If you’ve ever had a sump pump failure, you know what a disaster it is. It comes at the worst possible time – right in the middle of a torrential rainfall. If you’ve never had the joy of experiencing this, consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t think twice about their sump pumps until something goes wrong. And by wrong, we mean it fails to kick in when your basement is slowly becoming a shallow swimming pool.
A sump pump is one of the most critical yet most ignored disaster prevention devices in your home. When it fails, the results can be devastating, creating thousands of dollars in damage, daily disruptions spurred by major repair work and higher insurance premiums, says The Family Handyman.
A sump pump, put simply, is a device that removes water from your home. It will typically kick on automatically when it senses water, and many will sound an alarm if the system is not working properly. But what happens when it doesn’t? You’re left with a messy emergency. To prevent these costly and stressful situations from arising, heed these tips to prevent house sump pump failure in the first place.
Inspect Your Sump Pump Regularly
It’s a good idea to check your house sump pump every three to four months. Do this more frequently if you’ve been the victim of sump pump failure in the past.
Here’s what to look for:
Check the outside drain and clear any debris from the outlet.
Look for signs of damage, such as a toppled unit, stuck float valve or cracks in the unit.
Clean the screen of debris.
Pour a bucket of water into the pit to see if the float valve rises. If not, you’ll need a repair.
Keep Track of its Age
Sump pumps have a useful life of about 10 years. Its exact lifespan will depend on the height of your water table, where your house sits, how often the pump has been used, and its quality. Above all, how well you maintain it will determine how long it lasts and how well it performs. Be aware of your maintenance schedule and the age of the pump. When it’s approaching the 10-year point, you may want to consider replacement.
Make Sure You Get the Right Kind
Ensuring a quality sump pump in the first place will go a long way towards giving you peace of mind. Not all sump pumps are created equal. Choose one with these features in order to extend the working condition of your sump pump.
A cast iron base rather than plastic.
A reliable float valve vs. an electronic pressure switch that you need to manually activate.
An alarm system that will alert you to failure right away.
The right design: do you want a submersible pump so it’s not visible, or do you want a pedestal pump, which is visible but lasts longer?
It’s a smart idea to employ the use of multiple sump pumps if you live in a flood zone, are prone to flooding or you’ve learned from experience that your sole pump just isn’t enough. Sometimes, they’re sold as a set and can be installed side by side. You should also have a battery backup or a water-powered backup system in the event you lose power. Battery backups can store two days of power, while there are no limitations for water-powered backups.
Contact CXC Contracting
If you suspect water in your basement may become a problem for you, call us for a free, no-obligation inspection. We can determine if you need a house sump pump and install one if necessary. If there’s no problem, we’ll let you know so you can rest easy, but if we do detect a potential issue, at least you know you have a professional on your side!
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