How to Maintain Your Basement Sump Pump for Maximum Efficiency
Climate change has made flood risks a reality for many American homeowners. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for the worst to happen. There are lots of ways to protect your home.
Take the sump pump, for example. A basement sump pump is something many homeowners use to protect their homes. But what is it? And how should you maintain it?
Learn how to cut the worry of a malfunctioning pump by following these steps for maintenance and repair. Get rid of the headache of a broken sump pump and gain the peace of mind of an efficient, properly functioning one.
What Is a Sump Pump?
Sump pumps can protect a home from flooding and water damage.
A sump pump is a device that sits in the lowest part of a basement or crawl space, typically in a sump pit. It works by collecting groundwater and pumping it away from the home so that it doesn’t accumulate and cause damage.
Electricity powers most sump pumps. They are usually controlled by a float switch, triggered when the water level reaches a certain height.
Steps to Maintaining Your Sump Pump
It is essential to make sure the sump pump unit is in proper working condition. Unfortunately, this vital piece of home protection is often neglected and can quickly become damaged over time.
Regular maintenance is essential to ensure your sump pump is in optimal working condition and provides the best protection.
Here are the typical steps to maintain a sump pump:
Clear the Pump of Debris
First, make sure the sump pump reservoir area is free of debris. Ensure that the holes in the reservoir lid are clean and dirt-free. This will help ensure the pump is running at peak performance.
Inspect the Valve
Second, inspect the valve. You’ll find this unit on the sump pump’s discharge pipe. It prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit. Ensure the valve is not restricted by debris or buildup and works correctly.
Check the Float Switch
Third, check the float switch. This trigger switch turns the sump pump on and off. Ensure the float arm works and moves freely, and the switch is not stuck in the “on” position.
Check the Power Cord
Fourth, inspect the power cord of your sump pump. Look for wear and tear signs, and ensure the cord is securely connected to your unit.
Check the Power Outlet
Finally, check the power outlet. Installing a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet is essential to protect your sump pump system during a power surge or short circuit.
GFCI outlets automatically shut off power to the sump pump during a short circuit, which can help protect the unit from extensive damage.
DIY Vs. Professional Support
When it comes to maintaining your basement sump pump, you must know what maintenance tasks you should either avoid or hand to a professional. That’s how you ensure your pump is working optimally and efficiently without fail.
First, you should never attempt to repair or replace any sump pump parts, even if you think you know what you’re doing. Even a seemingly minor adjustment can cause more significant problems down the line.
If you’re not a professional, getting someone experienced to clean and service your pump is best.
Professional plumbers and technicians are trained to inspect and repair sump pumps. They can help prevent accidents or issues with incorrect repairs.
Furthermore, you should also refrain from using harsh chemicals or cleaning solutions when cleaning or servicing your sump pump.
Harsh chemicals can damage the rubber components and internal parts of your pump. They can cause corrosion, eventually leading to a malfunctioning or ineffective pump.
If you must use a cleaner, choose one designed for use on sump pumps.
Tips to Maximize Efficiency
After you’ve invested in a sump pump, you want to ensure you get the most from your money. Here are some tips for ensuring your sump pump lasts as long as possible.
It’s essential to check your sump pump once a month to ensure it’s working correctly, with the float switch in good condition. Take a few minutes to guarantee your household is protected against potential flooding!
Regular Sump Pump Maintenance and Cleaning
Periodically clean your sump pump’s basin to ensure it’s not blocked with dirt or sediment.
If you don’t feel confident doing this yourself, call in a professional! Keeping your sump pump in good condition is essential to preventing costly damage.
Replace Worn Parts
Do a thorough check-up of your sump pump, and don’t forget to replace any parts that look worn down. It could help you avoid costly problems later on.
For example, the check valve and discharge hose should be replaced to keep unpleasant sewer gas out of your basement. Taking this preventative measure will help keep your home in tip-top shape.
It’s essential to ensure your basement sump pump is in top condition and performing correctly – test it annually. Doing so guarantees it’s pumping the right amount of water, giving you greater peace of mind.
Check the power, too, when running these tests.
Ensure your sump pump is safely connected to a properly grounded outlet and free of damaged power cords. Take the time to double-check, as it could mean the difference between a dry home and a flooded basement.
Consider a Backup
If your primary sump pump fails, are you prepared? Invest in a backup sump pump to ensure you’re prepared for the unexpected. Don’t let a failed pump derail your day — secure yourself with a backup now.
If a backup is too expensive, consider backing up the battery instead. You don’t want to let a power outage prevent your sump pump from working. A backup ensures your basement stays dry – even when the lights go out.
Check the Fitting
If you bought your house with an installed sump pump, it’s worth getting an expert to check the sizing. It must be appropriately sized to fit your basement, or it could waste energy (and cost you money).
Conversely, a pump that’s too small will be ineffective in a flood as it won’t be able to pump enough water from your basement.
Maintaining a Basement Sump Pump
Maintaining a basement sump pump may sound intimidating, but it’s vital. Keeping your sump pump in optimal working condition will reduce unexpected problems and maintenance costs.
Knowing when to call for professional help is the best way to keep your pump running for years.
Our team can provide experts for sump pump installation and maintenance. To find out more, contact our office today for a free estimate.