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A Quick Guide to Sump Pump Maintenance

Sump Pump Maintenance

Are you taking care of your sump pump?

Your sump pump plays a vital role in keeping water from flooding your basement. Without it, you run the risk of water ingress into your home, damaging your foundations.

This could put the structural integrity of your home at risk, so you need to take care of your sump pump. But if you’ve never had one before, it can be difficult to know where to start or what you should be doing.

That’s where we come in! Keeping reading for our sump pump maintenance guide for everything you need to know.

Know the Functions of your Pump

The first step in sump pump home maintenance is getting to know your unit. This way, you know what your pump does well, what it doesn’t handle and what it needs to work at its best.

Start with the following:

  • How old your unit is (after 7-10 years units can have issues)
  • Any existing issues you need to keep an eye on
  • Where you can get replacement parts

If you installed a new sump pump, hang onto the instructions where they’re safe and easy to access. It’s a good idea to have a digital copy on your computer or phone to check faster. You can also keep it in a ziplock bag and tape it to the wall near your unit.

If you don’t know the age, look at the motor to get the model number. If you can’t see it, then look up the brand name of the pump. You should then be able to narrow down the model by checking if it’s a submersible or pedestal pump.

A submersible pump will have a motor that works underwater, so the motor would be in the pit itself. A pedestal pump has a motor set above floor level and out of the pit.

Check Your Sump Pump Works

Flooding is unpredictable so every month it’s worth checking your sump pump works. In fact, this is one of the most important sump pump maintenance tips we can give you.

Check that it’s connected to the power source, and then pour some water into your sump pit. Take note of how the pump is running and listen out for any weird noises. You want to make sure your basement is safe from water damage when you need it most in the storm season.

Look At Your Discharge Line

You may notice at some point that water drains slower from the pit. This might not be an issue with the pump, but actually your drainage pipes.

When you check your pump is working, make sure you inspect the drainage pipes too. You want to make sure they’re free of blockages, and the passage of water out of your home is clear.

Know the Signs of Sump Pump Problems

There can be a variety of sump pump issues if yours breaks down but most have signs you can look out for. Here are the major signs you want to look out for that could mean you need sump pump repair:

  • Weird noises: Could mean wear and tear on parts
  • Grinding/rattling noise: the impeller could have damage or a jam
  • Excessive motor vibration: the impeller could have bent
  • It turns on and off at will: The internal wiring could be faulty
  • Oil leaks: a sure sign your pump is about to fail

If you have any of these signs, call in an expert asap. You may need a sump pump repair, or they might suggest it would be better to replace it completely. Either way, it’s not doing the job that it should.

Make Sure Your Equipment Has Adequate Cover

By making sure your sump pump has an adequate cover, you can keep it protected. Otherwise, lint, sediment, and debris can all fall in, clogging up the pit and pipes.

Where possible your cover should have a tight fit. It should only have holes for wires to exit, the stand (if it’s a pedestal pump), and the drainage pipe exit.

If you do have a cover, this doesn’t mean you need to clean it less often. All it means is you’ll have less to clean out when you do your routine maintenance.

Clean your Sump Pump & Sump Pit

You want to make cleanliness a priority for your sump pump and pit. This will increase your pump’s efficiency as well as extend its lifespan. Follow these four steps for cleaning your sump pump and pit well:

  1. Switch the pump off and tell the house not to use appliances that drain water from the pit (washing machines, etc.).
  2. Use your garden hose to rinse off your pump. For any caked-on muck and dirt, use a scraper or something similar.
  3. Take a wet vac and use it to clear out the pump’s pit.
  4. Once dry, replace the discharge pipe and switch your pump back on again.

Do this as part of your regular home maintenance to make sure your pump doesn’t clog up or get too dirty. It’s one of the most important things you can do to keep it running as it should.

Consider a Back-Up System

When it’s storming, it’s common for there to be a power cut along with the flooding. This is why it could be an idea to have a back up sump-pump installed that doesn’t need electricity.

Usually, these types of pumps will be battery-powered, or they will run off the water pressure from your house. They aren’t as robust as the typical pedestal or submersible options, but they can help you out in a pinch.

Know Your Local Sump Pump Repair Company

Having a reputable local sump pump repair company on your side can help you avert disaster. Even if you don’t know the age or lost the instructions, experts can handle different makes and models.

If you’ve bought or are renting a property with an existing pump, they can help you understand it. They can also be on hand if you notice any worrying signs and need some advice.

Most of the time, they can put your mind at ease with a repair. Though they know what to look for when wear and tear get too much and a replacement is due.

Sump Pump Maintenance Made Simple

So, there you have it! Now you know these quick tips for sump pump maintenance you’re sure to keep yours in working order.

Cleanliness is key here, and you want to keep on top of cleaning your sump pump and pit. Make sure it’s working all year round, even outside of storm season so you’re not caught short when you need it most. The more on top of the maintenance you are, the longer your sump pump should protect your home.

If you’re looking for a sump pump check-up in North Carolina, contact us today. Our expert team at Sedona Waterproofing Solutions has the knowledge for all your sump pump needs.