You have probably never given much thought to how your home stays protected from groundwater seeping in. But underneath your home, your sump pump continues to monitor and prevent groundwater from reaching your home’s interior. Depending on your proximity to groundwater, you may require your sump pump to regularly expel water away from your home. If you live in an area that does not get exposed to groundwater, your sump pump may not activate at all. But no matter where you live, it is important to know the location and general operations of your sump pump in the event your home does require its usage. Let’s review some of the important things you should know about sump pump maintenance and how to install a sump pump to protect your home.
What Is a Sump Pump?
Your sump pump is located in the sump pit, a lined hole usually in the basement of your home. It is submerged in water and activates when water levels reach a dangerous level. This activates the sump pump to expel the water. Once the water levels return to a safe height, the pump will shut down.
What Does a Sump Pump Do?
Your sump pump is monitoring water levels around your home 24/7. It will activate under two common occurrences:
- High groundwater – As we discussed earlier your sump pump keeps groundwater from getting into your home. Groundwater usually enters from below the home or sideways through rock-filled drains. The sump pit captures this water and expels it outside.
- Flooding – Home flooding can be unpredictable. Sudden storms can cause groundwater to swell, especially if you live in a drier climate. A broken pipeline can send water rushing toward your home, leaving you at risk of interior flooding. A good quality sump pump can expel up to 5,000 gallons per hour.
How Often to Maintain Your Sump Pump
Even if your home is at low risk of flooding it is still a good idea to check your sump pump once a year. The best time of year to check is in early spring when groundwater is at its highest from winter thawing and water runs off. It is also a good idea to do regular inspections throughout the year, particularly if a water main break has occurred near your home or there has been a sudden storm.
How to Maintain Sump Pump
Regular sump pump maintenance is recommended to ensure that you never have to worry about your home being affected by a sudden increase in groundwater.
- Make sure you know where your sump pump is located. It should be in the basement or a crawlspace.
- Check that the pump is upright when the float ball is moving freely.
- Test the sump pump by pouring water into the system to see if it triggers a response and the water is expelled.
- Check the GFCI electrical connection to ensure that the power is working and the circuit breaker is set.
Common Problems and Solutions
You may never need your sump pump, but that does not mean that it can’t experience technical or maintenance issues. These are some of the most common sump pump issues.
- Sump Pump Does Not Turn On: Check the water levels. If they are too low, your unit will not activate. Check the breaker and service panel too. A blown fuse may be preventing your unit from turning on.
- Sump Pump Does Not Shut Off: Make sure the float switch is working. Check the pipes to make sure there are no blockages. If your unit is still overworking, it could be time to upgrade to a larger capacity sump pump.
- Sump Pump Starts and Stops Too Frequently: Check to ensure the sump pump piping is not blocked. This can trigger your unit to turn on even when there is no water present.
Contact The Pros
The professional sump pump technicians at Summit Drain can help ensure water doesn’t get into your home. We offer regular service and sump pump installation solutions so your home is always protected.