Sump pumps play an important role of protecting homes from water damage and flooding by rising ground water due to surface runoff. Using some practical maintenance tips will keep your sump pump in tip-top shape!
In the absence of the protection provided by these pumps, homes can be at a risk of basement flooding as well as moisture accumulation which can lead to dangerous mold and water damage. You can very easily forget the important roles of these devices until they stop to work. For this reason, it’s important to be upfront on their maintenance.
Before that though, let’s look at the common reasons for sump pump malfunctioning.
What Can Cause a Sump Pump to Malfunction?
Power failure, especially during a storm, is one thing that can cause the sump pump to stop working. The unit is usually tied into the main electricity line of your home and it cannot work when there is no power. The best course of action under these circumstances is to use a generator to get your unit running again.
Another common reason for sump pump failure is poor installation. If it’s too big, it means it has a lot more work which can result in added pressure for the job to get done. On the other hand, if the sump pump is too small, it won’t effectively remove the water. In order to get the best results, it is very important that you choose the right size of the pump and that it’s installed properly. You can hire a plumber to do this job if you are not comfortable doing it.
To keep your sump pump in tip top shape, it is important that it is subjected to regular maintenance. Sump pumps can be automatic or self-activating. Automatic sump pumps tune on when sensors detect water at a specific level. Failure to maintain these pumps can make them to become jammed or clogged, thereby being unable to get rid of water when needed. Below are some of them important maintenance tips that will keep your sump pump in tip top shape.
Remove Excess Debris
While sump pumps normally have a screen that are intended to keep off dirt and debris away from the pump,the screens can easily become clogged especially if no regularly cleaned. Have the screens checked regularly throughout the year and more so in pumps which are constantly running.
Subject the Sump Pump to Annual Performance Tests
You need to have your sump pump tested at least once every year and when you buy a home. You can do performance tests by adding water to the pit to make sure that the pump is able to turn on as well as remove the water.
Monitor Float Device Movement
It is important for the float device to move up and down as this allows for easy detection of water by your pump. If the pump becomes jammed or stuck in one position, it will not function properly. However, be warned that under no circumstance are you allowed to reach inside the pit to test float.
Other General Maintenance Tips
• Ensure there is sufficient power to the sump pump during the operation. Lack of power can cause the unit to shift out of position, fall or even tilt. This may jam the float arm which can stop it from activating the pump.
• Remove the pump from pit periodically and then have the pit and the grated cleaned. The pump’s sucking action can pull smaller stones or debris into the grate, something that can block or damage the pump with time.
• Make sure that the pump stands upright at all times.
• Make sure that the outlet pipes are joined tightly together, and that they are draining out a minimum of 15 feet from the foundation of your house.
• Inspect rubber sleeves and valve camps, and replace or tighten if you notice cracks.
• Ensure that the vent hole found inside the discharge pipe remains clear all the time.
Sump pumps are very important at preventing flooding and moisture accumulation in your home. But this is only so if your pump unit is maintained and checked regularly. While you can perform routine checks, it is advisable to call in a plumber to perform annual maintenance for you. These experts know how to fix any problem that may lead to flooding or water damage in your home or both.