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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Proper Maintenance of Your Sump Pump is Critical

11/23/2022 (Permalink)

photo of sump pump installation Proper maintenance of your sump pump will insure smooth operation, keeping you safe from water damage.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The main objective of a sump pump is to carry water away from your home to a place where it won't cause any problems. It collects water coming into a building from rain, melting snow, etc., typically in a pit, leading it away from the building foundation. Sump pump devices are commonly found in basements or crawlspaces.

The principle behind the operation of the sump pump has not changed much in the past 50 years. Still, many improvements have been made in its design and construction to make it more reliable and efficient. The most common type of sump pump typically consists of an electric motor, an impeller, a shaft, bearings, seals, and an attached float switch. When the water reaches the float switch level, it activates the switch, which turns on the motor to pump water out of the flooding area.

The Importance of a Sump Pump in the Home and Proper Maintenance

A sump pump is used to remove water that has accumulated in a basement or crawlspace. The pump must be installed properly and regularly maintained to ensure it is working correctly. It is often used with a sump basin, which collects water from the ground and drains it into the pump. The pump then pumps this water outside of the home through a pipe.

A sump pump installation should be done by professionals who know what they are doing. This way, you can install the best model for your home and be sure that it works efficiently. The installation will include various factors such as choosing the right height, under-slab clearance, physical size of the piping, water depth in the pit, etc.

If you want to be sure that the pump works and works well, you need to take a few steps to keep it in proper working condition. After an installation has been done correctly, it is vital to maintain it by ensuring there are no problems with it after turning off your power or after a power outage from a storm. The sump pump needs to be plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI) regular inspect the power cord for any signs of fraying or damage.

It's also a good idea to put the sump pump on a backup battery to ensure smooth operation should the power fail. Test the sump pump and the backup battery a minimum of once a year by slowly pouring a bucket of water into the pump area. It should activate when the water reaches a set level and pump the water out. If it doesn't turn on, there might be a power issue, a clog, or the unit may even need to be replaced.

Other Sump Pump Maintenance Tips:

  • Keep the components of the pump clean for efficient operation. This can be done simply by opening the lid and looking inside. (You may need a flashlight for this.) Clear out any debris, dirt, or other gunk. Be sure to check all vent holes, discharge pipes, and incoming and outgoing drainage lines to ensure that water can flow freely.
  • Update any old, worn-out parts. This step is critical if the sump pump has been used several times. The float switch is most likely to wear out and should be changed every two years, if not more often.
  • Visually inspect the intake screen for clogs and damage. You should change this screen if you can see damage to it.
  • Experts recommend that the backup battery be replaced every two or three years; refer to the owner's manual.
  • Finally, the pump itself may need to be replaced if several years have passed. Most units last between seven and ten years, but some need to be changed out every five years because of heavy use.

Watch out for signs that your pump needs repairs. You may see rust forming on the pump itself or on any of the parts. If you can scrub away the rust, the pump will most likely still work correctly. If you cannot, contact a professional for repairs or replacement.

What Happens When a Sump Pump Fails?

Water is vital for our survival but can also be hazardous when it comes to home construction. When water gets into the basement or crawlspace, it can cause mold and mildew to grow and cause serious structural damage leading to costly repairs. The best way to prevent water damage in your home is to install a sump pump and adequately maintain it. You need to act fast if water has caused water damage in your home. If your sump pump fails and stops working, you should call a plumber as soon as possible. Then call SERVPRO of Northeast Spokane, where our team can inspect your home for water damage, extract standing water, and properly dry the structure to prevent mold growth from forming.

We are here to serve you and our phones are available 24/7. Just call and we'll be there. You can reach us at 509-474-9144.

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