professional will inspect the removable cover to ensure it fits securely. They will also check the alarm to make sure it is functioning properly. Then, they will pour five gallons of water into the pit to verify that the float switch turns the pump on and off appropriately.

During this inspection, a professional will also examine the basin for any cracks or corrosion. They will check the inlet opening to make sure it isn’t obstructed and will clean it if needed. They will also check the drainage pipes to make sure they are free of any blockages. Finally, they will read the owner’s manual to see if the pump requires any lubrication. If it does, they will apply a small amount of oil or grease to the bearings.

Inspect the pump.

While a sump pump is running, it will create vibrations that may cause the unit to shift from its upright position. This can prevent the float arm from moving freely and triggering the pump to start or stop as needed. If you see this happening or hear a humming noise that seems out of the ordinary, it may be time to call in a professional to take a closer look at your sump pump.

While the plumber is inspecting the power source and pit, he will also check the pump. This will include visually checking to ensure the pump is in an upright position and free of obstructions. It will also involve filling the basin with water and watching to make sure the float switch rises with the water and activates the pump when it should.

If the pump isn’t operating properly, he will use a flashlight to check the grate at the bottom of the sump basin for any obstructions. He will also look for signs that the discharge pipe is clogged with debris or ice, depending on the weather. If there are any problems, the plumber can use a portable space heater to melt the ice and remove any obstructions from the discharge pipe.

In addition, the professional will check that the pump is plugged into a GFCI outlet (or that it has a GFCI built into the plug) and that this outlet is working correctly. It’s a good idea to use a GFCI outlet in any wet area, including basements, since these outlets are designed to cut off the power to appliances that receive moisture.

If the float switch isn’t functioning properly, the sump pump will start and run continuously, which can lead to flooding in the basement of your home. In this case, it’s a good idea to replace the float switch. This can be done by a skilled homeowner or by the plumber during an inspection. It’s a simple process, and it’s one of the most important parts of keeping your home safe from flooding.

Test the pump.

Whether your sump pump is a submersible or pedestal unit, it’s important to test it to make sure it’s still functioning properly. You can do this by pouring water into the pit until the float switch activates, then watching to see that it drains away the water and shuts itself off again. Alternatively, you can remove the sump pump from its basin and inspect the discharge pipe. You’ll want to make sure it isn’t clogged with ice, debris, or dirt. If it’s clogged, you can use a snake or wet-dry vacuum to clear the line. Make sure the pipe is also directing water far enough away from your home.

In addition to testing your sump pump, it’s a good idea to check the inlet valve on a regular basis for debris and obstructions. A clogged inlet valve can prevent your sump pump from operating, and you may need to replace it. It’s also a good idea to regularly clean your sump pump, especially after heavy rains. This will help keep the float switch from getting jammed by debris or sediment that’s washed into the unit.

When a sump pump begins to fail, it can cause significant problems for your home and lead to expensive repairs. However, many sump pump problems are easy to detect and fix with a little bit of maintenance. The most common problems involve the electrical connection, the pump’s water intake and discharge, and the float and switch mechanisms.

If you have any questions about your sump pump’s maintenance or if it’s not performing as it should, contact us. We’ll be happy to provide professional advice and help you protect your home from flooding and other costly problems. We can even schedule a professional inspection during a heavy rain to ensure your sump pump is working as it should. This will also give us an opportunity to recommend any services you might need to prevent your sump pump from failing in the future. The most important thing to remember is that sump pumps are only effective when they’re actually working, so don’t let a broken one leave your home vulnerable.