If your home has a basement or crawl space, you are sure to have a sump pump to protect your home from a flood of groundwater. These small pumps are a very cost-effective way to gain some peace of mind against a torrential downpour that can almost instantly flood your property and home. But your sump pump is only a reliable insurance policy when it is properly maintained and monitored.
Understanding Your Sump Pump’s Job
If you have a sump pump, it is located in your basement or crawl space in a hole or pit in the floor. This is the lowest part of the floor and ensures that any water will drain into the pit. The water could be seeping in from the ground around your home or even from a broken hose on your washing machine or a leak in your water heater. But it will always flow to that lowest point. When any water begins to accumulate in the sump pit, your home’s sump pump is activated to pump the water out of the house through a discharge line.
Why Is Maintenance Essential?
As you can imagine, you might not always be aware that there is water in your basement. In most cases, you would know when there is a rainstorm. However, if you are not at home, you will rely on your sump pump to automatically spring to action and remove any potentially dangerous water. But what if the unit is clogged, damaged, or broken? The only way you will know this critical piece of information is when your basement begins to flood. And then, it is too late. By inspecting, testing, and cleaning your home’s sump pump regularly, you will know that it is functioning correctly and protecting your home.
A Simple Test
Before storm season is the best time to check out the sump pit and your sump pump. Remove the pump from the pit and look for any dust, dirt, or debris that could clog the pump when water begins to fill the sump pit. A shop vac is an ideal tool for cleaning up anything you see in the pit. Next, inspect the intake area of the pump for any debris or blockage. Carefully remove anything you locate.
Replace the pump in the sump pit once both are free of debris. Next, pour a large bucket of water into the sump pit to activate the pump. Watch as the pump begins to remove the water from the pit and move it outside. Ensure that the pump shuts off when the water is gone. If the pump continues to run with no water moving through it, the unit will quickly overheat and damage the motor.
While the pump is functioning, inspect the discharge pipe running up the wall and to the outside of your home. Look for cracks or leaks in the pipe that could create water damage. Finally, go outside to the end of the discharge line to ensure that it is not blocked or clogged. Clean the pipe as needed to avoid overworking the sump pump.
A Potential Issue
If your sump pump does not activate during the test, ensure that it is plugged in and the outlet is working. A tripped breaker can be the issue in many cases. Test the outlet by plugging a light or other tool into the outlet. If you are unable to get your home’s sump pump to function, call (505) 308-2776. The licensed plumbers at All-Out Plumbing & Mechanical will arrive promptly to ensure that your sump pump is ready to protect your home from floodwater.