Your sump pump is a lifesaver in big rainstorms, since it keeps your basement clean and dry even when the water line is rising. As with any essential tool, you need regular maintenance so you can be sure your pump will work when you need it most. If you follow a few basic sump pump maintenance tips, you can keep your pump working and ready to go when inclement weather strikes.
Your sump pump probably runs off your home’s power, so it's important to check all the connections and ensure that your home’s power supply remains connected at all times. Check the breaker to make sure it's still flipped to the “on” position. Occasionally you may have to flip the breaker back or replace a fuse if you've had a power issue. Additionally, this is a good time to check all the cords and connections to make sure they're in good condition. You should not see any tears, cuts or fraying. If so, replace those parts. Finally, double check your battery backup to ensure that it's charging and ready for use in case your home's power shuts off.
Cleaning should be part of any routine maintenance because it helps prevent erosion and wear on your devices. As you clean, you can tidy up and check your pump system for any issues. For example, the pipes should be completely upright. If they've been knocked to one side, they may not efficiently transport water up and away from your crock. For this reason, it's always a good idea to check and re-set them from time to time. Don’t forget to clean the intake grate, which can easily be clogged by dirt and debris over time. If the grate is clogged, it won’t be able to suck up water as quickly or easily.
If you have a manual pump, throw a little water in your crock and flip the switch to make sure it's getting rid of the water quickly. If you have an automatic pump, throw some water in the crock and check to make sure the pump turns on and efficiently transports the water up and away from your basement floor. Listen for any unusual sounds; your motor should run smoothly. If not, you may need to perform some repairs or do some additional cleaning. If you test your pump when your basement isn’t flooding, you can rest easy knowing it will take care of you when the waters are rising.
In just a few minutes, you can perform some basic maintenance tests and cleaning on your sump pump to ensure that it will keep your basement dry no matter what the weather. With a little TLC, your home will be safe and protected for years to come.