4 Steps for Checking Your Sump Pump

flooded-home-interiorYour sump pump may have been working reliably for years now, or it may only be a few months old. But no matter the age of your sump pump, it can fail when you least expect it—and when you need it most. In the spring, that could be disastrous, as the only way you might find out your sump pump has failed is when your basement is filled with water.

It’s important to check your sump pump regularly to ensure it is working properly (or to find out if you need a new one), so that you are not caught off-guard. We recommend doing so every few months, and perhaps more often when spring approaches, thawing out the ground and bring rainwaters with it as well.

Follow these steps for testing and inspecting your sump pump. And contact our team to learn more or to replace your sump pump in Franklin Lakes.

#1: Check the Drain Outside

Most sump pumps drain to the outdoors. On the other hand, you may have a sump pump that drains to the city’s sewer main. In that case, you might have to call in a plumber to check and clean your drains.

However, if you have an outlet pipe leading to your yard, grab a flashlight, find the end, and peek inside. If you see a lot of debris blocking the pipe, clear it out so that water can easily move to the outdoors. If the problem is too tough to clean on your own, call in a plumber.

#2: Investigate the Pump

Look over the pump to see if there’s anything risking its operation. Submersible pumps, which sit in the basin of the sump pump (a pedestal pump is a bit different) has a waterproof case. If the encasement develops a crack, it completely compromises the performance of the pump, and it’s likely best to replace it. The same may be true if wires are frayed, but some problems may be repaired.

#3: Make Any Adjustments You Can

There is a grate on the bottom of the sump pump you may need to clean during your routine check, especially before spring when there may be quite a bit of buildup. You’ll likely have to remove the pump for access. In addition, the pump may vibrate while in use, causing the pump to tilt to the side. If so, make that adjustment as well.

#4: Test the Pump’s Operation

Finally, you’ll need to run a test on the system. Simply fill a bucket with water and fill it to the top of the pit. Make sure water moves out of the pit at a reasonable rate. If the pump does not start up at all, you can try resetting the circuit breaker. However, you may need to get in touch with a plumber for service or sump pump replacement. You should do this often, even if you don’t have time for a full inspection of the pump, if your basement floods frequently.

Contact Mark Lindsay and Son Plumbing & Heating Inc for sump pump services in Franklin Lakes.

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