Is Your Sump Pump Ready For The Summer?
For many homes, a sump pump is the first line of defense in keeping ground or rainwater out of the basement. As water drains around your home, the sump pump keeps it out of your home and pushes it away from the foundation.
Like any home appliance, sump pumps need regular maintenance to ensure they are working correctly.
Sump Pumps Need Cleaning
According to the Sump & Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association, there are five different categories of sump pumps on the market today, and each of them requires regular maintenance in order to work properly when you need it most. They suggest:
Every three or four months – clean the pump screen or inlet opening, more if it collects discharge from an appliance like a washing machine. Pour enough water through the pump to ensure it’s functioning the way it should.
Annually – remove the pump and clean it. Also, clean the pit to ensure it’s free of debris.
A professional maintenance visit should also be scheduled to ensure the unit is working properly, to prolong the life of the sump pump to its full capabilities.
What Professional Inspections Do
When a professional maintenance visit is scheduled, the technician will look at several things.
The pit – the technician will ensure the pit is the right size for the sump pump. It should be cleared from debris.
The check valve – there should be a functioning check valve on the discharge pipe to prevent water from flowing back into the pump once the sump pump turns off.
The backup power – in extreme conditions, the sump pump may be required to work harder than usual. Or the power may be cut, meaning it can’t operate the sump pump through normal means. A professional will ensure backup power is ready and waiting as needed.
The alarm – if the sump pump comes with an alarm, the technician will ensure it’s working and will alert a homeowner when the sump pump turns on.
The discharge location – the discharge as the sump pump operates should be at least 20 feet from the home to prevent water from leaking back inside. It should also be a safe distance from neighboring homes, public sewer systems, or a residential septic system.
When is the last time you scheduled regular maintenance for your sump pump?