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The Importance of Sump Pump Maintenance

The Importance of Sump Pump Maintenance

You may not realize it, but you have a two-way agreement with your sump pump. You depend on it to keep your basement free of water, and it depends on you to keep it clean and running well.  Your sump pump needs regular maintenance, and this is true whether it’s recently been called upon to do its job during a rainy stretch, or sitting idle through days and days of sunshine and scant rain. Sump Pump Maintenance Most plumbing professionals recommend doing a simple maintenance every three or four months, then a more comprehensive one yearly. But whichever you are about to do, first make sure it’s working. Remove the covering to the sump pit and clear it of any accumulated debris. Then to make sure it’s running, pour enough water into the pit so it rises to a level of nine inches or so. At this point, the float should rise, the motor should kick in, and you should see water flowing out the exit pipe or hose. If not, make sure the power is on. If this is not the problem, you need to call your plumber to take a look. But let’s assume everything is working so you can start your maintenance. Quarterly Maintenance Before you do anything, disconnect the power supply. Remove the pump inlet screen and thoroughly clean it. Some pumps have an inlet opening instead. Reconnect the power cord to the power supply. That’s it. That wasn’t so bad, was it? But before you go, check the sump pit basin. If all the water drained out while you were cleaning it, fill the pit with water before you turn the power back on so...
Why a Sump Pump is a Necessity in Your Home

Why a Sump Pump is a Necessity in Your Home

Contrary to what some people think, the need for sump pumps is not limited to homes in flood zones or extremely rainy climates. Water can saturate the ground and build up under and around the perimeter of your home’s foundation, and from there, can migrate into your basement or crawlspace. This is especially true if you have a high water table. Have you thought about installing one to keep your basement flood free?  What You Risk by Not Having a Sump Pump The accumulation of water can result in any or all of a homeowner’s worst fears, some of which include: Flood. If torrential rains occur, the ground becomes quickly saturated, and with nowhere else to go, the accumulating rain flows into the basement, where it can ruin everything stored in the basement, or it can cause structural damage. Fire. If the rising water reaches basement appliances like the washer, dryer, water heater, furnace or even worse the panel box, it can short them. Short circuits can easily lead to an electrical fire. Mold and Mildew. Even if flooding does not occur, constant dampness provides optimal conditions for mold and mildew. Not only does this result in a musty odor that permeates everything in the basement, but it can also lead to health problems like asthma and skin conditions. Installing a sump pump to remove water minimizes these risks. It also relieves hydrostatic pressure which can cause cracks in the foundation. Sump Pits To effectively rid your home of accumulated water, the sump pump should be installed below floor level. Therefore, step number one is to dig a hole called a sump pit and line it with gravel. Being the lowest point in the basement, the pit will serve as a reservoir for any excess...
How to Prevent and Remove Limescale from Your Plumbing Fixtures

How to Prevent and Remove Limescale from Your Plumbing Fixtures

When you live in a home with hard water, it can be frustrating to deal with the limescale buildups that occur around every faucet, sink and bathtub. This unsightly scum does more than make your bathrooms and kitchen look messy; it can also corrode away at your plumbing. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent limescale from forming. What is Limescale? Limescale is a deposit of a chemical compound called calcium carbonate. This is a mineral that is naturally found in some water sources. If you get your water from a natural source, you may be more at risk for limescale deposits. While these minerals are usually in such small amounts that they won’t affect your health, as spilled water evaporates, the buildup of this chemical can form an off-white layer of grime that can be hard to remove. Also, these chemicals can make your water taste bad and make it difficult to wash off soap. Preventing Limescale The problem with limescale is that the chemicals that cause the problem are usually dissolved in the water that comes into the home. To prevent it from building up around your plumbing fixtures, you will need to invest in a water softening system. These systems are about the size of a water heater and filter out the minerals in your tap water. Installing a water softening system not only eliminates the problem of limescale, but it also will improve several other problems. Once minerals are removed from the water, many people report that its taste improves. Laundry and bathing also become much more efficient, since soap can rinse away more cleanly. How to Remove Limescale In the meantime, if you have hard...