As a homeowner, you rarely think about your sump pump — but you definitely depend on it functioning properly when you need it. Many homeowners install a sump pump as a precautionary measure against flooding from a storm or a burst pipe. Of course, it remains important to keep the sump pump in tip top shape to ensure that it works when you need it most.
Maintaining your sump pump requires just a few simple steps:
- Ensure the sump basin lid is properly sealed. It’s not uncommon for the lid to become loose. When it does so, this can expose your home to excess moisture and mustiness. Most sump pumps are located in the basement of homes. If your lid is loose or falls off, this leaves the opportunity for items such as toys, clothes, dryer lint and many other common items to fall into the sump basin causing an obstruction or clog.
- Run tests. Testing your pump to ensure that it is working properly is very important. Add a few gallons of water to your pit to see if the unit is functioning properly. If the float rises too high and doesn’t turn on or activate the pump, you should unplug the unit and check for debris in the unit and pit. If the pump operates properly, it’s time to check the discharge pipe. If flow is reduced check for blockages. Disconnecting the pipe from the pump and running high-pressure water or a snake through it may be your next step.
- Tie cords to prevent tangling. One very common occurrence is for the pump cords to get caught up on the float switch. Although this is very common, it’s also very preventable. By using wire or zip ties to bind the cords together, you can keep them from getting tangled. Another great option would be tying them up against the discharge line to tighten the slack and keep the cords from bunching up.
- Always have a backup. Investing in a battery-operated backup pump not only is a good thing to have, but also a necessity. Backup pumps can run in any situation. For example, power outages, primary pump failure, or even when your main pump can’t keep up. Having a backup could never hurt. It’s always good to be prepared in case you are in a bind.