Sump Pumps & Maintenance Tips

Sump Pump drainage systemIt is springtime and time to check your sump pump. Most houses have a sump barrel under the concrete that collect rain water. Inside this barrel is a pump which is connected to a pipe heading outside. A float which acts like a switch will turn the pump on as the water in the barrel rises, and off as the water lowers.

At a call last week, a homeowner had forgotten to remove a discharge hose from the outside line last year in the fall. Well in the spring the barrel filled and tried to pump the water but could not as the discharge hose was filled with ice. So this pressurized the pipe and blew apart the flexible connection in the barrel. The home owner noticed water seeping out of the barrel and called us right away. We fixed it up reminded them to remove the hose next fall before the freeze.

What is a Sump Pump?

Sump Pumps are pumps that are used to clear out water that collects in a sump basin. This prevents dampness from building up and flooding from happening.

They are commonly used in basement suites, and houses where the water table is above the foundation of the house.

More than 60% of North American households have some form of moisture in their basement according to the ASHI – therefore it is imperative that yours is kept well maintained.

Submersible Sump Pump
An example of a submersible Sump Pump

A Sump Pump is one of those ‘insurance policy’ appliances.  This means that it’s only useful for you when you need it. For example, during a heavy storm, or just after the winter melt.

But with that in mind, what’s the point of a sump pump if it isn’t working exactly when it’s needed?

That is why routine maintenance to ensure that your sump pump works correctly is critical.

Here at Butler Plumbing, we recommend you do the following to ensure that your sump pump kicks in exactly when it is needed.

Why Do I Need a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is like an insurance policy for your home. You can dramatically decrease the potential damage caused by flooding and storms by investing now.

Now that spring is upon us and the risk of flooding is greater, it’s a great time to give your sump pump some maintenance to make sure it’s working for when you need it!

Additional Reasons:
  • Your basement has flooded in the past
  • You live in a low-lying or flat area
  • You live in an area that gets a large amount of snow or rain
  • Your current sump pump is over 6 years old

Because Edmonton is a relatively flat, low-lying area, sump pumps are generally a good idea in our city.

Sump Pump Maintenance Every 3-4 Months

  • Clean the pump inlet screen. The pump inlet screen filters out any nasty objects entering the pump, cleaning it out every 3 months will ensure that it never gets blocked.

 

  • Check the pump power cord and make sure it is plugged in. The last thing you want is for your sump pump not to work for something as simple as not being plugged in.

 

  • Make sure your pump is upright. If it’s not standing correctly, the float arm within the sump can become jammed.

 

  • Pour a bucket of water into the sump. Fill it all the way to the top so that it triggers the pump to turn on.

If your pump doesn’t turn on when you pour enough water into the sump, contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Sump Pump Maintenance Once A Year

  • Remove pump from the pit (submersible pump only). Clean out the pit and remove any rocks or debris as these can cause blockages.

 

  • Ensure pipes into and out of the pump are fastened. Loose pipes can cause leakages, and set all pipes to drain at least 20 feet away from your foundation.

Types of Sump Pumps

Submersible

Submersible sump pumps are entirely covered and have a lid, making them much more durable and longer lasting than pedestal pumps. Submersible sump pumps are generally recommended because they are so long lasting and require little maintenance.

When choosing a sump pump, upgrade to a pump with a cast iron core over a plastic core as cast iron is much more durable and has a significantly longer lifespan. We recommend having a backup battery for your sump pump so that it keeps working if there is a power failure.

 

Who Do I Ask For Help With My Sump Pump?

It's important to maintain your sump pump drainage system

Follow these tips so that when your sump pump is needed, it’ll kick in and save your home from flooding.

If you have a broken sump pump that needs fixing or would like to install a new sump pump get in contact with us and we will be able to help you!

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Butler Plumbing Heating & Gasfitting Ltd.