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Nobody likes to come home after a severe storm to find that their basement has flooded. Not only does it ruin a finished basement, but it could leave your personal belongings destroyed, contribute to mold growth, damage your foundation, and otherwise cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. The best way to prevent flooding in your basement is with a working sump pump.
A sump pump will remove water from your basement and direct it away from your house’s foundation. Like any appliance in your home, it requires regular maintenance if it is to work properly. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your sump pump does its job the next time it rains.
How a Sump Pump Works
As we’ve already established, a sump pump prevents your basement from flooding by removing water and directing it away from your house’s foundation. It sits in a sump pit, which is located in the lowest part of your house. When the sump pit fills with water, it trips a sensor on your sump pump, which then pumps water out of the pit and through a discharge pipe. The discharge pipe moves the water out of your house and away from the foundation where it drains harmlessly into the ground.
If your home has a basement, it likely has a sump pump. To find it, check your basement or crawlspace for a hole with a pipe that comes out of it and extends outside of your house. If your house was built on a concrete slab and doesn’t have a basement, it is most likely your home won’t have a sump pump.
How Often Should Sump Pumps Be Serviced?
Not all sump pumps are the same, so it’s hard to determine how often your own pump should be serviced. A newer pump or one of higher quality likely won’t need as much service as an older model that has been in use for several years. Some models need to be cleaned monthly, while others have an external power source that requires its own maintenance. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to have a sump pump serviced and cleaned at least once every year. This service should also include an inspection of the pump and all of its components. IT Landes will be happy to take a look at your sump pump if it hasn’t been serviced in a year.
If you want to make sure that your sump pump will work properly when you need it to, it’s a good idea to have it cleaned monthly and to schedule quarterly checkups as well.
Your Sump Pump Maintenance Checklist
Unless you’re incredibly diligent and know exactly what to look for, you probably won’t know that your sump pump is failing until it’s too late. Even if you think your sump pump is working properly, stick to this maintenance checklist.
Some sump pump models have inlet screens that need to be cleaned monthly, especially if they’re responsible for removing water from washing machines. To clean the inlet screen on your sump pump, remove the submersible pump from the sump pit. This will give you access to the inlet screen at the bottom of the unit. Remove the debris from the screen, and replace the pump. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself or you don’t know how to do any of this with your own pump, give us a call. We’ll be glad to clean and inspect your sump pump and show you how to keep it in good shape.
Even if your sump pump doesn’t require monthly cleaning, you should still have it cleaned and inspected every three months. This quarterly checkup involves the following tasks:
- Cleaning debris from the inlet screen
- Inspecting the float switch so the sump pump turns on properly
- Checking the electrical connections
- Confirming that the drainage pipe is connected properly and is in good condition
Again, we will be happy to complete all of these tasks for you if you’re not comfortable doing so. Trying to do any of this yourself if you don’t know how could damage your sump pump.
Even if you clean and service your sump pump regularly, it’s still a good idea to have a more thorough inspection every year. An annual inspection involves all the tasks that we’ve covered before, but it also includes inspecting the sump pit, all the electrical connections, and the external power source if there is one. It will also involve checking your drainage pipe to make sure that it is directing water away from your house. Having the drainage too close to your home could damage your foundation and defeat the purpose of having a sump pump in the first place.
Of course, it is possible to stay on top of your sump pump’s maintenance schedule and still require emergency repairs. You should obviously contact IT Landes if your sump pump stops working long enough to flood your basement, but you should also be on the lookout for other signs of trouble. For example, if your sump pump cycles on and off constantly, it might not be powerful enough to handle the amount of water in your basement. It could also mean that the float switch isn’t working properly and may need to be replaced. You should also contact us for repairs if your sump pump runs constantly or if it is making strange noises.
It’s also important to note that sump pumps usually last between seven and 10 years. If you know that your sump pump is at least that old, it’s almost certainly time to get a new one, especially if it doesn’t seem to be working as well as it should.
Contact IT Landes for Assistance
If you have a basement that could be prone to flooding, you need to make sure that your sump pump is working properly at all times. You likely won’t know you have a problem with your sump pump until you come home to a flooded basement, so make sure that you stay on top of your maintenance schedule.
If you need to schedule any service for your sump pump, IT Landes will be happy to help you. IT Landes serves homeowners in Harleysville, PA, and the surrounding areas, and we have over three thousand highly-rated ratings from satisfied customers during our many years of operation.
In addition to sump pump service, we also provide services such as water heater and water softener installation, sewer jetting, and emergency plumbing services 24 hours a day. We also regularly have promotions and special offers as well as financing options to keep our services affordable to everyone. Additionally, we provide many of the same services to commercial clients, including HVAC, plumbing, boiler maintenance, and preventative services.