If your home has a basement it’s a good idea to outfit it with a sump pump to prevent the likelihood of spring flooding. Since they’re designed to remove water from basements and crawl spaces, sump pumps will solve most basement flooding and leaking issues by sensing when the water level is rising and pumping it out. However, it isn’t as simple as setting and forgetting, sump pumps need maintenance, too!
You should plan to check your sump pump yearly in either late winter or early spring before any heavy snow melts or spring rains. This is a good way to make sure it doesn’t unexpectedly fail, leaving you with a soggy mess in your basement. What does a sump pump maintenance check include?
Follow this easy guide to make sure your basement is ready for the spring rains ahead!
- It’s always a good idea to make sure the unit is set up properly. Check that it’s standing upright and plugged into a working ground fault circuit interrupter outlet with a proper cord. Regular sump pump vibrations can cause the unit to tip and the dampness in your basement can make the breakers trip.
- Make sure there’s no debris in the sump pit, including dirt, sand and gravel, that could clog the pump and cause it to fail. Consider disconnecting the pump from the power source, removing it from the pit and cleaning out the grate on the bottom to ensure it’s not blocked or damaged. You can also flush it out completely at this time.
- You can do this by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit. The floating component should rise with the water and trigger the pump to turn on and remove the water from the pit. The unit should shut itself off in a matter of seconds.
- Take a look outside and see that the pipes are draining the water out at least six meters away from your foundation.
It’s important to remember that sump pumps cannot operate when the power is out. Consider installing a backup option, like battery power, an emergency generator (about $1000 for a small one) or a water-powered sump and remember to replace it every two to three years or as directed by the manufacturer. Always refer to your sump pump’s instruction manual for specific information on maintaining your unit and of course, make sure you know your insurance coverage!
It’s easy to take small steps now to prevent costly damages down the road. Are you Flood Ready? Find out by visiting www.canada.ca/flood-ready. Don’t let a little storm cause a big problem in your basement!