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Sump Pump Installation and Maintenance

Severe storms that bring heavy rains can create a surplus of water in your basement or lower level of your home. The excess water is typically caused by soils that drain poorly, foundation drains or construction issues.

Sump Pump Installation

A sump pump is a key appliance to help protect your property by controlling water and keeping your home dry. Many homeowners carry out a sump pump installation in case there is a pipe burst, or abnormal rainfall occurs.

There are two types of sump pumps, pedestal and submersible. Sump pumps should be installed by a professional in the lowest part of a home, away from the walls with drainage flowing away from the structure. For example, submersible pumps would be installed in the basement, within a specially designed sump pit.

Proper Sump Pump Installation & Maintenance

Sump Pump Maintenance

In many areas, sump pumps tend to sit without use for months at a time. To help keep your sump pump installation in working order, DisasterSafety.org recommends performing the following tasks at least once a year, or every quarter if you are in a high rainfall or flood risk location.

  • Remove any debris around or in the pump. You can remove the pump from the sump to inspect and clean it.
  • Clean the pump’s inlet screen.
  • Review the owner’s manual to understand if the pump bearings need grease or oil. Inquire with a professional contractor (via phone or online) if you do not have a manual.
  • Place the pump back in the sump once you are done inspecting and cleaning.
  • Make sure the pump power cord is in good shape, and then ensure it is plugged in.
  • Test the pump by using the manual power switch or adding water to the pit with a hose or bucket.
  • Once turned on, the pump should empty the sump pit in roughly 10 seconds.
  • Outside your home, look at the sump pump outlet pipe to ensure the water flowed out as expected. Note: The water discharge should go to directly your home’s yard and not be running to a sink or sewer.

Sump Pump Battery Back Up

Electricity powers sump pumps. Therefore, installing a battery backup system will help ensure the pump does not fail during a power outage. The backup system should also get tested annually and needs to remain clear of dust and debris. Don’t forget to unplug the sump pump to properly test the battery.

Other Sump Pump Guidelines

  • Ensure there is a solid lid over the pit (for submersible pumps).
  • Keep an eye on the outlet pipe during cold seasons, to ensure the line does not get backed up or become/remain frozen.
  • Always contact a professional if any issues or questions arise!

Following these sump pump installation and maintenance tips at least once a year may help keep your home dry and free of costly repairs and cleanup.

Stay tuned for more disaster response, home maintenance and safety tips here on Discover!

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/DusheninaMimadeoOzgur Coskun

 

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2 responses to “Sump Pump Installation and Maintenance”

  1. Maggie Allen says:

    It’s good to know that sump pumps should be installed by a professional, and not by the homeowner. My husband really wants to make sump pump installation a DIY project, but I’m a bit anxious about that, especially since he isn’t a professional. In fact, I don’t think he would even be able to identify the lowest area of the home that has walls with drainage flowing away. That definitely sounds like something only a professional could do!

  2. Hector Uba says:

    I’m glad that you elaborated on the different ways you can maintain your pump. I agree that you really want to keep your outflow pipes clean so they can drain properly. In my opinion, you should have a professional do maintenance on your pump at least once a year so they can catch problems while they are small.

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