If you have trouble with persistent water in your basement any time stormy weather comes in, you'll probably want to install a sump pump to help you combat it. When you're ready to buy that sump pump, it's important that you know both how to maintain it and what the warning signs are of trouble. Here's a look at a few things you should understand as a new sump pump owner.
Maintaining Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps need routine service to keep them working at their best. Every couple of months you should clean the inlet screen. This eliminates any debris that might be stuck to it. You'll want it clean, because otherwise water can't flow correctly. You'll also want to check the sump pump pit. Remove the cover from the pit and clean out any debris that might be in there. While you're at it, test the pump by pouring several inches of water directly into the pit. That way, you engage the pump. If it engages, let it drain the water, then cap it. If it doesn't, you'll want to call a technician.
Once a year, you should schedule more extensive service. For this part, you'll want a technician to come out. He or she will pull the pump out of the pit, clean it and lubricate it. That helps to ensure that it stays running and responsive when you need it most.
Dealing With Sump Pump Issues
- Insufficient Size - The size of your sump pump is an important consideration. You'll need a pump that's large enough to meet the demand that you put on it. You might opt for a smaller pump in an effort to save money, but if you've got more water accumulation than it can keep up with, you'll find that the pump fails eventually. Check the specifications carefully and opt for a pump that can handle a little bit more water than you think you'll need.
- Power Issues- Sump pumps rely on a consistent power supply to ensure consistent operation. Any time your pump is getting insufficient or fluctuating power, it can affect the pump operation. If you have the cords for the pump and the float switch plugged into different receptacles, consider swapping the two to see if the problem continues. If it resolves the pump issue, that's a sign that the receptacle is an issue.
- Float Switch Failures - The float switch is key to the sump pump operation, because it controls the on and off operation of the pump itself. When the float rises due to water accumulation, it lifts the switch. When the water pushes the float switch high enough, it engages the pump. Then, when the water level drops, the float will drop. This turns the pump back off. If the switch is stuck, the pump might not shut off. This can burn out the pump motor. You'll want to unplug it until it can be serviced.
- Liner Problems - If the pump is drawing water out faster than your sump's liner can fill back up, you'll find yourself with a dry liner. This can keep the sump pump running in a longer cycle or to power-cycle, which means it will turn off and on more frequently than needed.
With any of these issues, the first thing you should do is to reach out to a local sump pump technician. He or she can help you narrow down the source of the problem specifically and recommend a clear resolution. With the right care and a reliable technician, you'll be able to protect your basement from flooding and water damage with your new sump pump system. For more information, check out a site like http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com.