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Sump-Pump Maintenance Tips

A flooded basement is no fun, which is why homes in areas that are prone to flooding are typically fitted with a sump pump to move extra water away from the home. This is by far the best solution, as long as everything is working properly. The following tips can help you avoid issues with your sump pump.

Tip #1: Choose the right type of pump

Sump pumps come in two varieties, pedestal and submersible. It is well worth the extra effort and expense to have sump pit that is large enough for a submersible pump built in the basement. These pumps sit underwater as they work, which means that the water helps dull the noise and the motor is less likely to overheat and stop working in the middle of a flood. Pedestal pumps stand above the water level, so they are likely to be louder and are more prone to overheating.

Tip #2: Test the system regularly

Don't wait for a rainstorm to see if your pump is working. At least once a month, pour a bucket of water into the sump pit, making sure to add enough water to breach the fill line and activate the pump. The pump should quickly turn on, pump out the water, and turn off. If the pump doesn't do this, call for a repair before the next rainstorm or flood.

Tip #3: Consider a backup

In many locations, power outages go hand in hand with flooding. If this is the case in your area, then invest in a battery backup for your pump. This one-time purchase usually consists of a marine battery that is hooked into the pump to provide backup power. You will need to inspect the battery monthly for any damage or leaks and check its charge to make sure the pump is in full working order. Another option is to install a whole-house backup generator and make sure the pump is wired into it.

Tip #4: Keep it clean

Dirt tends to collect in the sump pits. Take a few moments a couple of times a year to scoop the dirt, gravel, and debris out of the sump pit. This prevents materials from jamming the pump or clogging the line. Then, inspect the hose and make sure there are no obstructions. The discharge opening outside of the basement can also be blocked, so make sure to go outside and make sure it is clear.

Go to the sites of plumbers or sump-pump professionals, such as, for more help.