Your sump pump has a very important role in your home. When water starts flowing in, its proper function can mean the difference between a damp basement floor and tens of thousands of dollars in flood damage. Yet, many homeowners don't take the time to properly inspect their sump pump and ensure it is functioning properly. Taking these steps on a monthly basis helps ensure that when you need your sump pump, it's ready and waiting to do its job.
Clean out the pit.
Make sure there's no debris in the pit where your sump pump lies. If there are any big clumps of dirt, toys, or pieces of paper in the pit, they could clog up the pump and keep it from doing its job. Just look in the pit and fish out any stray objects.
Check the discharge line
If the big pipe that carries the water out of the home clogs, the water may back up into your basement. So, dump a bucket of water into your sump pump pit, and make sure it is ejected out the discharge line. If there seems to be a clog in the discharge pipe, you can usually remove it by pushing the handle of a rake or shovel into the line to break up the dirt or leaves that are forming the clog. In the case of severe clogs, you might be better off just detaching the pipe and putting a new one on.
Also check that the water ejected from the discharge pipe flows away from your home. If the area where the water is discharged is not sloped downward away from your home, the water may flow back into your basement. Consider building up this area into more of a hill to improve drainage.
Look at the float
When you pour that bucket of water into the pump pit, make sure the float (which looks like a round, bobbing piece of plastic or rubber) rises to the top of the water properly. The float is what triggers the pump to switch on, so if it is stuck or wrapped around something, your sump pump won't work.
Checking your sump pump's function once a month ensures any issues are identified. If the pump does not eject water from your home as soon as it's poured in, contact a professional like those found at Jamison Well Drilling Inc. There may be problems with the motor or the electrical connections.
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