A sump pump removes water from a basement and discharges it outside the house. This prevents your basement from flooding during a heavy rainstorm.
A professional should inspect your sump pump every two years. This includes checking the float switch and ensuring the pit is large enough. It also includes checking the discharge pipe for clogs and other problems. Contact Westfield Plumbing for professional help.
The float switch on a sump pump tells the motor when to turn on and off. If it gets stuck in the on position or becomes clogged, it can cause your sump to start and stop automatically at incorrect times and possibly damage your motor. Check the float switch regularly to make sure it isn’t stuck in the on position and that it can move freely.
A sump is a large underground basin that collects groundwater from around your home and pumps it out through a discharge line. It is important to inspect your discharge line annually for blockages or leaks that can cause the pump to fail and flood your basement. Examine the discharge pipe for cracks or other damage on the outside, as well as inside for signs of water and rust. If you notice any problems, it is best to have a professional plumber repair them as soon as possible to avoid a costly failure.
While you’re doing maintenance on your sump, be sure to clean the discharge screen on the bottom of the unit as well. This helps prevent debris from entering the pump and causing a breakdown. To clean the discharge screen, you will need to remove the pump from the basin, and carefully disconnect the discharge pipe leading to the outside of your house. If the pump is plugged in, you will need to unplug it and put it in a bucket or trash bag to protect yourself from getting sprayed with water and debris.
Once you have removed the pump, you can use a dry towel to wipe it down and degrease any extra grime that may have built up. You can also saturate the float switch in vinegar to help loosen any gunk that is stuck. Once the pump is cleaned, you can plug it back in and test it to see if it works properly.
When you plug the pump back in, you should hear and feel the motor start to run. If it doesn’t start, then the float switch needs to be repaired or replaced, and the pit must be cleaned out before attempting another test.
Check the Electrical Connections
A sump pump requires a bit more care than your average household appliance. It should be fully inspected, cleaned and tested at least once a year to make sure it works as intended. This includes removing the pump from the pit, checking the power source and cleaning the grate as well as the inlet screen or opening. It’s also a good idea to have a battery backup installed to protect your home against flooding in the event of a power outage.
The easiest way to test your pump is to simply pour water into the basin. It should activate when the float or pressure sensor rises to match the water level and begin pumping water out of the basin and into your discharge line. If the pump doesn’t turn on or shuts off frequently, it may be time to replace it.
Over time, the electrical components of a sump pump can wear out from continuous use. If you notice rust or corrosion on the parts of your pump, it’s important to clean them and lubricate the bearings. If you have a sealed pump, this isn’t necessary, but if yours is unsealed, it’s an easy step to take that can help prevent the need for repair or replacement down the road.
If you have a battery backup sump pump, it’s important to check the battery and replace it every seven years, or as recommended by the manufacturer. This is because batteries can wear out from repeated charging and discharging, forcing your backup pump to work overtime.
Your sump pump has two separate cords that plug into electrical outlets, one for the float switch and one for the motor. Unplug both and then plug only the motor back in. This will cause the pump to come on immediately if everything is in working order, letting you know that it’s ready to go when it’s needed. Be sure to plug the float switch back in as well, or your basement could be at risk of flooding if the pump doesn’t activate when it’s needed. Also, be sure to check that the discharge line leading outside is extending at least 20 feet from your home and isn’t clogged with debris.
Test the Pump
The sump pump is designed to divert water away from your home, preventing flood damage. To do this, it is necessary for the pump to be in working order. When a sump pump is not in working order, water can cause structural damage to your home. To test the operation of your pump, fill the pit with water and see if it turns on and begins to drain. In addition, be sure to check the discharge pipe to ensure that it is properly directing the water away from your home.
Make a note of the time when you perform this test so that you can track the pump’s performance over time. This can help you notice a decrease in efficiency or functionality that you can address with routine maintenance or repairs.
If your pump does not turn on, there could be a problem with the float switch. This may be because it is stuck in the “on” position, or because it is damaged. Alternatively, the float switch might be clogged. Check the float switch and clean it if needed. Then, test it by dumping a bucket of water into the pit and watching to see if the pump activates.
Another problem that can occur is when the pump overheats. This can be caused by a build-up of chemicals or iron. Regardless of the cause, this issue can be prevented by removing the cover and cleaning the pump with a brush. You can also flush the pump with a garden hose to remove built-up gunk and chemical residue.
The impellers of the pump can also become damaged over time, causing them to rotate unevenly and cause vibration and noise. Inspect the impellers for signs of damage. If they are damaged, it is a good idea to replace them.
Lubricating the bearings is another important aspect of routine maintenance for your sump pump. This can reduce friction and improve the overall function of your pump. Consult the manufacturer’s manual for detailed instructions on how to lubricate your specific unit.
Finally, it is a good idea to consider a battery backup for your sump pump. This can ensure that the sump pump remains functional during a power outage. This is especially important if you live in an area prone to severe storms or flooding during heavy rains.
Clean the Pit
A sump pump pit should be cleaned and inspected at least once a year. To do this, remove the pump and clean it thoroughly. This includes cleaning the grate, draining pipes, cleaning the float screen or inlet opening, and inspecting the power source to make sure its cord is in good condition. Then, put it back into the pit, filling it with water to keep it from running dry. It’s also a good idea to have a professional inspect your sump pump at least once a year. The professional will check six things, including the pit size, drainage pipes, a backup power source, and the discharge pipe and check valve.
Performing these routine tasks will help ensure that your sump pump can work properly and keep your basement safe from flooding and other problems. If you are not comfortable doing these maintenance tasks yourself, a plumber can help. They can also perform a full inspection and cleaning before the rainy season begins.
To perform these tasks, start by disconnecting the power to your sump pump and any other accessories, such as a battery backup. This prevents electrical mishaps and burns. Next, unscrew the bolts or screws that connect the pump to the discharge pipe. If there is any resistance, a lubricant such as WD-40 can help ease the separation. If there is any mould growing between the pump and the discharge pipe, scrub this area with disinfectant. After you’ve separated the pump and the pipe, inspect the bottom of the pit for solid debris that can clog it.
When you’ve finished, clean the pump and the pit thoroughly with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. This will help remove any remaining sediment, dirt, and grime, as well as a sludge that builds up. Then, rinse the pump with a garden hose outdoors. Finally, clean the float switch and its connecting wires to make sure they are free of twigs, leaves, or other debris.
Once everything has been cleaned and inspected, it’s time to reconnect the power and test your sump pump again. Simply dump a bucket of water into the pit and observe how the float and valve respond. Once the water is removed, you can be confident that your sump pump is ready to protect your home from moisture issues this spring.