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Biohazard Clean Up, Mold Restoration, Water Restoration Published July 30, 2020Last Updated August 7, 2020

Sump Pump Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

A sump pump can be the difference between a costly flooding incident and a dry basement. The are two types of sump pumps, “submersible” pumps are installed under the floor in your basements, while the “pedestal” pump sits above your sump basin.  Sump pumps are used to “pump” groundwater away from your home and will evacuate large quantities of water, such as flooding, to other areas, such as storm drains.  It is important to keep your sump pump in good shape, so it can keep your basement dry all year long. To learn more about sump pump maintenance, check out these common sump pump mistakes to avoid.

Common mistakes for sump pump maintenance

DIY Installation

If you’ve never installed a sump pump, don’t risk doing it yourself. You might end up paying a lot more for damages than for the cost of proper installation. Hire a plumbing professional to avoid the risks of faulty installation.

No Backup Power

During a powerful storm, your home can lose power, causing your sump pump to shut down.  Should you experience flooding in your basement, a sump pump would redirect any incoming water. Keep your sump pump working during a power outage by connecting it to a backup power source, such as a generator or battery backup system.

Not Testing Your Sump Pump

Test your sump pump system twice a year – before spring and fall – to make sure that it’s in good working condition. To test the system, slowly pour water into the sump pit until it activates the pump switch. If it empties slower than normal, check the discharge pipe or the pump itself for clogs and other issues.

Ignoring the Discharge Pipe

Check that the drainage pipes are tightly connected and are directed away from your home’s foundation. Also, inspect the pipe for damage and clogs. Seek help at once if you find clogs or damage. Anything that impedes the flow could result in basement flooding due to slow drainage or no drainage at all.

Letting Debris Get in the Pump

Ensure your sump pump doesn’t sit on debris such as silt or gravel, which could be sucked up into the pump, ruining the motor. Instead, place it on steady, flat bricks. Also, ensure the sump basin has a filter fabric around it to stop debris from coming in. If there isn’t enough room or if there is some type of obstruction in the way, the float may cause the pump to work improperly, which can burn up your motor.

Ignoring the Float Switch

This part tells the sump pump motor to stop once the water level goes below the float. Your sump pump needs ample space around the float to both float and sink freely.

Unplugging the Pump

This can cause flooding if someone unplugs the sump pump and forgets to plug it back in. To prevent this, never unplug the pump or make sure you plug it back in if you do.

Covering the Sump Pump

Knowing where your sump pump is found is important, but if you forget, you might end up piling stuff on top of it. That can result in damaging the sump pump and limiting accessibility. When storing items in your basement, always locate your sump pump first to avoid this problem.

PuroClean can provide you with professional water damage repairs.

Routine sump pump maintenance goes a long way in guarding against basement flooding. Schedule a thorough inspection with a septic tank maintenance professional or plumber twice a year. For professional water damage repair or mold removal, contact your local PuroClean office.