Homeowners should be diligent and maintain their sump pump to avoid issues in heavy rain, flooding, or other water-related problems. The homeowner or a professional sump pump installation company can perform sump pump maintenance.
How does a sump pump work?
Sump pumps are small pumps that reside in a man-made sump pit, usually in a corner near an outside wall, to channel water away from your home. The pump protects your home from flooding and associated damage. When groundwater accumulates under your basement floor or outside your foundation, it flows through a drain pipe into your sump basin. When the water reaches a certain level, your sump pump kicks in. Sump pumps are an essential investment.
Sump pumps will turn off automatically once the water in the sump pit reaches a certain level. The float will trigger the pump to turn on and drain the pit. Once the water level goes down, the pump will shut off.
Your pump will keep running as long as the water is flowing. However, if there is no rain or water, contact a basement and sump pump professional to investigate and determine the cause. For example, there could be a defective valve, a sump pump too small, or a pit too large. It should not constantly be running.
We are often asked, “Why doesn’t my basement have a sump pump?” There could be a few reasons for this:
- If your house is built on a slab with no basement, there is probably no sump pump.
- If you have a crawl space, the sump pump could be there since there is no basement.
Sump pumps are essential. When buying a new home, be sure to have the home inspector look at the sump pump and review their findings with you.
How to clean a sump pump
Like most other appliances and machines in your home, proper and regular maintenance can extend their life and keep you and your family safe and healthy. Sump pumps are no exception, and cleaning them is vital, considering the extreme importance of a sump pump.
Allstate Insurance Company, answers the question, How often should I clean my sump pump?:
Since there are many different types of sump pumps, remember to consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s instructions on standard maintenance and service schedules. However, the Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturer’s Association (SSPMA) generally recommends the following maintenance frequency on sump pumps:
- Monthly: If your sump pump disposes of water from a washing machine, a monthly cleaning of the pump screen or inlet opening may be needed. The SSPMA also advises that the pump should be unplugged before cleaning — but make sure it’s plugged back in upon completion.
- Quarterly: If your sump pump does not dispose of washing machine water, the pump screen or inlet opening can be cleaned once every three to four months.
- Annually: Remove the sump pump and clean both the pump and pit.
A professional inspection of your sump pump each year may help make sure it is working correctly and prolong the pump’s lifespan, says the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
If you are inclined to clean and disinfect the sum pump, you can use a bleach solution using one cup of bleach for every gallon of water. Pour the solution into the sump pit until the water level rises, activates the float switch, and the pump turns on.
How long do sump pumps last?
Like many household appliances, sump pumps have a life span, and performing routine maintenance can extend their life. But, according to American Family Insurance, Like other appliances and equipment in your home, your sump pump won’t last forever. Averaging about ten years, you might not notice your sump pump has malfunctioned until it has stopped working. And once it does, water damage to your home and the belongings within it can follow closely behind.
It is not for the faint of heart if you need to repair or replace your sump pump. On average, you can expect a sump pump installation to take six to eight hours or more. Replacements are generally more straightforward and only take an hour or two. It is worth getting multiple quotes from different contractors to get an accurate estimate of how long the job will take. (Home Décor Bliss)
Are you looking to repair, replace or install a sump pump?
Maintaining your sump pump and ensuring it properly functions saves you money and heartache. Water damage to a home can significantly impact its future salability.
If you think you need a sump pump before you install it, it is best to determine if and where your basement is leaking or if flooding is a problem. Crawlspace, basement, and foundation service providers are trained and experienced to assess your situation and determine the best course of action. Ensuring the foundation is free from damage is essential. Wall cracks, musty smells, and basement wall staining may indicate that basement leaking or flooding has affected your home’s foundation.
Keep in mind that whatever the costs associated with installing a basement sump pump or a crawl space sump pump, the costs incurred by water damage will be significantly greater. If you want to install a sump pump in your home, call us at 315-570-7307 or click here to schedule an appointment. We offer free estimates in Central New York.