Sump Pump Maintenance: A Guide From Charter Oak

A good sump pump is the only thing standing between you and a basement full of water, so it makes sense to implement a good maintenance plan for your pump. A lot of Charter Oak homeowners don’t even think about their sump pumps, however, probably because they are buried out of sight, but the only way to know for sure that it will work when you need it most is to keep it in good operating condition. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Check the GFCI – Your sump pump should be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is a special outlet that keeps the system from getting waterlogged. If it gets damp, it shuts down, turning off your sump pump. Unfortunately, GFCIs can be faulty or break, so check it regularly to make sure it is always on.
  • Upright Operation – If you have a standing sump pump, make sure it stays upright and doesn’t fall over when operating. These things can move a lot and if they do fall over, they may not pump properly.
  • Test it Regularly – Pour water into the sump pit when empty to make sure it will work when needed. Most people who need emergency service could have pinpointed the problem weeks or months earlier if they had known the system was broken.
  • Check the Outlet Pipes – Check the outlet pipes regularly for leaks or damage. If they start leaking back into the foundation, they can cause damage or leakage into the basement.
  • Clean the Grate – Submersible pumps are often left to sit in their pits for months or even years without cleaning. At least once a year, remove the sump pump from its pit and clean away any gunk that’s built up. Stones or debris in the pump can break the motor if left unchecked.

A good sump pump is all that stands between your home and a boat load of water whenever it rains. To keep your home clean and dry, check your pump often and if necessary, call someone for routine maintenance.

Most of the problems that pop up with sump pumps can be avoided entirely if they are maintained on an annual basis. Sometimes you may need to call a plumber for advanced cleaning or part replacement. If so, try and do so before the raining season starts.

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