Is Your Sump Pump Ready for April Showers?
With spring and April showers approaching, you must be prepared for the water that could potentially enter your home. If you have not fully equipped your home’s plumbing system and sump pump for the potential rainfall, now is the right time to do so. If not, you may face some costly utility bills or expensive repairs. Sump pumps are effective in eliminating excess rainwater before it floods the basement. They are relatively low-maintenance equipment, and you can keep your unit in operation by inspecting it regularly. The following are some useful spring plumbing tips that can help save water, money, and your home from damage.
Check the Discharge Pipes
Check the discharge pipes to make sure they are not clogged. If you notice a clog that is not visible, you will need to call a plumber to clean the pipes. Otherwise, check the outlet outside, and clear any visible debris.
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Inspect Your Sump Pump
Remove the cover over the submersible pump, and check the entire unit for any signs of a problem. Some adjustments are easy to make on your own, but if you notice something you cannot fix, call a local plumber. Ensure the pump is upright, whether you have a pedestal pump floating over the pit or a submersible pump inside. Often, the vibrations cause the pump to tilt, so find a way to secure it into place. Unplug the pump, remove the pump from the pit, and clean out debris from the intake screen. Once pump is back in place, plug it back in to make sure it runs.
Test Your Sump Pump
At minimum, it is recommended to test your sump pump once every three months. You do not want to find out your sump pump is not working in the middle of a storm. Testing your sump pump is simple. Take a five-gallon bucket, and fill it with water. Slowly pour water into the sump pump pit until the float triggers activate your pump. Observe the water level drop. If the system is working correctly, then the sump pump will shut off once the water drops beneath the shutoff level. If you want to ensure water is draining fast enough, slowly continue to add more water into the pit to see that it flows at a reasonable rate.
Invest in a Battery Backup
When a severe storm strikes, lightning and strong winds can knock out power lines. Having a battery backup sump pump helps keep your basement from flooding when the electricity goes out. You can call a professional plumber to install your backup sump pump. Ensure your battery backup is fully charged at all times.
Replace Old Sump Pumps
You might find that you need to replace an older sump pump if it does not run the way you expect. Unless it is a simple repair, replacing a component of the sump pump often is not worth the price. A worn out part indicates the sump pump is past its prime, and the rest of the components will soon follow suit. A sump pump can last up to ten years. After this point, it is more likely that a sump pump will fail due to wear and tear. Replacing your sump pump in advance eliminates the likelihood of major flooding and eases your mind about the coming rains. Make sure your new pump is durable, and consider spending on a battery backup if you do not have one.