Tips for Keeping Your Sump Pump Working Great
For the most part, modern sump pumps are very self-sufficient. They are hardwired into the house’s electrical system and have a battery backup in case of a power failure. Homes that are built in an area with a high water table, or are subject to heavy rainfall, might even have a backup sump pump in case the main one fails.
As with most stuff that keeps your house running in good working order, a little maintenance can keep your sump pump running great for years.
1. Check the vent hole
Make sure the hole is clear. A clogged vent hole can cause an “air lock” to occur, which will prevent the sump pump from properly pumping water.
2. Pour water into the sump basin
This will test to see if the sump pump is pumping water away from the house like it should be. It’s better to find out there’s a problem with a bucket of water than with several inches of rain.
3. Periodically check the GFCI outlet the pump is plugged into
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is meant to trip if there’s an imbalance in current between the hot and neutral wires. This will prevent electrical shocks and fires. Check to ensure the outlet has not tripped so power is always running to the sump pump.
4. Inspect and clear the outlet pipes
If the outlet pipes become clogged with debris then water will back up into the pump and might cause a malfunction. Also, make sure the water is being pumped at least 20 feet away from the house.
5. Get your sump pump inspected annually
Have a licensed plumber inspect your sump pump every year. A plumber can do a much more detailed and technical inspection than most homeowners, so they can spot small problems early.
And while this certainly isn’t required, it’s an easy and cheap backup alarm, consider putting a water detection alarm on the floor next to sump pump pipes are located. These alarms are sold at hardware stores and are pretty inexpensive. If for some reason your sump pump fails and no alarm sounds, the water detector will go off when water starts accumulating on the floor. They are like smoke detectors in that they are very, very loud.
Finally, prevention goes a long way. If your sump pump is running more than it should, consider changing your landscaping so the water drains away from your house. Buy extenders for your gutter downspouts to move water further away from your house as well. Both good landscaping and downspout extenders can keep a lot of water from draining into your sump basin.
If you have any doubt about your sump pump in Colorado Springs, always call a licensed plumber to take a look. They will give you more tips about keeping it running smooth and if there is anything else you should be doing to prevent flooding.