Blog, Maintain Tips

Sump Pumps Maintenance and Inspection Tips

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.

sump pump maintenance tips

Tips to Keep Your Sump Pump Pumping

Sump pumps are the unsung heroes of the modern home. How sump pumps work is nothing short of fascinating 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Blog, Maintain Tips

How To Install A Sump Pump – Sump Pump Guides

There are many stages to installing a sump pump. Here, we cover a few of the basics to get you started.

  • You Need a Sump Pit – A sump pit must be dug to create a space large enough and with a diameter sufficient to lift a sump pump down into it. The outlets usually connect at the top and lead upwards, so the space required isn’t much more than the widest diameter of the chosen sump pump.
  • Creating a Sump Pit – A sump pit must be dug by first digging up the floor if it’s already been put in. A jack hammer is required to do this. If the floor is just ground soil, then dig a hole deep and wide enough to house a sump pump. The position of the pit must be over 10 -inches away from the foundation flooring to satisfy building codes.

Install A Sump Pump

  • Fitting the Pump – Gravel may or may not be needed to be added to the bottom of the sump pit. That depends on the manufacturer’s instructions and the particular model. Alternatively, a paver made of concrete may be required instead. A check valve will also need to be fitted to the discharge outlet on the pump using hose clamps.
  • Arranging the Discharge – Some PVC pipe is required which will connect from the check valve to the elbow PVC connector. A pipe will then connect from the PVC elbow to a basement wall that’s part of the foundation. It will be necessary to drill through the rim joist to access the siding on the exterior to place the pipes through. At that point, the exterior pipes can be directed to move the flow to the drainage using more pipes and other connectors, as required.