A sump pump removes water from basements and crawl spaces as well as moisture from other sources such as air conditioners. Most people do not even think about their sump pump until it stops working properly. When the rainy season is upon us, It is not the time to find out your sump pump has gone on the fritz. Checking for problems, and regular maintenance can help to ensure that it is working correctly.
Standing Water or Excess Moisture
Check for water in areas where there should be none. Excess water and moisture can cause serious problems with foundations. If rainwater stands around a concrete foundation, it can be absorbed by the concrete and cause it to break down. When this happens, the foundation will crack and shift. If there is not one, installing an alarm with sensors can help by monitoring moisture levels.
Is the Pump the Right Size?
Often the pump is not the right size for the home. It may be an inexpensive model that is not capable of handling the water it needs to pump. Sump pumps are available in different horsepower, and an expert can recommend the right one for your home. The horsepower determines how many gallons of water will be removed per minute. Sometimes the home may need more than one pump, particularly in areas that receive a lot of rain.
Does the Pump Run All the Time?
If the pump is running all the time or seems to be switching on constantly, this could indicate a problem with the float switch. There are different types of floats, and some are more prone to getting stuck to the side of the sump pit. This can result in the pump not switching on and a flooded basement. Additionally, the sump pit may be too small, and this can cause the pump to run continually. The check valve could also be the problem. Sometimes they break, and this prevents the water from cycling out the discharge line.
The Discharge Lines
The discharge lines are another part of the pump that need to be inspected periodically. They are responsible to cycling the water out and into a drain. If they become clogged with dirt or debris, the water will back up instead of cycling out of the line. They can become frozen or blocked by snow and ice as well. A professional may need to install guards or fluids to protect these lines.
A sump pump provides a much-needed service to protect your home. Because it has so many parts that work in sync to keep water out of the home, it is important to maintain the pump regularly. This is not to say that maintenance will keep your pump from breaking down because equipment does fail from time to time. However, preventative maintenance may help to catch a problem before it causes more damage. It can extend the life of your sump pump and is far less expensive than repairing a foundation.