Long periods of rain can cause water to back up into your sump pump, so it’s essential to check it frequently to make sure it’s functioning correctly. The simplest way is to pour water into the pit and watch to ensure the float switch rises and turns the pump on.
The cover of your sump pump is essential because it protects the sump pit and your house from debris. However, it can become worn over time, causing gaps that allow unwanted gases like radon into your home. Contact Local Law 152 Plumbers for professional help.
Before you can check your sump pump’s cover, ensure the power is turned off. If it isn’t, turn off the breaker at your breaker box. Once the pump is unplugged, you can remove the grate and wash it with clean water. You can also use a toothbrush and water to scrub the sump pump’s inlet screen and drain opening to remove dirt buildup.
You should then check the discharge pipe to ensure that it is free from blockages. This will ensure that your sump pump can properly pump water away from your home, preventing basement flooding and other issues. In addition, you should also thoroughly examine the hose and drain to make sure that it is free from ice or other obstructions during winter.
When you’re done, you should put the pump back into its pit and plug it in. If you’re unsure of what to look for or need additional help maintaining your sump pump, you should call a professional for advice and assistance. A professional can help you determine what’s wrong with your sump pump and how to repair it, avoiding expensive property damage in the future.
If you notice that your sump pump is running continuously, it could indicate a problem with the float switch, an incorrectly set float switch or a malfunctioning check valve that allows water to flow back into the pump basin. To resolve the issue, you can adjust the float switch to correct the height or replace the float switch altogether.
It’s important to regularly check your sump pump and pit during long periods of rain. If you don’t, the water can get too high and overflow into your home, resulting in flooding and costly repairs. Inspecting the float switch, the discharge pipe and the inlet screen is essential to keeping your sump pump working properly.
Check the Discharge Pipe
The discharge pipe is essential in directing water away from the home, but it can also be one of the easiest places for problems to occur. During heavy rains, it’s important to make sure the pipe is far enough from the foundation of the home and other structures to prevent water from seeping back into the pump or flooding around it.
When the sump pump is working properly, it should be able to easily push water through the discharge pipe. However, if the pipe is too small or it is clogged, the pump won’t be able to do its job. In the worst cases, the pump could become stuck or start running continuously, which will cause damage to the engine over time.
If you suspect the pipe may be blocked, it’s best to contact a professional for help. Attempting to unblock the line yourself could result in further damages and costly repairs.
Another common problem is a broken check valve, which is a key part of the system that allows water to flow back into the basin once it’s emptied. If you have a check valve in your sump, it’s important to inspect it regularly and replace it if necessary.
It’s also important to ensure the discharge hose is not too close to the home, as this can lead to water seeping back into the pump and burning out the motor. Ideally, the hose should be a minimum of 10 feet from the home, though 15 is more ideal.
Lastly, the pump should sit on a flat, stable surface and not be on sand or gravel, as this can be sucked into the pump and ruin it. It’s also a good idea to empty the basin of debris on a regular basis so it doesn’t clog up or damage the motor.
You should also periodically test the pump by pouring about five gallons of water into it and watching how the float switch activates the pump. If you notice any problems, such as an increased humming noise or the pump failing to turn on at all, it’s a good idea to call a professional for assistance.
Check the Motor
We all know how damaging a flood can be, and for this reason it is important that your sump pump does its job when called upon. However, as with any piece of equipment it is necessary to check on its performance on a regular basis. We recommend that you inspect your sump pump at least once a year and after heavy rainstorms. You can do a simple test by pouring water into the pit to see if your pump turns on and pumps out the water. If it does, you should feel confident that your pump will do its job when called on in the future.
During your inspection, you should also make sure that the drain pipe is not clogged and that the air hole in the discharge line is free of obstructions as well. It is possible that these issues could cause your pump to turn on and off repeatedly, thereby causing damage to the motor. Finally, you should also check on the operation of the float switch by pouring five gallons of water into the basin and seeing if it moves through its full range of motion without getting stuck or failing to turn on when it should.
To perform a more detailed inspection of your pump, you should disconnect the power and remove it from the sump basin (we recommend putting it in a large trash bag so that it doesn’t get ruined). You can then take the pump outside to clean. After removing it from the pit, you should unplug the pump and examine it for signs of rust or corrosion. You can also remove the pump inlet screen and thoroughly clean it to make sure that nothing is clogging it. Lastly, you should consult the owner’s manual to find out if your pump needs lubrication.
Once you’ve completed your inspection and cleaning, you can reinstall the pump, plug it back in, and reconnect it to the discharge line. Before you do this, however, you should make sure that all of the water has drained out of the pit. Leaving the pump plugged in will cause it to operate dry, which is likely to cause more damage.
Check the Electrical Connection
Your sump pump relies on electricity to function, so make sure it is plugged into a working outlet and that the power cord doesn’t show signs of wear and tear. Also, check that the sump pump is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, as these outlets are designed to trip in damp areas, effectively shutting off your pump.
Before inspecting the pump itself, remove the cover from the sump pit and clean the basin. Be sure to thoroughly scrub the basin and check that the inlet screen is free of debris, and that the drainage pipes are properly positioned. Then, unplug the sump pump and pour water into it to see if the float switch moves freely up and down and that the pump activates as it should.
A low hum is normal, but if you notice loud rattling noises coming from your sump pump, it could be a sign of a mechanical problem. These sounds usually indicate a jammed or broken impeller. A professional can help fix this issue by examining the unit.
If you live in an area prone to heavy rains, it’s also a good idea to add flood leak detectors to your home so that you can get an early warning if the sump pump doesn’t operate as it should. These devices can alert you to problems that need immediate attention, helping you avoid expensive basement flooding.
The most important thing is to keep on top of your sump pump maintenance throughout the year, especially during and after stormy weather. With a little bit of regular care, your sump pump can last for years and protect your home from expensive damage. If your sump pump needs to be repaired or replaced, a home warranty from HWA can protect your budget and your peace of mind with affordable coverage. Find out more today!