A sump pump is a submersible pump that sits at the bottom of a sump pit, which is typically installed at the lowest point in your basement or crawl space. Sump pumps are activated by a float switch and sense when water is rising in the pit and approaching the floor level. When the sump pump is triggered, the incoming water is pumped outside before it can damage your home or your personal belongings.
Although sump pumps are fairly low-maintenance devices, they still need to be inspected regularly. Roto-Rooter plumbers are experts at sump pump maintenance, installation and repair and can help in an emergency. However, Roto-Rooter recommends several steps you can take as a homeowner when it comes to sump pump maintenance, as well as general tips to avoid basement flooding:
Test your sump pump regularly by pouring 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. When you test the unit, also ensure that the float switch and the check valve are unobstructed and move freely.
Check the discharge line to make sure it is not blocked or frozen. If necessary, unclog the air vent hole in the line.
Make sure the inlet screen is not clogged with residue or debris.
If your unit has backup battery power, replace the battery every two to three years, or as directed by the manufacturer.
At least once a year, disconnect the pump from the power source and remove the unit. Flush the sump pump thoroughly with water to remove debris. While you have the pump out, also clean debris, stones and mud from the sump pit. Reinstall the pump and reconnect the power source. Once everything is reconnected, always test the unit by pouring a bucket of water into the pit and making sure the pump starts.
In addition to regular sump pump maintenance, there are some other things you can do inside and outside of your home to avoid basement flooding:
Seal any cracks in walls, floors, windows and foundations, and seal all window wells.
Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris that prevent proper drainage.
Make sure the grading around your home slopes away from the foundation so that water drains away from your home
Make sure that your home’s plumbing and drainage systems are in good working condition.
If your sump pump is not working, call in the experts at Roto-Rooter. We also can help with any basement water cleanup and water restoration needs caused by a broken sump pump.