The beginning of the spring is the time to make sure the sump pump in your house is ready to do its job in case of flooding. Spring rains, snowmelt, and more water saturated into the ground bring the danger of water seeping—or flooding—into your basement. The entire purpose of the sump pump is to get that water out of there as fast as possible. Just like a generator, a sump pump is a device you hope you never need to use—but you want to ensure it will work in case ever need to use it.
How Do I Maintain a Sump Pump?
Most of the maintenance work for a sump pump is a basic series of checks. You can find out this way if the pump needs to have repairs or if it’s time to have it replaced.
First, check the sump pit – The sump pit is the excavated point in the basement where excess water collects so the pump can remove it. You don’t want debris down in the sump pit that can jam up the pipe’s of the pump, so take out any stones or gravel or anything else in the pit.
Check the pump intake – Unplug the sump pump before doing this. The intake is the point on the pump where it draws in water. This will be in a different spot depending on whether the pump sits above the sump pit (a pedestal pump) or down in the sump pit (a submersible pump). Plug the pump back in when you’re done.
Test the pump – Take a bucket holding a few gallons of water and pour it slowly into the sump pit. It will either start to raise a float or reach a switch that will turn on the pump. If the pump activates, keep it running until it has drained out the sump pit and turns off. (Important: don’t allow the sump pump to run if there’s no water. This can cause it to overheat.
If the sump pump doesn’t activate or it isn’t draining the water, the best step is to call for a plumber to examine it. There may be trouble with the motor or blockage in the discharge pipe.
Do the same tests for the backup pump – If you have a backup sump pump, don’t neglect it. If you live in an area that frequently has problems with flooding, we strongly recommend having a backup pump installed. Backup pumps are battery-powered so you’re protected in case of a power outage, which often accompanies the storms that cause flooding.
Schedule Sump Pump Services ASAP
Should you have any doubts about your sump pump’s operation, call our plumbers to schedule service to fix or replace it. It’s much better to have a working sump pump you can rely on than to find yourself with Durham, NC emergency plumbing needs that are threatening your home. Water damage is expensive to remediate, so invest in sump pump services—they’re a real bargain.
Bud Matthews Services is here for all your home service needs in Durham, NC. If you need sump pump repair or a new sump pump, call us.