How To Perform Regular Maintenance On A Sump Pump

by For Content

Your home's sump pump plays an integral part in keeping water out of your basement, which is why it needs regular maintenance to keep it working. Do not delay on these routine maintenance issues, as you want to avoid having the sump pump break down when you need it most.

Removing Sediment

The base of the sump pump well is a prime place for sediment to collect over the years. As sediment makes its way through the drain tiles around your home, it will collect at the bottom of the well. As the sediment builds up, it could impact the flow of water going to the sump pump, which is why it needs to be removed from time to time.

You can remove the sediment with a bucket and a shovel, scooping out as much sediment as possible. Removing sediment will also increase the amount of water that the sump pump well holds, which means the sump pump will turn on less frequently.

Inspecting The Check Valve

When the sump pump removes the water from the well, it shoots it out toward the main sewer drains. There is a check valve located in this pipe leading out to the sewer, which stops water from flowing back into the sump pump well. Over time, this check valve can deteriorate or stop working, meaning sewer water could back up into the well.

There are two ways to inspect the check valve. You can try listening to the valve click open and close, but it is not a guarantee that it is working properly. You will need to use a pipe wrench to remove the check valve and inspect it yourself, as it is the only way to ensure it is still in one piece after years of wear and tear.

Inspecting The Float

As the water in the sump pump well rises, the float will rise with it and eventually trip the switch to activate the pump. If your float has become corroded, it is possible that a hole has formed and it has filled with water, causing the float to sink to the bottom. If this happened, it means it is time to replace the float with a new one.

Testing The Backup Battery

Some sump pumps may come with a battery backup, which will activate in the event of a power outage so that your sump pump will still run. Make sure that your battery is in good condition, and try running the sump pump off the battery. You can do this by unplugging the sump pump from the main power source, and activating the float switch. If the backup battery is working properly, the pump will turn on and drain the sump pump well.

By keeping your eye on these four things, it will help ensure the sump pump is working properly all year long. If you feel like you are unable to perform any of these maintenance tasks on your own, be sure to call a local plumbing contractor to help you.