Sump pumps provide peace of mind to countless homeowners who live in high water table areas or areas otherwise prone to flooding. They’re the first, and in many cases only, line of defense many of these homeowners have against the scourge of basement flooding. But they’re not indestructible. Sump pumps require regular maintenance to ensure they’re able to answer the call when the water starts to rise. For the most part sump pump maintenance is pretty straightforward but just because it’s an easy DIY project doesn’t mean it can be ignored. Below we’ll look at a half dozen maintenance tips from sump pump guides that will help keep your sump pump humming along for years to come.
Tips to Keep Your Sump Pump Pumping
Sump pumps are the unsung heroes of the modern home. While we dine or watch movies or take long lazy naps upstairs the sump pump is in the basement keeping a watchful eye over groundwater levels and snapping to attention should it detect trouble. Do your sump pump, your home and your family a favor by following these 6 simple sump pump maintenance tips:
- Clean the pit around the pump – The pit should be completely free of all dirt and debris. Failing to keep the sump clean could result in a clogged impeller or discharge tube which can cause the pump to fail when you need it most.
- Inspect the float – It’s important that the float be properly positioned. That it not be pinched in any way or have its movement obstructed by other objects. The float needs to move freely up and down or the pump could be rendered useless.
- Inspect the drain line – If the drain line is corroded or damaged in some way water that’s supposed to be pumped out of the basement will spill back in and you’ll have a flood on your hands. Inspect the line carefully for any signs of damage.
- Check the power cords – Make sure the pump cords aren’t in a position to potentially get tangled with the float. If the cords are dangling free use a zip tie or some other method to bind them together away from any moving parts on the pump.
- Make sure the lid is sealed properly – It’s important that the lid to the sump pump be fastened down securely at all times (except when you’re conducting maintenance of course). If the lid is loose or was not put back for some reason the pit can become a trash can that collects clothes dropped from the laundry basket, dirt, toys and more.
- Back up your pump – It’s not uncommon for the power to go out during floods. When this happens the sump pump goes out just when you need it most. You can prevent this by installing a battery operated backup sump pump that can be activated if the main pump is down.
A word of caution: Make sure you unplug the sump pump before doing any maintenance on it and don’t forget to plug it back in when you’re finished.