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What Every Homeowner Should Know About Sump Pumps

Sump Pump
A sump pump is likely the most neglected appliance in any home, but it is also the most important appliance in the event of a flood. If your home contains a sump pump, then you should know why its existence is critical to the wellbeing of your house.

Most importantly, you should know how to perform the maintenance necessary to keep your sump pump functioning smoothly. Below is more information about this humble — but highly important — home appliance.

Why Sump Pumps Are Key to Protecting Your Home

If you dig into the ground near your house, you will likely find a significant amount of moisture in the soil just a few feet down. In some instances, there is so much water in the ground that, if you leave a hole where you dug, it will form a small pool.

Because of gravity, this moisture will attempt to enter into your home through and under your basement walls. The open space of your basement will eventually fill with water if left alone indefinitely.

That is why a sump pump is so key to protecting your home. Sump pumps capture and remove water that seeps into the basement before it can accumulate and cause damage. In addition, sump pumps are essential for quickly removing high volumes of water when rainstorms and melting snows suddenly overwhelm groundwater levels.

Since sump pumps are vital to home defense against moisture encroachment, you should take preventative action to ensure your house is protected. Here is what you should know about inspecting and testing the pump.

How to Check the Sump Pump for Functioning

If you aren't sure where your sump pump is located, take a close look around your basement. It is often buried beneath other items or hidden in an obscure corner out of view. The pump itself is inside a sump basin, which is an enclosure where water collects.

The first maintenance step is to inspect the pump and basin and remove any items that might interfere with the functioning of the pump. If the basin contains water, wear rubber gloves and scoop out some of the water until you are able to see to the bottom of the basin; beware of stinging insects, glass, and other objects that can cause a painful injury, and use a flashlight to visualize what you are doing.

Next, if the pump contains a float mechanism, manually move it upward to check if the pump will activate. If the pump doesn't turn on, the pump or float may be defective and will need to be repaired or replaced.
If the pump motor does activate, immediately release the float mechanism to prevent overheating. Pour a few gallons of fresh water into the sump basin to activate the pump again; the pump will suck up the water inside the basin and force it through the discharge line.

Leave the pump for a few minutes and go outside to the water discharge outlet. Monitor the outlet to ensure water is pumping freely.

If the water isn't flowing smoothly, is spurting, or isn't flowing at all, there may be a problem with the check valve. The check valve is a one-way valve that is designed to prevent backflow into the sump basin, but a malfunction can keep it from opening when the pump is operating.

What You Should Do Next

Once you have inspected the sump pump and checked it for functioning, the next step is to contact a qualified repair professional if a problem exists. A technician will be able to diagnose the cause of any problems and provide repairs or replacement.

If you are located in the Indianapolis area, Choose Your Time Appliance Repair is ready to assist you with all of your sump pump needs. Contact their friendly team of professionals for help today.

    Choose Your Time Appliance Repair
    144 E. Elbert St.
    Indianapolis, IN 46227

    Phone: 317-280-1000
    Fax: 317-781-9500
    Office Hours:
    Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.