How to Maintain a Sump Pump – 6 Critical Steps

maintain a sump pump

A sump pump system can offer a lot of benefits. It is responsible for keeping water from the basement when flooding or a storm occurs. However, even the best pump requires regular maintenance to operate at its best. It is, therefore, vital that you know how to maintain a sump pump. Simple preventative measures could be taken to keep your pump and septic system in perfect condition.

Inspect Your Sump Pump At Least Once a Year

An essential step to maintain a sump pump is to do routine visual checks of your pump to keep it in its optimal performance state. The pumping system is made of various components. These components should be working correctly to ensure that the system functions efficiently. Your pump should be tested regularly. Pour clean water into the sump pit to raise the float. Your pump should start to pump the water from the sump pit and shut itself off once the job is done.

Float Or Switch Check

During such a test, you should ensure that the float can move freely and that everything goes well with your check valve. You should also inspect for foul, moldy odors. Such odors could indicate that the pump is not running correctly or that your pump needs to be cleaned.

Unusual Noise During Operation

Another thing you should check is the noise. All pumps make noise; you should be aware of any clangs, unusual humming, or bangs that could indicate something wrong with your sump pump. One tell tail is to hear if the water drains back into the sump well when it turns off. If you hear a lot of water coming back it’s time to replace the check valve.

Corrosion and Hard Water Scale

maintain a sump pump

Older pumps may not have been made from corrosion-resistant materials. As a result, if your pump is old, you should check for rust and replace the rusty parts. The most noticeable sign that your sump pump isn’t operating correctly is when your basement is full of water.

Groundwater collected around the house may have dissolved minerals. These minerals can build up around and within the sump up and outlet pipes. Left unchecked, the minerals will eventually affect the performance of the pump and pipes. The best practice is to pour a gallon of CLR or other hardware mineral treatment directly into the well at least once a year. This will ensure your sump pump system runs freely.

Check Valve Operation

Steps on how to maintain a sump pump should include an inspection and test of any check valves that are installed for vertical outlets. Over time small rocks or other debris can interfere with backflow check valves causing water to rush back into the sump.

Clean Sump Floor or Inspect Gravel

This is one of the nastiest steps of maintaining a sump pump. The floor of the sump pit needs to be free from algae and plant material. If slime has developed due to infrequent operation, that must be clear. A CLR treatment will help to clear both situations. If you have gravel on the floor of the sump well, ensure that it is even. Over time the movement of the pump can shift gravel and impede the pump inlets.

Final Thoughts on How to Maintain a Sump Pump

You should avoid ending up in such a situation as water could flood your home’s basement or crawl space and cause serious damage. Regular inspections are therefore recommended as they will improve your pump’s overall efficiency and increase your pump’s lifespan. Houses that are prone to flooding will affect the value and insurability of the home.

Annual servicing of your pump system is recommended. The tank of your pump will be emptied to remove blockages. It will be adequately cleaned, including removing dirt from the sump pit. There will be a lot of dirt and debris to clean, including dirt, gravel, and sand.

This highlights the benefits of not disposing of unsuitable things. It is essential to check if there is a blockage in your drainage lines. Servicing will include a check for possible faults, problems, or defects that should be addressed.

Since faults are common in every system, your sump pump system is no exception. Faults will be noticed during servicing or a routine check. Any fault, even if it is minor, should be addressed immediately. When you ignore problems, there is a high chance that the overall performance of your pump will be negatively affected.