A sump pump is a useful tool for any home prone to flooding. In some areas, frequent home flooding is almost unheard of. But many people in our service area need sump pumps to keep water from filling up the home, especially in the rainier months.
Sump pumps can be reliable for years, however, and then shut down when you need them most. Since these types of pumps only run when activated by water, you might not find out about it until water is filling your crawlspace or seeping into your living area. Yikes!
Ready your sump pump for the next few months with our plumbers’ tips. Take some time this weekend to do a thorough inspection of your sump pump and test it for proper operation, and call our team if you run into trouble.
Inspecting the Sump Pump
You should complete a thorough inspection of your sump pump at least once per quarter—every three months or so. Check on your sump pump as often as possible—it can’t hurt and it’s much better than dealing with a flooded home!
- First, go outside and find the drain that leads from the sump pump. Typically, the water from the pump drains directly into your yard. However, it’s possible that the pump is connected to the sewer system, in which case only a plumber can provide any necessary cleaning.
- Pull debris from the drain.
- Peer in with a flashlight and see if any further drain cleaning is necessary.
- Go inside and inspect the wiring that leads from the sump pump, checking for damages like fraying.
- If there is a battery backup, make sure it is charging.
- Check the pump for any cracks.
- Physically remove the pump to clean any debris from the drain.
- Run a test on the sump pump.
Testing a sump pump is fairly simple. Fill a large bucket of water with a few gallons of water. Fill water to the top and make sure it continues to drain properly as you add more and more water. To test the backup battery, you might try unplugging the pump and see that it still runs on battery power. You wouldn’t want an outage to keep you from getting the home protection you need.
When to Call Plumbers for Help
Some problems are easy to resolve on your own. For example, you can straighten up the pump on your own when it falls over. Or, if the pump has stopped working, you might try resetting the circuit breaker.
However, for most major issues, you’ll need to call in a plumber for help. Often, the problem requires sump pump replacement—problems such as…
- Cracks in the sump pump case (if you have a submersible pump).
- Operational issues that don’t improve by resetting the circuit breaker.
- Slow or backed up drainage.
Call in a plumber to find out for sure. Someone with the right experience can quickly determine whether the pump can be repaired, explain your options, and help you find a new pump that runs smoothly for longer.