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Mold, musty smells, and structural damage are some of the most common risks of water-damaged basements. These problems can be quite common in households frequented by heavy rains and are prone to flooding.
These issues can be prevented mainly with basement waterproofing and crawl space waterproofing. However, your main line of defense is your sump pump, which works tirelessly to remove water and force it out into a draining space.
With this crucial function in mind, performing a regular sump pump cleanout and maintenance is vital to keep it in working condition. Although replacing a sump pump is relatively cheaper than a new install, keeping your sump pump in good working order ensures that your home is well-protected from the destructive impact of water damage.
Below, we’ll walk you through the sump pump maintenance process by sharing a sample sump pump maintenance checklist and other essential tips to help you get started.
Understanding Your Sump Pump
Before diving into maintenance, it’s crucial to understand the basics of your sump pump. Sump pumps are typically installed in the lowest point of your basement or crawl space for effective water removal. They come in two common types: submersible and pedestal:
- Submersible sump pumps are placed inside the sump pit, fully submerged in water. They are quieter and more discreet, but they also generally cost more than pedestal pumps.
- Pedestal sump pumps, on the other hand, have the motor above the sump pit, with only the base and pump impeller submerged. While they are more affordable, they tend to be noisier and are typically less aesthetically pleasing.
Knowing the type of sump pump you have installed is essential in understanding what sump pump cleanout and maintenance procedures you need to follow.
Adhere to a Regular Sump Pump Maintenance Schedule
Just like any other home appliance or machine, your sump pump also requires a routine maintenance schedule. Neglecting to adhere to this schedule may lead to premature failure, which becomes especially unfortunate when those instances happen when you need it the most. At this point, replacing a sump pump becomes a more feasible option to restore its functionality.
Water remediation experts recommend conducting maintenance checks at least every six months to ensure that your sump pump is in optimal condition. However, if you reside in an area with frequent rainfall or a high water table, more frequent inspections may be necessary.
As for how to clean your sump pump, here is a sample sump pump maintenance checklist you can follow:
- Check for debris or obstructions inside your sump pump that can hinder its operation. Remove the cover of your sump pit and look for any debris, gravel, or mud that may have accumulated.
- Inspect the power cord for visible signs of damage, such as fraying or exposed wires. If any issue is present, replace the cord immediately.
- Ensure the float switch moves freely without any obstructions. If obstructions are present, remove them to free up the sump pump and clean the surrounding area.
Testing Your Sump Pump
Periodic testing is crucial to confirm that your sump pump is operational. Here’s how to perform the test:
- Pour enough water into the sump pit to raise the float switch. Observe whether the pump activates and starts pumping water out. If it doesn’t, you might have a problem that requires immediate attention.
- Listen for unusual sounds while the pump is running. Look for sounds like clunking, grinding, or squealing, which could indicate a problem with the pump.
- Test the discharge pipe to see if it is not clogged or frozen and that water discharges freely.
Battery Backup System
- Test your backup battery system to ensure the sump pump’s function during power outages.
- Turn off the main power supply to allow the backup power to kick in. Consider replacing a sump pump battery when it’s not working correctly.
Sump Pump Cleanout and Lubrication
- Check your manufacturer’s manual to see if it requires lubrication.
- If it requires lubrication, check the manual for the specific type of lubricant to use and how frequently it should be applied.
- Clean the sump pump regularly to free it from debris. Inspect the sump pit for smaller debris like dirt, sand, and small stones.
Check Valves and Discharge Pipes
- Inspect the check valve, which is responsible for preventing the backflow of water into the sump pit. Verify if it is functioning correctly and not stuck in the closed position.
- Examine the discharge pipe for signs of clogs or blockages. Remove any obstruction to ensure water flows freely from your home’s foundation.
Look For Signs of Trouble
In addition to the sump pump maintenance checklist items above, it is also important to pay attention to the following signs of trouble:
- Unusual noises that may indicate a problem with the motor or impeller.
- The sump pump is running continuously, a sign of a malfunctioning float switch.
- Visible corrosion that could weaken the pump.
- A delayed response from the sump pump.
- Excessive vibration resulting from poor installation or mounting.
- Failure to discharge water from the pump indicates a blockage or pump malfunction.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly to avoid a potential failure when you need your sump pump the most.
Importance of a Professional Inspection
While regular homeowner maintenance is vital, it’s also wise to schedule an annual professional inspection by a qualified plumber. A professional inspection can identify potential problems that may not be apparent during routine checks. It’s an investment in the longevity and reliability of your sump pump.
By having a qualified plumber conduct an annual inspection of your sump pump, you can ensure expert eyes are assessing its condition and functionality, allowing for early detection and prevention of potential issues. Such proactive measures protect your investment in the sump pump, prolong its lifespan, and provide peace of mind, knowing that it will reliably and effectively prevent water damage in your home.
Safeguard Your Home from Water Damage with Restoration 1
A well-maintained sump pump is a homeowner’s best defense against water damage. Regular maintenance ensures that it continues to do its job effectively. Following the maintenance tips outlined in this blog can keep your sump pump running smoothly.
Restoration 1 is committed to keeping your home protected from the dangers of water damage. When heavy rains pour and flooding is imminent, know that you can rely on the experts at Restoration 1 to assist you in times of trouble and help you protect your property. We are dedicated to providing you with peace of mind. Get in touch with us today!