Simple Sump Pump Maintenance Practices

Written by PermaDry on . Posted in Sump Pumps

Sump pumps work hard and are a very low maintenance appliance.  They are critical to keeping unwanted water out of your basement. By checking your sump pump at least once a year, you will be able to help prolong the life of the sump and ensure it is ready to pump water efficiently when you will need it most. August and September are the perfect time of year to perform your maintenance and prevent common catastrophes caused by a failing pumps in the winter.

If you want to avoid coming home to a basement full of water, perform scheduled maintenance on your sump pump every six months. Mark it on your calendar to help you remember. If you don’t feel comfortable doing your own pump maintenance and parts replacement, you can always contact Perma Dry Waterproofing for our pump and system maintenance services.

Functional Check

Run the pump until there is almost no water left in the pit. Turn off the backup battery and unplug the pump. Remove the sump pump from the discharge pipe pipe by using a screw driver to loosen the rubber coupling that joints the pump to the discharge water pipe. Clean the bottom of the pump and replace the check valve (rubber coupler) or clean in a kitchen sink thoroughly.

Battery Check

You will want to make sure that your battery backup system works. Unplug the main pump and see if the battery is triggered. You may need to fill the sump basin with water to test it.  Once you know that the sump pump is working correctly on battery power, plug it back in.

Debris Check

Next, remove the valve completely and clean it thoroughly. You should also remove all sand, dirt, and debris from the sump pump. This will drastically increase the life of your sump pump.

Foreign matter will decrease the efficiency of your equipment and lead to water in your home. Regular cleanings will also prevent the check valve from jamming.

Dirt Check

You will need a cup or an old mug for the next step. The dirt at the bottom of the pit needs to be scooped out and emptied into a nearby bucket. Some pits do not have concrete bottoms. To make sure that your pit has a bottom, use a screwdriver to poke through the layer of dirt. If it does not have a bottom, just scoop out as much dirt as you can. If you remove more than a foot of dirt, you should stop.

If there is no solid bottom for the basin, place the pump on a landscape stone or concrete pad to keep it out of dirt and debris as much as possible.

Final Check

Reattach the check valve and reconnect the sump pump to the pipe. Turn on the backup battery and plug the machine back in. Test the sump pump to make sure everything is working properly, and then congratulate yourself on a job well done.

If at any point during your checks you notice something is broken or malfunctioning, call Perma Dry Waterproofing for professional maintenance.

By taking the time to do this twice a year, your sump pump will last longer and work better. You don’t want to end up with water in your basement when there is a simple way to prevent it.

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