For most homeowners, a sump pump is often the most overlooked plumbing fixture. After all, it is out of sight, so it is bound to be out of mind as well. But let's not forget that a functional sump pump is a great defense between your home and a whole lot of water that may burst into your house as soon as the weather gets stormy and rainy. So how do we keep a sump pump in the right shape? In this post, you will get to know six sump pump maintenance tips that will keep your pump functional throughout the year. But before we get into the details, let’s first look at how a sump pumps and what are the benefits of having a functional sump pump in your basement.
How does a Sump Pump work?
During the rainy season, a sump pump collects groundwater in a tank, also known as a sump tank or basin. When the water in the tank reaches a certain level, the water travels up to a part of the equipment known as the float rod. The rod then activates a switch in the pump. When the motor is turned on via the switch, it removes the tank's water, which is then pushed away from your house.
In all, a sump pump protects your basement and your home from flooding by discharging water away from your house.
Types of Sump Pumps
You can find two types of sump pumps.
Submersible Sump Pumps
Submersible sump pumps are the most common type of sump pumps that are installed during the construction of a new house. This type of pump is covered inside the tank and is generally more expensive.
Non-Submersible Sump Pumps
As the name suggests, this type of sump pump is not submerged in water. Instead, they are placed on the floor of your basement. Moreover, since they are not covered in the tank, this type of sump pump can be installed at any time. Compared to submersible sump pumps, non-submersible sump pumps are less expensive. With this type of sump pumps, a hose connects to the motor and is then routed into the sump tank.
Benefits of a Functional Sump Pump in Your Basement
A sump pump offers several benefits, including:
Perhaps the most significant advantage of having a functional sump pump is that it prevents flooding into the house. When groundwater rises, a functional sump pump will prevent the water from flooding your basement and your home, especially during the rainy season.
Apart from guarding against floods due to rain, a functional sump pump also helps push out water from your basement if a plumbing disaster such as a burst pipe occurs.
Prevents Dampness and Reduces the Risk of Mold Growth
A sump pump plays a vital role in eliminating water from your basement and keeping it away from your house. So naturally, it prevents dampness, an essential prerequisite for mold growth. Mold is a serious concern for most homeowners, but there is minimal risk of mold growth when your basement is dry.
Minimizes the Risk of Fire
Water in your basement can significantly increase the risk of short-circuiting and resulting fire. But when your sump pump is functional, it keeps your basement dry and minimizes the risk of fire.
Serves for Several Years
A regularly maintained sump pump may last for up to 30 years. Moreover, if you look at the cost-saving associated with a functional sump pump, you will realize that it is a relatively inexpensive investment that can help you save costs and inconvenience and protect your home from water damage for decades.
6 Sump Pump Maintenance Tips
With our six sump pump maintenance tips, you can keep your sump pump functional throughout the year.
Keep the Sump Tank Lid Closed
Sump tank or basin lids can get loose and expose your pump to your basement. This can be a potentially dangerous situation as other parts of your house have increased exposure to moisture and dampness. Moreover, if the lid remains unclosed for longer, there is a risk that your unused basement items may fall into the pump causing damage to the appliance and lead to clogs in the long run.
Test the Switch
The switch plays the most crucial role. If the float switch is not working, your sump pump motor will not start, and you may experience basement flooding. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you test the switch manually. Your sump pump switch comes in several forms, including:
This type of switch is attached to the side of the sump pump. You can switch it on and see whether the motor is working or not.
This is the most common type of switch used in older pumps. For manually testing this type of switch, you have to lift it and turn it upside down.
This latest type of switch has a flat and tall rubber-coated panel that works as a sensor. When the water reaches a certain level, it switches on. To manually test this type of switch, you can pour some water directly onto the sensor.
If you are not sure how to do it, it is best to call a professional plumber.
Prevent Tangling of Pump Cords
Your pump cord may get caught up on the switch. This is a very common and potentially dangerous situation. Fortunately, it is easily preventable. You can use a wire or zip ties to join the cords together and prevent tangling. This simple maintenance can save you from a lot of trouble and avoid bunching up your cord within the sump tank.
Regularly Clean Sump Pump and Sump Tank
Hygiene is important, and it applies to sump pumps as well. It is best to go for periodic cleaning of your sump pump and sump tank using a cleaning solution. You can do this task yourself or call a professional. In either case, it is essential to scrub off the tank to remove any calcium build up in your tank.
Backup Your Pump
While a sump pump is an electronic appliance that runs on electricity, it is always a good idea to back it up with a battery. The backup is incredibly helpful in case of power failures.
Know that Nothing Lasts Forever
Know that like all equipment; your sump pump won't last forever. Even with the best of maintenance, a sump pump has an individual life, and it will wear out over time, so replacement is inevitable.
Planning for Sump Pump Maintenance
If you are looking for a reliable plumbing company for your sump pump maintenance, your search ends here. At Mesa Plumbing, we offer maintenance and service of all types of sump pumps. To find out more about our services, contact now.