A Homeowner’s Guide To Routine Sump Pump Maintenance

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Water damage can be costly. Not only can it damage your home, but it can also cause health issues, including asthma, skin irritation, and long-term health problems. 

Keeping water out through basement waterproofing and using a sump pump is a good way to prevent these issues. But the sump pump is only good if it is ready to work when it’s needed. 

To keep it in top condition, it’s important to complete routine sump pump maintenance throughout the year. Let’s take a look at sump pump maintenance tips to keep your sump pump ready to go.

Monthly Maintenance

Keeping your sump pump in proper working condition will take a bit of maintenance. Some maintenance includes things you can do on your own. You should do the items on this sump pump maintenance checklist monthly, quarterly, or annually depending on the action.

There is not much you need to do every month to maintain your sump pump. But, if your sump pump runs frequently, a check of teh sump well is recommended.  

Make sure to unplug the pump before cleaning it. Afterward, plug it back in so it is ready to go. 

Quarterly Maintenance

You should also check the power cord quarterly. Be sure the pump is connected to power and also turned on. Check the circuit breaker at this time too. Some sump pumps may be hardwired. But, if yours is plugged into an outlet, make sure the GFCI has not been tripped.

At least quarterly, you should check that your sump pump actually drains water. If you expect more excess water than normal, for instance during the rainy season, test it monthly.

To test the pump, pour a bucket of water into the pump. This should raise the float and trigger the pump to turn on and start draining. It should drain quickly.

If the pump does not work, check that the float is not stuck in dirt or sediment. You can loosen it if needed. But if it continues to not drain, call for a service technician since you may need a more thorough examination.

Annual Maintenance

Once a year, you should clean teh sump well of any debris, add a bucket of water, and test opertaion. You should clean the pump itself as it can build up dirt, sediment, and small stones. 

Be sure to clean any accessible areas. Most sump pumps can be cleaned using a garden hose, paper towels, and a brush. 

Make sure the discharge line end is not covered or clogged.

Some sump pumps with a battery backup system may need maintenance annually. Each model will be different, so check what maintenance your model requires using your owner’s manual.

Professional Sump Pump Maintenance

In addition to maintenance, you can take care of as a homeowner, you also need to have a professional perform a sump pump inspection and preventative maintenance. Late winter or early spring is a commonly recommended time to schedule an appointment.

A professional will check a number of parts to make sure the sump pump is ready to go. They should check the pit to make sure it is large enough. The pit is the area that collects water until the pump removes it, so this is a critical issue.

The check valve prevents water from the discharge pipe from flowing back into the pump once the pump shuts off. Your technician will need to make sure the check valve functions properly.

They should also check if there is a backup power source and that it is in good condition. This can be very important if there is a heavy rain event and a power outage. The battery should be replaced every two to three years.

An alarm may not be found on every sump pump, but it can be helpful in letting you know if water has built up in the pit. Your technician should make sure the alarm works when it should if you have one.

A professional can also make sure the removable cover fits properly and can install one if needed. These are good ways to prevent water from evaporating. This could lead to problems otherwise since sump pumps are located in lower levels.

Finally, a professional can double-check that the discharge location is appropriate during your annual maintenance appointment. 

Sump Pump Repair

Due to the critical purpose of the sump pump, you need to make sure it’s always in good working condition. If it’s not working properly, it’s important that you have it repaired as soon as possible.

A faulty motor is one repair that may necessitate replacing the sump pump. Sometimes repairing a motor can be more expensive than simply replacing the whole pump.

Most sump pumps need to be replaced about every ten years. Even if it is working properly, some experts recommend this time frame to prevent issues from building up.

Keep Your Sump Pump Running Well

Routine sump pump maintenance is the key to keeping your sump pump in proper working condition. A combination of regular home maintenance and annual professional maintenance will make sure it is ready to go if you face excess water in your home. 

Call Armored Basement Waterproofing today to make sure your basement is ready to take on excess water.