Many homeowners take their sump pumps for granted and don’t do any maintenance until it’s too late. Don’t wait until your basement floods to check up on your check valve, pump and sump pit. Some tasks should be done every few months; others can be done once a year.
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Because sump pumps can go unused for months at a time, it’s always good to make sure it’s in good working condition from time to time. Every few months, dump a bucket of water into the pit to make sure the pump turns on. Adjust the float as needed.
All the sump pump action doesn’t happen in your basement. After all, the water has to be pumped somewhere! Have someone stand near the discharge pipe outside to make sure the water is being directed away from your home.
At least once a year, you should remove the pump for cleaning. The filter can get clogged with sediment that affect the power and durability of the machine. While the pump is removed, clean out the pit of any debris like pebbles or mud.
Don’t forget about the check valve (if your sump pump setup includes it). While extremely helpful for making sure water doesn’t get pumped back into your home, these can also get clogged. Clean out any debris and make sure the valve is properly torqued.
Develop a backup plan. Over time, parts do fail, so make sure you’re prepared if there’s an emergency. If your unit is over 10 years old, have a professional service or replace it.Basic sump pump maintenance isn’t difficult, but it does take a little work. The time it takes to check up on it every few months will be worth it when your basement stays nice and dry during the first big storm of the season.
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