6 Sump Pump Maintenance Tips From Elk River Plumbing Pros

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The average homeowner forgets about the basement sump pump simply because it is out of sight.  Neglect your home’s sump pump long enough and you will pay the price in the form of damage to your basement and possibly other parts of your home.  Our Elk River Plumbers are here to help you avoid this outcome.  Follow our sump pump maintenance tips as detailed below and you will sidestep potential damage to your home basement.

1. Test the Sump Pump With Regularity

Sump pumps pump water outdoors before it can compromise the interior of a living or working space.  If you ignore your sump pump, the chances of water damage and subsequent repairs are that much higher.  Be sure to test your sump pump from time to time to ensure it works as it should.  Sump pump testing is especially important in the spring when the soil surrounding your house is likely to be saturated due to the onslaught of rain.

Testing a sump pump is easier than most assume.  Simply pour a bucket of water in the sump’s pit.  This dumping of water should force the sump pump to activate.  Remove the water, turn off the sump pump and ensure the check valve and float switch are able to move without restriction.  It will also help to ensure nothing is interfering with the sump pump.  Finally, take stock of the discharge line to ensure it is not obstructed.  The last component of sump pump testing/maintenance is to clear the clogged inlet screen of all debris and residue.

2. Clean the Sump Pump

Though no one enjoys touching a sump pump, it should be removed for cleaning at least once each year.  Start by disconnecting the sump pump from the source of power.  Flush the pump with water to eliminate as much standing debris as possible.  Remove debris, mud, stones and other gunk that has collected in the pit.  Once everything is clean, return the sump pump back to its original position.  Turn the power back on.  Test the sump pump as detailed above to ensure it is fully functional.

3. Add new Batteries

A sump pump backed up by batteries is not guaranteed to work across posterity.  Take the initiative to replace the batteries every couple years or as instructed by the manufacturer.

4. Maintain the Exterior of Your Home

Basement flooding has the potential to prove quite damaging.  You can avoid this nightmare scenario by sealing the cracks along your basement’s walls, foundation and windows.  It will also help to clean the downspouts and gutters on a regular basis to ensure proper drainage.  Furthermore, the grading along your house should have the proper design.  Ideally, the grading will slope in the opposite direction of the foundation so water is washed away with ease.  Keep in mind that the buildup of water has the potential to occur in a rapid manner.  If you fail to take care of the exterior of your home, you will likely suffer basement damage that much quicker.  Sump pumps work fairly well when conditions are not extreme yet an abundance of rain or a flawed design will threaten this device’s viability.

5. Take a Look at the Sump Pump’s Power Source

Sump pump operation is dependent on the homeowner providing it with a consistent source of power.  Take a close look at the electrical cord to determine if there is damage and ensure it is properly hooked up to the ground fault circuit interrupter.  This setup helps prevent injury in the event that the sump pump does not function as designed or if there are problems with the cords.

6. Ensure the Sump Pump Lid is Properly Sealed

The sump pump lid must be properly fastened throughout the entirety of the day and night, 24/7/365.  The only time the sump pump lid should not be fastened down is when maintenance is being performed.  If you find the lid was not properly reattached after maintenance or is loose for another reason, seal it right away.

Call today to speak with an Elk River Plumber from Neighborhood

Do not take a chance with your home plumbing system.  If you suspect anything is wrong with your sump pump, pipes, drains or any other aspect of the plumbing system, ask for help.  Our Elk River Plumbing Company is here to keep your home and your belongings dry.  Let us tackle your home plumbing projects on your behalf and you will rest easy knowing the best in the business are hard at work on


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