In just a few short weeks, the calendar will officially say spring. In Northeast Ohio, that can mean any weather – any time! However, the early spring months tend to bring a lot of melting snow, rain and added moisture that will put your sump pump to work. While it’s a relatively small piece of equipment, your sump pump has a big job to do when it comes to keeping your home dry and damage-free. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do any extensive maintenance, but it is important to prep your sump pump now so it’s ready when those spring storms hit. Here are a few simple steps:
1. Inspect the Power Source and Cord
Safety first when it comes to any electrical equipment! Before you perform any maintenance tasks, make sure you disconnect your sump pump from its power supply. In terms of prep, check that your sump pump is connected to a ground fault circuit interruptor (GFCI). Next, examine the cord for any wear and tear that could lead to potential malfunction or danger. If you have a battery backup, this is also a good time to check that it’s fully charged.
2. Check the Float
The float is what triggers your sump pump to pull water from the pit. If the float isn’t working, the sump pump won’t work. Take a close look at your float – is it punctured or split? Do you notice any rust? If so, it could let water inside and then sink rather than rise. If your float looks like it’s in good shape, you should then check the float switch. You can do this by manually lifting the bracket the float is attached to in and seeing if the pump activates.
3. Clear Away Debris
Debris can build up in several areas and can be a detriment to your system. First clear away any debris, such as twigs or leaves, from the pit. Then, remove the pump from its basin. On the bottom, you’ll see a grate, which can often get clogged with debris. While the pump is out, take a few minutes to remove and clean the screen. You should also clear away debris from the discharge pipe and venting.
4. Take a Look at the Drainage Pipes
First, examine the pipe joints to ensure they are all tightly connected. Next, take a look at where your drainage pipe goes. Some sump pumps run to the main sewage line, while others drain into your yard. If you have the second type, check that the drainage pipe is angled away from your home’s foundation and extended far enough that it won’t cause additional water damage.
5. Test Your Sump Pump
The last thing you’ll want to do is a quick test run to make sure your sump pump is still functioning properly. All you have to do is slowly pour a bucket of water into the pump’s basin until the float reaches the level require to activate the pump. If it turns on, you’re good to go! If it doesn’t, call a professional plumber in to repair the issue.