When it comes to sump pumps, you won't know if the motor has gone bad until you see water in your basement. Usually, you won't see any signs of a bad sump pump. That's why it's important that you keep your pump well maintained.
When it comes to maintenance, the first thing that comes to our mind is servicing the sump pump. It's part of routine sump pump maintenance because you don't want to wait and look for signs of a sump pump going bad.
It's recommended that you service your sump pump every three to four months. You can also perform a more comprehensive procedure annually.
Sump Pump Maintenance Tips
Apart from that, there are other things you can do to keep your sump pump well maintained. Here are my top six sump pump maintenance tips that every sump pump owner should know. So, let's get started.
Tip No 1: Do A Frequent Checkup
Here we are with tip number 1. This one is pretty easy. You will need a five-gallon bucket full of water and do a dummy test. Take the cover of your sump and make sure everything is plugged in and the motor is ready for action.
If you want to maintain your sump pump properly, you will have to test it regularly. Now, start dumping water in the sump pit until it activates the pump. What you are trying to do is confirm that the pump is working.
The more critical the application that you have, or more likely that you could have a flood, the more often you are probably going to want to perform this check and make it work. You can do this test monthly, but if you live in a place where it rains a lot, you might want to perform this test weekly.
Tip No 2: Cleaning The Interior Of Your Sump
If you notice the check valve and the float aren't moving freely, you might want to do a closer checkup. Most of the time, you will need to clean the moving parts so that they can move freely.
How often you will need to clean your pump will depend on how often your basement gets flooded. You will learn as you go how often you need to do this. Sumps that don't run as frequently or more prone usually to getting a lot of sediment, you will need to perform cleanups more than once a year.
If you don't have a solid sump pit lid, things can easily get kicked into there. So, it's extremely important to clear stuff out. If you don't want to clean out the pit by hand, you can use a shop vac or a wet vac. Those work really well in these situations.
A lot of times, the sump pump will be on a gravel bed. So, underneath the pump will be a bunch of gravel. If the sump doesn't operate very frequently, most of the water that gets introduced will get saturated into the ground. It's only in really bad situations that the sump pump will engage.
Because of that, it's critical to clean your sump pump from time to time to make sure the pump is working for when those heavy rains and things come. You definitely don't want a flooded basement in those situations.
Tip No 3: Checking The Backup System
In the event that you have got a sump pump that runs pretty regularly or on the occasion where you don't want to worry about the system in the long term, you might be tempted to use the battery backup system.
This is essentially a secondary pump that you place down in your sump basin that operates off of a battery. In the instance of a power outage, that battery backup pump will act as your main sump pump. Also, if your primary pump isn't able to keep up with the water flow, the secondary pumps will engage.
Now that you know the importance of a backup system, it's time to get to the main point. You should also test your backup sump pump regularly. This time make sure the power to your main pump is disengaged. Check and make sure the backup systems are running smoothly.
Tip No 4: Being Proactive
This one is pretty straightforward. Sump pumps, like any other mechanical thing with moving parts, do wear out from time to time. Now, some pumps are kind of unique in a way that when they usually fail, there's not a whole lot of time between the failure and when things start to go bad.
So, being proactive, knowing what pump you have, and how available that pump is, those are the things to keep in mind when it comes to owning a sump pump, primarily because you want to make sure that you're not finding yourself in a bit of a pickle in the event that something goes wrong.
We wanted to emphasize the importance of knowing what equipment you've got and whether or not it's working so that you can be proactive and keep things from flooding.
Tip No 5: Giving Your Sump Pump A Once Over
The more you know about your system, the more you're going to be able to troubleshoot and determine the problem on your own. If something goes bad, you will be able to quickly fix it. Also, at the same time, giving your sump pump system a complete once over is something you should do a lot.
I've already mentioned the necessity of cleaning a sump pump. You can further increase the pump's efficiency by keeping the surrounding area clean. Removing ay gravel, sand, dirt, and other debris will ensure prolonged life of the sump pump.
And that's all there is to it. Now you know how to maintain a sump pump. Now, if you don't feel comfortable doing a scheduled service or checkup of your sump pump, ask a professional to help you out. If you want to keep your sump pump functioning properly, regular maintenance is the key.