Is Your Sump Pump Ready for Summer Storms?
The crack of thunder, a flash of lightning, and the smell of fresh rain are just a few of the amazing characteristics of summer storms. Hidden underneath the beauty, however, is the potential for a rainstorm to take a nasty turn, producing excess water and developing flash floods. If you live in an area prone to basement or crawlspace flooding, you likely have a device called a sump pump sitting in a corner of the space nestled in a concrete pit. Before the summer storm season kicks off in earnest, you should do a quick sump pump inspection and take care of any post-winter maintenance.
What is a sump pump?
As mentioned above, a sump pump is a device that has a similar shape to a bucket that sits in the corner of your basement or crawlspace. The sump pump is usually sitting at either a low point in the floor or in a concrete recess that was created especially for the pump. The goal of a sump pump is to capture floodwater and push it away from your home before it has a chance to do any significant damage. Maintenance, especially after a long winter of inactivity is vital to ensuring that your sump pump will do its job during heavy rainfall or flash flooding.
1) Inspect and clean your sump pump
To inspect the sump pump, make sure it is empty and unplugged from the power source and then simply do a visual inspection inside and around the unit. Once you have made sure the pump looks okay visually, you can start the cleaning process. Every sump pump is different, and you will likely be able to find cleaning instructions in your owners manual. If the DIY approach seems daunting, you can always contact our team at Jolly Plumbing to schedule an inspection and full cleaning.
2) Pay attention to noises
While sump pumps are built to be incredibly durable, they are still prone to corrosion, rust, and buildup that can create strange knocking or grinding sounds while in use. Obviously, if you are comfortable working on a sump pump yourself you can always begin to disassemble to the unit to clean any corrosion and try to figure out where the noise is coming from, but at this point, we usually recommend calling a professional plumber. A plumber will be able to identify what can be fixed, clean any corrosion properly, or help you to find a new sump pump if your current one is beyond repair.
3) Perform a test
Testing the sump pump will allow you to verify that the sump pump will do its job in a controlled environment before you have to rely on it in an actual storm. To do a test, simply open the lid of the sump pump and pour enough water inside to make the little plastic float move to the top of the basin. At this point, you should see the sump pump automatically kick on and flush the water out. If the water is sitting stagnant and nothing is happening, try to reset the power source. Often, when the sump pump sits dormant all winter it just needs a hard reset to get going again. Plan to check-in and do this test again several times during the summer to make sure your sump pump is performing properly. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an inspection, don’t hesitate to call our team today!