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The Sump Pump has the important task of making sure basements are kept dry by directing water away from these spaces. It operates by being inside of a pit that fills with water, which when filled, is sensed by a pressure sensor. As water enters the pump, a float arm is moved, telling the pump to actively move water out of the home. When not properly maintained, there can be multiple things wrong with the activation and pumping mechanism of the sump pump. For starters, a defective sensor won’t be able to detect the water flowing into the area, and therefore unable to activate the pump. A defective check valve (which ensures that the water being pumped out does not flow back into the pit) will also result in inefficient pumping or water not being pumped out at all. Therefore, it is highly important to properly maintain your sump pump, especially if you live in area that is a lot of rainfall.
Check for Debris
Often debris such as mud or stone can clog the inlet screen, preventing water from properly flowing through the pump. Annually or even once every six months, homeowners should visually inspect the pump and remove any accumulating debris both in the pump or in the pit.
Ensure the Pump is Connected to a Power Supply
This one is self explanatory-- there is no use for a clean pump if it is does not have a power source by which to operate. Always ensure that the dedicated outlet for your sump pump is working.
Test Your Sump Pump Annually
To test to see whether the your pump is actively transporting water out of your home, pour some water into the sump pump to ensure that the internal float can be effortlessly moved. If you notice that the float is not moving or is having a difficult time in responding to the water, there may be debris blocking the float’s path or may need minor adjusting. If the float is working correctly, the check valve may be the problem, in which case it is best to have it replaced, a process that should take no more than an hour by a plumber.
The sump pump most often will not be used. However, in times of torrential downpour, it is important that the pump is working as efficiently as possible. Maintaining your pump does not require much time or money, and will definitely be worth the effort to prevent over flooded basements and water damage.
We want to throw a quick shout out to our friends over at McCoy's Plumbing (http://www.mccoysplumbing.com). These guys are THE Water Heater Repair experts in Tyler, TX. If you live down there, definitely check them out.