Spring and summer seasons may seem like a mixed bag for many residents of Kansas City, MO. On one hand, they’re happy that the weather is warm, and they can enjoy the outdoors, yet they’re worried that heavy rains could trigger flash floods that can damage their basements or crawl spaces. Does this scenario describe you?
If you don’t want the rains to spoil the party, get a sump pump. And if you have one, take good care of it. A well-maintained sump pump, together with interior drainage, will stop excess water from creating an emergency situation. We strongly recommend you sign up for a hassle-free maintenance plan.
Common Sump Pump Problems
A defective sump pump will always display particular signs. When testing yours, be sure to look out for these signs:
- Pump turns on but doesn’t empty basin – The basin is supposed to clear when the sump pump is on. If it doesn’t, stones or dirt could be blocking the inlet screen. Ask your local plumber or waterproofing professional who installed the system to check the sump pump including draining the basin, removing the pump, and cleaning the inlet screen.
- Basin fills up, but the pump doesn’t start — A pump needs five gallons of water to actuate. If the basin contains more than five gallons of water but the sump pump isn’t actuating, the problem could be a defective motor or a binding float switch.
- Basin refills up, and the pump actuates again — Water isn’t supposed to flow back into the basin once the pump shuts off. A check valve that connects to the discharge line usually stops water from flowing back into the sump pit. If the valve is not working, water will flow back to the basin and actuate the sump pump. This cycle will continue until the issue is resolved.
- Basin has no water, but the pump actuates — After emptying the basin, you’d expect the pump to go off. If the pump is still running yet the basin is empty, it means the float switch might be faulty. Your pump will break down if this continues for long, so remove the sump pump and contact your basement waterproofing contractor to fix the problem.
Easy Sump Pump Maintenance Tips
Though sump pumps are low-maintenance devices, they still require occasional checks and care. Below are handy tips that can help you keep the sump pump working correctly:
- Make sure the vent hole in the discharge is not blocked.
- Clean the sump pit by removing dirt, gravel, sand, and other debris to enhance the pump’s efficiency.
- Install a tank lever alarm that alerts you when the pump stops working.
- Always cover the pump basin with a lid to keep out debris.
- Replace any worn out parts especially critical components as soon as possible.
- Ensure the discharge lines stick out from your house and extend for at least 20 feet.
- Ensure the sump pump backup is always plugged in.
- Check for loose or faulty electrical wires as they could cause the pump to stop abruptly.
- Listen to the sump pump and motor and ensure they’re both running.
To check if your sump pump needs service, pour water into the pit. If the pump starts on its own and the water quickly drains, it’s in good condition. Otherwise, the pump needs servicing.
Why you should take care of the sump pump
A functional sump pump is your best defense against possible flooding that can damage your belongings, foster wood rot, and trigger water-borne illnesses such as bilharzia and malaria. Servicing your sump pump also prevents simple cleanup and repairs from turning into expensive repairs or part replacements. By installing and maintaining a sump pump, you also demonstrate to your insurance company that you’re taking active measures to mitigate potential floods.
Flood protection starts with you. Now that you know how to take care of your sump pump, we hope you feel empowered to keep it running so it will continue to protect your home and family.
If your basement sump pump has problems but you can’t quite pinpoint the issue or you need to replace a part urgently, get in touch with our experts. We offer free sump pump inspection and repair quotes, sound advice, and lasting waterproofing solutions to our customers.