4 Sump Pump Maintenance Tips
Basement floods can be easily avoided with proper house structure planning and maintenance. Also, installing a sump pump is greatly advised to prevent floods in the basement. Sump pumps gather the flood waters in the basement. It then dispatches them outside the house through a discharge pipe. With continuous usage, the sump pump undergoes wear and tear just like any other type of machinery. It’s important to conduct sump pump upkeep so that it will remain functional. After all, you don’t want anything wrong with your sump pump when the basement starts flooding. Read more on how to maintain your sump pump below.
- Check if the sump pump works immediately
The float switch is a component that triggers the motors and starts the sump pump. You need to occasionally check if the float switch and motors are properly working. There’s actually an easy way to do the check-up. Pour a bucket of water or any amount necessary that will cause the sump pump to jump start. If the float switch and motors don’t have any issues then the sump pump will start operating without any trouble. However, if the sump pump didn’t work or has difficulty working, then you need to have it repaired.
- Keep the discharge pipe free from obstacles and freezing
The discharge pipe is where the absorbed water is pumped out from the sump pump. Any obstructions on these parts will force the water to go back to the basement or get stuck on the pipes — rendering the sump pump useless. You need to inspect the discharge pipe and other connecting pipelines for obstructions. If you do find one be sure to remove it.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that discharge lines are prone to freezing. You should at least position the pipes below frost-prone surface. Ideally, the pipes should be dug below 12 cm the ground. Also, the discharge line should be 304 cm apart from the foundation wall of the house. You should insulate the discharge line to protect it from freezing conditions. Many homeowners use heat traps to wrap around the pipes and keep it warm.
- Keep the inlet screen obstruction-free
Apart from the discharge line and pipe connection, you should also ensure the inlet screen isn’t blocked. The water absorbed from the floods won’t flow perfectly if the inlet screen has obstructions. Make it a habit to also check the inlet screen for any blockages. It’s usually recommended to check the screen three or four times a year.
- Install a generator or battery backup for your sump pump
Even if all parts of the sump pump are in good condition it won’t be able to start if there is no electrical supply. It’s important to keep in mind that strong rainfall is sometimes joined with damaging thunderbolts — which can destroy power lines. Without any electrical power source a sump is just a sitting duck. You can keep your sump pump working even if electricity is gone by adding a battery backup or by installing a generator.