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How Do I Know if My Sump Pump Is Working?

a-sump-pump-in-a-concrete-floor

Ah, springtime! The glorious season of new flowers and outdoor activities! But it’s also the time of year when flooded basements are most likely to occur. Snow melt, runoff, and heavy spring rains can all make it very difficult to keep your home dry. If you have a sump pump, this is the time of year when you need to be most certain that it’s ready to work at a moment’s notice. So how can you be sure?

We’ve got some pointers for you, so you can take a look at that sump pump and determine whether you’re good to go, or if you need some professional plumbing help with your sump pump in Collegeville, PA.

When Did You Last Have Sump Pump Maintenance?

If it’s been quite a while since a professional took a look at your sump pump, please keep in mind that regular sump pump maintenance is strongly recommended. A plumber can clean and inspect all parts of the system, ensuring that it’s in good working condition. With regular maintenance, your sump pump will operate more effectively and efficiently, and you will be able to rely on it for longer. Sump pumps that are not maintained simply won’t have as long a lifespan.

Does Your Sump Pump Have Power?

Double-check that your sump pump is actually plugged in. Sometimes they get unplugged when they’re not needed, or when the outlet is needed for something else, so make sure you don’t overlook this. It should be plugged into a GFCI outlet for safety. Make sure that the reset button has not popped up. If you have a battery backup—and we strongly recommend that you do, because heavy rains and power outages often go hand in hand—make sure it is also properly connected. 

Is Your Sump Pump Clean?

Take a good look in the sump pit. Is there anything in there that shouldn’t be? If debris, trash, or other items get sucked into the pump, they can clog the lines, so clear away all potential obstructions. Then check the weep hole or vent hole on the discharge pipe. It also needs to be free of obstructions or anything else that could clog it. If that hole isn’t open, the resulting pressure can prevent water from flowing.

Is Your Sump Pump Pumping?

Now comes the flood simulation. Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit. Does the float rise up freely? Does the motor start running? Is the weep hole allowing a tiny trickle of water to flow out? Those are the things you want to see. Once the pump has done the job of removing the water, it should turn itself off. Then, check the piping. If there are any leaky spots, you should be able to find them now, when water has just been run through the system.

Is Your High Water Alarm Working?

This one is simple: lift the float arm to its highest position. The alarm should activate. Not all sump pumps have these, but they are extremely useful in emergencies.

If you have any difficulty with these steps, or if you complete them and are unsatisfied with the result, it’s time for a plumber. 

Contact Platinum Plumbing & Heating, Inc. today to schedule an appointment with our pros.

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