Damaging basement flooding makes sump pump maintenance an all-year concern. However, summer storms here in Indiana present a particular potential for basement water inundation. Roof runoff from a heavy rain can deposit hundreds of gallons of water on the ground around the perimeter of the house, which may seep downward into the basement space. Also, groundwater may rise due to summer rains, forcing water up through the foundation of the house. Sump pump maintenance helps ensure that the system will be ready when it’s most needed to protect your property and belongings from basement flooding.
- Visually inspect the basin. Check for debris like gravel or rocks or other items that may have fallen into the basin. Look at the lower portion of the pump where the inlet screen is located to detect obstructions that may block the screen and prevent proper operation.
- Test the pump float switch. Pour several gallons of clean water into the basin to verify automatic operation of the on/off switch. The system should activate and begin pumping before you have poured five gallons into the basin. After the basin is empty, the float switch should automatically shut off the pump.
- Verify check valve operation. Usually installed close to the sump basin in the discharge pipe, the check valve prevents discharged water from flowing back into the basin after the pump stops, causing the pump to actuate over and over, continuously. As the pump empties the basin and automatically shuts off, watch to make sure water doesn’t flow backwards into the basin and activate the pump again. If it does, you’ll need to contact a qualified plumber to replace the check valve.
- Go to the discharge point. Usually, it’s out in the back yard. Make sure the end of the discharge pipe is unobstructed and located far enough from the house to ensure that discharged water doesn’t seep back into the basement. Also, the discharge line should be on a slight grade to ensure that all water drains fully out of the pipe.
For qualified professional sump pump maintenance this summer, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
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