You should clean your sump pump and pit annually. This includes spraying off the pump with a hose, cleaning the grate, and checking the discharge line. You should also inspect and clean the sump pump inlet screen and fill it with five gallons of water to ensure the float switch turns on and off properly.
When performing sump pump maintenance, it is important to check that the pump’s electrical connections are secure and working properly. Examine the power cord for frayed or damaged areas and make sure it is plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI) that is functioning correctly. These outlets have a tendency to trip in damp areas, so it’s essential that you inspect them periodically to prevent any malfunctioning. Contact Plumbers Bradenton for professional expertise.
In addition, it’s a good idea to test the pump’s GFCI outlet to ensure that it turns off the pump when the pit is empty. This is a vital step because it helps to avoid overworking the motor, leading to expensive repairs.
Also, be sure to inspect the discharge pipe for clogs or leaks that may cause problems during heavy rainstorms. It’s important that the discharge pipe disposes of water away from your home and not toward it, as this could result in severe foundation damage. If the discharge pipe does not dispose of water far enough from your house, you can easily correct this by installing a new drain line.
Another thing to look for is any unusual vibrations when the pump is running. Excessive vibration can be a sign of a motor problem or an alignment issue that needs to be addressed by a professional. Lastly, be sure to test the battery backup system during storms to ensure that it works correctly in case of a power outage.
Once you’ve inspected all of the electrical connections, it’s time to clean the sump pump. Start by disconnecting the pump from the discharge hose, then remove the pump from the sump pit and inspect it for rust or debris. Clean the pump intake screen, if necessary, and lubricate the bearings if needed. Once you’re done cleaning, connect the pump to the hose and test it again. If the float switch rises with the water level and activates the pump, it’s working correctly. If the float switch is stuck in the “on” position or the pump continues to run even after the float reaches the top of the basin, you’ll need to replace it.
Clean the Pump
Whether you do this cleaning yourself or have a professional perform it as part of your sump pump maintenance, the first thing to do is ensure the pump is unplugged and the breaker turned off. You never want to touch an electrical appliance with the power still running, especially when it is a large machine that can cause serious injury or death.
With the switch off, remove the cover from the pump basin (pit) and take a look inside. Look for mud, rocks or debris that might have been thrown into the basin by water. Remove any that you find and dispose of it. Also, check the inlet screen on the bottom of the pump for dirt or mud that could have gotten caught and clogged it.
If there is any mud or debris in the fan-like impeller on top of the pump, you can clean it using a toothbrush and warm water. You can also spray it down with vinegar to scrub it and let it soak for about 15 minutes.
While you’re doing this, you can also rinse out the discharge pipe, as well. Sometimes larger rocks or twigs can get caught in the pipe’s entrance and cause blockages. This should be done on a regular basis to prevent debris from obstructing the line.
After the pump is cleaned, reinstall it and plug it back in. Check the owner’s manual to see if your pump needs to be lubricated. If it does, pour a small amount of oil or grease into the pump to lubricate its bearings.
Finally, you should examine the float and switch mechanism to ensure that it’s functioning properly. If the float is stuck and won’t trigger operations, or if it’s triggering too soon, you may need to replace it with a new one. Also, if the switch is constantly on or off, you may need to replace it with
Check the Discharge Line
When performing sump pump maintenance, it’s important to check the discharge line. This pipe removes water from the basin and pumps it away from your home, so it needs to be free of clogs or obstructions that could cause problems. The discharge pipe also needs to be far enough away from your home so that the water doesn’t seep back around the foundation, which can lead to serious water damage and expensive repairs.
Checking the discharge line is a quick and easy task. Just disconnect the pump from the power supply, pull it out of the pit and inspect it for clogs or debris. The float switch can also be checked, as it’s responsible for turning the pump on and off when needed. Be sure to make a note of any unusual sounds that might be coming from the pump, such as humming or grinding. Persistent vibrations can indicate a problem with the motor, which should be professionally examined.
It’s a good idea to test the pump by pouring five gallons of water into the pit and seeing if it turns on and pumps out the water. If not, the float switch may be clogged or damaged, and you should clean it to ensure proper function.
It’s a good idea to cover your sump pump when you aren’t using it, as this can help prevent debris from collecting on the bottom and blocking the float switch. The cover should be snugly fit, but not so tight that it’s difficult to open and close. Also be sure to inspect the lid periodically for any signs of wear or tear, and replace it if necessary.
Inspect the Cover
If the sump pump isn’t properly sealed, it could allow water to seep back into the pit and cause overflow. Check to make sure the cover is mechanically fastened securely in place and that it’s a tight fit over the sump pit’s crock. It should also be clear to permit observation of the condition of the water inside the pit.
You should also inspect the discharge pipe to make sure it’s extending far enough away from your house. If it’s too close, your sump pump will be forced to run nonstop and wear out more quickly. You might also be pushing excess water into your neighbors’ yards — something that will probably not go over well with them!
Sump pumps come in many different models, and a professional inspection will help you understand what your specific model needs to function properly. They can also advise you on what repairs may be needed down the road so that you’re not left with a basement full of water and costly repair bills.
The sump pump’s float switch must be free of debris and lint to work correctly. Pouring water into the pit and manually lifting the float switch up and down to see how it responds can help you figure out whether it’s stuck or if there are other mechanical issues that may need to be addressed.
It’s a good idea to remove the pump from the sump pit and clean its small grate with a garden hose or wet vac as well. This will prevent larger debris from falling into the pump pit and causing problems. It won’t mean you don’t have to clean it regularly but it will minimize how often you need to do so.
When you’re done, turn the power on to the sump pump and watch it do its job. If the water level doesn’t rise above a pre-set level, your basement should stay dry. If it does, it’s likely time to call in a home inspector for an annual sump pump maintenance inspection!