Time To Check Your Sump Pump!
Ah, spring. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the melting snow and rain are causing the groundwater levels to rise, putting you at risk of a flooded basement.
Most of us in Manitoba have a sump pump in our basement because we know how awful flooding and the resulting damage can be – just think back to our prior record-breaking floods and extreme rains we have received many-a-times before.
But a lot of people don’t know that you need to have sump pump maintenance regularly to keep this potential disaster at bay.
What Can Go Wrong With My Sump Pump?
There are several things that could go wrong with your sump pump. In fact, if not installed correctly, your sump pump can also cause damage instead of preventing it.
- -Your pump could be the wrong size for your basement, making it ineffectual for a big flood.
- -There’s no water in your sump pump, which suggests it’s not properly hooked up to a drainage system.
- -The pump or discharge lines become clogged, causing a back up.
- -A shift in the pump’s position could cause mechanical switch problems.
- -Your pump could lose power, leaving your basement at risk.
- -A build-up of mud, dirt and debris at the bottom of your sump pump pit can cause blockages.
- -It could be running continuously. There are a number of causes, and the problem should be diagnosed by a pro.
- -A lack of maintenance causes your sump pump to stop working through simple mechanical failure.
If you suspect or are experiencing any of these problems, call an expert!
Sump Pump Maintenance Could Save You Thousands In Repairs
If you know anyone who’s had a flooded basement, or had one yourself, you know that the resulting damage can cost thousands of dollars and take a long time to repair.
Sometimes the flood is so bad it creeps up to your main living area. They have an absolutely devastating effect on both homes and homeowners.
That’s why it’s not only important to have a sump pump, but to have spring sump pump maintenance before something that devastating happens to you.
How Do I Get My Sump Pump Ready For Spring?
Before you call an expert for sump pump maintenance, there are a few things you can do.
1. LOOK FOR OBVIOUS CRACKS OR BROKEN PARTS
A thorough inspection should always be the first step in your spring sump pump maintenance plan. If there’s anything cracked, or a part that’s broken, you should call an expert to come take a look.
2. CHECK THE VALVE, DISCHARGE LINES AND CLEAR AWAY DEBRIS
A sump pump most often has a check valve that keeps the water from coming back in, and a discharge line that the sump pump sends the water up and out of your basement.
If something happens to these, water is going to come gushing back in, causing flooding and mechanical issues with your sump pump. That would be a huge, costly mess.
We recommend going outside to where your discharge line empties out, and clearing away any debris that might have built up around or inside the opening. Then inspect the check valve for any noticeable issues.
Please Note: Some sump pumps are connected to a sewer system to discharge the water. If that’s the case with your sump pump, have an expert come and check for clogs.
3. TEST YOUR SUMP PUMP
A sump pump should absolutely be tested before the big spring thaw, particularly if it hasn’t been in use in a while. The simplest way to do this is to fill a bucket with water, and pour it into your sump pump pit.
If your sump pump turns on right away and pumps out the water quickly, you’re in good shape. If you notice something isn’t working properly, move onto step 4.
4. HAVE THE PROS TAKE A LOOK
If you’re sump pump isn’t working properly or needs to be replaced, it’s better to call an expert as early as possible, especially if you’re in an area that's prone to flooding.
Tip: If you are replacing your sump pump, now is the perfect time to invest in a battery-operated back-up pump. In bad storms, we can lose power, and a battery operated sump pump will keep your basement dry when your regular sump pump can’t.