Spring is a time for sump pumps. Winter ice thaws and leaves homes more vulnerable to flooding, as do the seasonal rains. A reliable sump pump should pump out water as quickly as it enters the home, but how can you tell if your sump pump is really working as it should?
Unfortunately, many people don’t find out that their sump pumps are not working until it’s too late. The basement is filled with water and they have to pay to pump it out…along with the cost of a new sump pump. It’s far more cost effective to test your sump pump and find out if it’s working properly long before this becomes an issue. Learn the steps in the guide below, and contact our plumbers for more information.
#1: Checking the Drains
The water your sump pump removes from the basement needs somewhere to drain. In some instances, sump pumps drain with your sewer lines to the city’s sewer system. In order to inspect these drains, you’ll need the help of a professional plumber.
In most cases, the drain has an outlet that leads to the outdoors. You can access the drain and peer inside with a flashlight for a better view. If there is any debris accessible to you, scoop it out; if you need a drain auger or drain snake, you may need to call a plumber. You should also clean out the drain opening under the pump itself.
#2: A Visual Inspection
Now it’s time for a visual inspection of the components of the pump and pit. Make it a habit to check on these things for your sump pump whenever you have the opportunity, whether or not you have time for a complete test.
- Look over the sump pump for potential cracks and holes.
- If you have a battery back-up pump, make sure the battery is charging.
- Check for fraying wires and other potential electrical troubles.
- Adjust a pump that has tilted or fallen down.
#3: Testing the Pump
In order to test the sump pump, you’ll need to grab a bucket of water to pour into the drain. Fill the sump all the way and ensure water drains out quickly enough.
If you have a battery back-up sump pump, you should take extra steps to see that the battery is working. Essentially, you’ll need to repeat the test by unplugging the pump and seeing that the battery backup allows water to drain just as well.
What to Do If You Notice a Problem
As we’ve mentioned above, there are times when you can make an adjustment to the pump on your own (such as if it has fallen over during operation). However, in most cases, we recommend calling in expert plumbers to handle the situation, particularly if you believe it won’t be able to run the next time your home floods.
Often, a sump pump replacement is the best option for continued flood management. A plumbing professional is qualified to pick out the right unit and make sure everything runs smoothly.
Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating for complete sump pump services in Maynard, MA or for more information.