Here in Chicago, in old houses and in new, we’re no strangers to flooded basements thanks to our high water table. Even if you’ve done the right thing and installed a sump pump, that’s not always enough. In fact, ROTO-ROOTER’s Chicago plumbers replace more sump pumps than our plumbers in any other region of the country. To make sure your sump pump is doing its job and keeping your basement dry, here are five simple tips you can follow for extra peace of mind:
- Test your sump pump regularly. How? Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on, remove the water from the pit and shut itself off in a matter of seconds. Ensure that the float and the check valve move freely.
- Give it a once over. Clean your sump pit, remove any dirt, sand, gravel and other debris to increase the pump’s efficiency and prolong its life. Ensure that the discharge line opening is free of obstructions so that water can be pumped through the line and out of your basement or crawlspace.
- Back it up. If your home experiences a power outage for an extended period, frequent power outages or if your primary sump pump fails, it’s good to have a battery backup. There are a couple of different kinds. One uses a marine-grade battery that can power it for up to 12 hours. Another uses water pressure from your home's water supply lines to force flood water out of your sump pit. Ask your Chicago plumber to explain the different backup options.
- Realize that nothing lasts forever. Like any equipment with moving parts, sump pumps will wear out over time and will need to be replaced. There is no general rule on how often a sump pump should be replaced, since it depends on how often the pump operates. Be sure to have it checked periodically.
- Research plumbers ahead of time. The last thing you want to do is spend time finding a trustworthy plumber when you’re in the middle of a flooded basement.
For more plumbing tips, as well as instructional videos, visit ROTO-ROOTER Chicago and our Google+ page.