Many homeowners in Marietta and the surrounding communities in California rely on sump pumps to prevent flooding in their basements. While these pieces of equipment are quite durable, they do require some routine maintenance. Here are seven tips from the experts at We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air for annual maintenance of your sump pump.
1. Follow the Recommended Schedule
The owner’s manual for your sump pump explains how often to perform routine maintenance on the unit. If you don’t have the manual, you can get a copy online from the manufacturer’s website. If you don’t know what company made your unit, call We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air, and we will help you determine how often to perform maintenance. Sump pumps typically need routine maintenance monthly, every three months, or every 12 months.
2. Monthly Maintenance
Sump pumps that are used on a regular basis, such as for draining water from your washing machine, need routine maintenance every month. Specifically, you should clean the opening where the water flows into the pump, as well as the screen. This prevents water from backing up into your basement. Be sure to unplug the unit before cleaning these areas. Check the area around the sump pump for any signs of standing water, cracks in the concrete, or other issues.
3. Quarterly Maintenance of Your Sump Pump
For homeowners who do not rely on their sump pumps for removing water from the clothes washing machine, cleaning the screen and inlet valve every three to four months is normally enough to keep the unit operating properly. Please make sure to unplug the sump pump before performing any type of maintenance or repairs. This is also a good time to check the discharge area outside your home for signs of erosion or other issues.
4. Annual Sump Pump Maintenance
All sump pumps need routine maintenance at least once every 12 months. You will need to clean the inlet valve and the screen. The unit also needs to be lifted out of the pit and thoroughly cleaned. First, spray the pump to remove loose dirt and debris. Next, use a brush to remove any stubborn debris. Make sure to get into the small areas of the pump. The more time you spend cleaning the pump, the better the unit will operate. Rinse the pump as you work. Check all connections for a secure fit, and look for any signs of damage to the electrical components and tubes.
5. Clean the Pit
Also clean out the pit, and make sure to remove any debris or buildup inside the pit. Remove any standing water that’s inside the pit. You can use a wet/dry vacuum for this. If you notice debris or dirt inside the pit, clean it out before replacing the unit. As you work, look for signs of damage to the pit, such as broken concrete and cracks. This should be repaired before you put the sump pump back in place. When you return the sump pump to the pit, look for a good, secure fit. If you notice that the sump pump will not fit back into the pit, or if it’s not level, pull the pump out and try again. If you try to get the pump to fit properly without success, contact We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air to schedule an appointment with a technician to come help you.
6. Annual Inspections of Sump Pumps
Performing an annual inspection of your sump pump keeps the unit operating efficiently and gives you peace of mind that it will work to prevent basement flooding. In addition to checking the pit and pump when you clean the unit, also follow these steps:
- Turn off the main source of power to the pump at the circuit breaker, and test the backup power
- Check the cover of the pump to make sure that it fits securely
- Check the alarm to make sure that it’s working by pressing the test button on the unit
- Make sure that the location where the sump pump dumps water outside your home is at least 20 feet from the foundation, nearby properties, and septic systems (including household and city)
7. Check Your Basement
When you’re doing routine maintenance on your sump pump, it’s an ideal time to check your basement for any signs of leaks or water infiltration. Mold is a sign of high moisture levels inside homes, so look closely to see if you notice any growth. Look around the windows, doors, and floor. Also, look for cracks in the walls and floors that may indicate problems with the foundation. Cracked windows and deteriorating windows frames should be repaired or replaced right away to prevent flooding in your basement.
Is Sump Pump Maintenance Really Necessary?
Sump pumps are some of the most neglected appliances that we see in homes in and around Marietta, California. Homeowners often perceive the pumps as durable enough to handle occasional usage. Unfortunately, it isn’t until the unit fails that homeowners see why their sump pumps need some extra attention. Homeowners’ insurance will not cover damages caused by flooding if the sump pump is shown to be in disrepair, improperly installed, or not positioned correctly in the basement. You could also be at risk for covering damages to your neighbor’s property or the city septic system if the unit dumps the excess water in the wrong location. Lastly, sump pumps not only protect your basement but also the foundation of your home. Foundation repairs are costly, and, in some cases, not even possible.
Should a Professional Technician Inspect Your Sump Pump?
Taking care of your sump pump is a great DIY project, but you should also rely on the experience of a trained professional technician. You can do part of the work yourself, and then have the technician come by for the final inspection. The team at We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air is here to do our part to make sure that your Marietta home is safe and secure from flooding.
Save Time and Money With Professional Sump Pump Maintenance
If you prefer to have a technician take care of all your sump pump needs, including installation, repairs, and maintenance, We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air is always available to help. Give us a call to schedule a time for a technician to come by and clean, inspect, and repair your sump pump. We can also recommend any updates to your sump pump and plumbing system to save you money and help you feel at ease knowing that your basement is protected.
Learn More About Sump Pump Maintenance
Since 2000, the team at We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air has provided top-notch sump pump services to the residents of Marietta and the surrounding areas of California, including installation, repairs, and maintenance. Learn more about us and our services by calling us today! Be sure to ask about our heating and air conditioning services and products. We can even help improve the quality of air inside your home!