How Do You Maintain a Sump Pump?

Because it’s tasked with expelling water from a home’s foundation, a sump pump is crucial in reducing the risk of flooding. Because they’re situated below a home, a sump pump is often out of sight and out of mind. It shouldn’t be, though! Every homeowner should perform some basic maintenance to ensure their sump pump functions as it should.

This post from your plumbing services in Columbus, IN will cover the basics of sump pump maintenance:

  • Check that it’s upright: Sump pumps tend to vibrate as they work to remove water from under your home. All of this rattling can cause the pump to tilt to the side, rendering it ineffective. Check to ensure yours is standing upright, and call a plumber to adjust it if it’s not.
  • Pour water into the sump pit: Because a sump pump’s job is to pump water, you’ll want to make sure that it’s working as it should. The best way to test it is to pour a few gallons of water directly into the sump pit. If the pump activates and removes the water, you’re good to go. If not, call a plumber to make the necessary repairs.
  • Test the GFCI: Sump pumps run on ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets to prevent the risk of electrical shock and a short circuit. GFCIs can shut off on their own, so check to ensure it’s working and power is running to your sump pump. To prevent any injuries, a plumber or an electrician should address this issue.

When should I perform this maintenance?

Due to melting snow and spring showers, late winter or early spring are the best times to check up on your sump pump. However, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your sump pump throughout the year, as a sudden storm can pop up at any time and lead to potential flooding.

Common sump pump problems

You still may run into issues with your sump pump every once in a while. These are a few of the most common reasons plumbing services in Columbus, IN get calls about sump pumps:

  • Doesn’t turn on: If the sump pump doesn’t turn on to expel water, you’ve got an issue on your hands. This could be due to an electrical malfunction or debris clogging the inlet valve.
  • Won’t shut off: Your sump pump should automatically shut off once the water has been removed. If it won’t stop running, there’s likely a problem with the electrical switch or an obstruction in the discharge pipe.
  • Sump pump starts and stops frequently: A clogged discharge pipe can also make the sump pump turn on and off frequently. This is because water isn’t actually leaving the system, just flowing backward where it refills the sump pit.

Call our team with any sump pump issues

Whether you’re having difficulties with your sump pump or you just think it’s time for a professional inspection, contact our team at Barr Plumbing Service, Inc. Our fair pricing and wide range of services make us one of the best plumbing services in Columbus, IN.

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