4 Sump Pump Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
The sump pump is important plumbing equipment for your basement. This device drains excess water and pumps it outdoors. Your basement can be easily flooded if there is no functional sump pump. You need to be able to conduct maintenance for this device to keep it operational. Follow the maintenance tips below to keep your sump pump in good condition.
1. Ensure that the float switch is working
The float switch is the mechanism that activates the motor of the sump pump if the water level starts to rise. It goes without saying that the device won’t be pumping water if the float switch doesn’t work. This exhibits the importance of checking and making sure the float switch is functional. There are three types of float switch: electronic, tether, and vertical.
- Electronic float switch
This is an advanced system as it uses a coated panel to detect increased water level. Pour a bucket of water onto the sensor to check if it’s working.
- Tether float switch
The tether version is the oldest type of float switch. It’s a classic variation and is still installed in sump pumps today. Lift the tether and invert its position to see if it still functions.
- Vertical float switch
Checking this switch is easy. Just use your hand inside the sump basin and flip the switch. If that doesn’t start the motor then the switch has clearly malfunctioned.
2. Clean the sump pump
The sump is where the water is collected and processed; however, it’s not just the water it gathers but other objects as well. Water that goes through the sump may carry debris like rocks, wastes, etc. These debris and residue can block the sump and make it difficult for the water to flow. Flooding will most likely occur if the basement starts to fill with water and the sump is blocked.
You should clean the sump and remove debris at least twice a year. It’s recommended to use bleach or a decalcifier to rinse the other parts like the basin and pump. Mix the bleach or decalcifier with hot water for a stronger solution. Use a vinyl brush to remove any sediment build-up in the pump.
3. Don’t let the electrical cords get tangled
A tangled cord happens a lot with sump pumps. Sometimes it even gets laced with the float switch. The electric connection might be cut off from the entanglement. This can stop the sump pump from functioning. Not only that, entanglement will damage the cords and disrupt the electrical connection. Bind the cords with ties or wires to prevent tangling.
4. Always prepare for backup
All these maintenance tips will be fruitless if there isn’t electricity. The sump pump won’t be able to function without electricity. If the electric line in your area is halted then the sump pump is pretty much useless. What you need to do is purchase a pump that has a battery backup. This backup power is very useful if there is ever a power outage during a basement flood.