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.
- 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 the pump doesn’t operate dry when it turns back on.
- Disconnect the pump from the power supply.
- Remove the sump pump from the pit.
- Clean it out, especially the grate on the bottom; this is where debris tends to get sucked in. If left there, it can cause malfunction and lead to major problems.
- Some pumps have bearings that need greasing. If you’re not sure, check your owner’s manual or go to the manufacturer’s website.
- Inspect the pump’s power cord for signs of wear.
- Check the power source. It should have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). If it doesn’t, talk to your plumber about getting one installed.
- Check the drainage pipes that lead the water away from your home. Make sure all the joints are tight, and that they extend far enough to take the water away from the foundation.
- Examine the final discharge pipe to ensure its vent is clear of debris.
- Replace the sump pump into the pit, making sure it is upright and level. Once in operation, you don’t want the vibrations of the motor or force of water to upset it.
- Reconnect to power.
Thankfully the maintenance your sump pump requires for keeping your home dry is easy to perform. However, if you don’t have the time or don’t feel up to it, the team at Crawford Mechanical Services can extend a helping hand. We can also help with any repairs and clean-up that you may need. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.