If you have a basement or crawlspace and a high water table, then chances are that you should have a sump pump installed to help prevent flooding and moisture issues. In some homes, these pumps only run rarely, such as during heavy rains or after snow melt. In other areas, a sump pump may run regularly if there is a constant seepage issue due to a consistently high water table. Regardless of how often you use your pump, regular maintenance is a must to make sure it doesn't let you down when you need it most. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Test seasonally
Pumps that run infrequently should be tested every few months to make sure they are still operational. You can do this by pouring water into the pump basin just until the pump activates. If the pump fails to activate or if it doesn't move the water out of the basin, then it may be clogged or malfunctioning. Have it repaired now so that the problem doesn't affect you when a real flood occurs.
Tip #2: Check the inline power source
Some pumps are hardwired into the electrical panel, while others are simply plugged into an outlet. If you pump is hardwired, inspect the electrical panel during your seasonal testing and make sure that the circuit is properly engaged and that there are no burn marks or other signs of shorts around the circuit. For plugged in units, check that the plug is in good condition, with no signs of fraying or exposed wiring.
Tip #3: Inspect the backup battery
It's best to have your sump pump on a backup battery so that it will continue to run even if a major storm leaves you without power. This battery will need to be checked monthly to make sure it is properly charged. You can usually recharge these batteries with a car charging kit. You may also need to check the water in the battery and top it off. If the battery won't hold a charge or if it seems to be leaking fluid, it is time to replace it.
Tip #4: Clean the drain hose
The drain hose is located outside of the home. Occasionally debris can clog the hose, resulting in a sump pump that can't move any water. Check the exit of the hose monthly to make sure there are no blockages. Inside the house, make sure no debris has fallen into the sump pump basin, since this can also lead to a blockage.
For more help, contact a sump pump contractor in your area. Visit websites like http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com to learn more.