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What is a Sump Pump?

Wondering what a sump pump is and if you even have one? A sump pump helps prevent outside water from entering your basement. Rainwater or ground water drains into a sump pump pit and then is pumped away from the foundation of your home. So, if you have a basement, then you should have a sump pump! Sump pumps are typically located at the lowest level of your home. Below the basement floor is a standard location.

There are 2 main types of sump pumps:

Submersible Sump Pump – this type of pump can operate underwater. The motor is inside the sump pump pit.

Pedestal Sump Pump – this type of pump is, as the name suggests, sitting up on a stand that raises the motor above the sump pump pit.

No matter the type of pump you have, the average lifespan of a sump pump is about 7- 10 years. This can be lengthened with proper care and maintenance.

Do Sump Pumps Need Maintenance?

As with anything such as your car (or even yourself!), sump pumps do require maintenance in order to stay in good working condition. Part of that maintenance should include cleaning the sump pump. How often it is cleaned is determined by the type of sump pump you have as well as typical water levels in your area. Having it fully inspected at least once a year is also ideal but checking for proper operation on your own periodically is also recommended. What type of sump pump you have and the suggested maintenance for that specific unit can be found in your owner’s manual. If you do not have a manual handy because you just moved into the home or did not keep it upon installation, you can check for the model number of the sump pump on the motor.  If sump pump maintenance sounds like something you’d rather not get into, a professional plumber can help.

Besides cleaning, here are other items your sump pump maintenance should cover:

Power Supply – The pump should be on an independent circuit. The power cord should also be checked for damage.

Check for Level – Motor vibration on the sump pump can sometimes shift it out of place. You can inspect it visually or use a level to make sure it is still stable.

Pump Operations – Filling the sump pump basin with water should activate the pump automatically. Observe the way it runs and take note of any strange smells or sounds.

Inlet Screen – this is located at the base of the pump. It acts as a filter to keep debris from getting inside the pump. It’s always recommended to clean this screen during maintenance.

Discharge – this is the drainage system of the sump pump. It is made up of various pipes that transfer water away from your home. It should be checked to be sure it is directing water at least 20 feet away from your home.  The pipe’s vent should also be inspected to ensure no debris has accumulated. This can cause water to be unable to drain from the system properly.

To access the sump pump, the plumber will need to remove the basin lid. True professionals will normally also provide you with a report of each item they’ve checked on your unit.

When is the Best Time to Do Maintenance on My Sump Pump?

Early spring before the rainy season begins and when the snow has melted (depending on your area) is a great time to have your sump pump checked. It will need to be in working condition for the rainfall that typically occurs during spring or you may end up with a flooded basement.

Sump Pump Service

If you are near Cincinnati, OH and need sump pump service or maintenance, contact Quality Comfort! Give us a call or schedule service online anytime.