DIY Tips From the Warner Service Blog

Spring Sump Pump Maintenance

Posted by Warner Service on May 1, 2015 4:20:44 PM

sump-pumps-01Spring can be a huge relief for both families and HVAC equipment.You don't have to deal with the cold temperatures anymore, and your furnace can take it a little easier. However, Spring is also the season when increased amounts of rain cause flooding, which means that your sump pump will be put to the test.

Our recommendation is to be proactive by checking your sump pump now, before problems arise. Here’s more.

Purpose of sump pumps

Sump pumps are placed in a low spot in a home (the “pit”) to move water up and then away from the house to a place where it doesn’t present a problem, such as to a storm drain or dry well. The purpose is to keep dampness away when the water table is above the foundation of a home and helps to prevent flooding.

Older sump pumps are pedestal in style. With this style, the motor on the top is visible as it should not be submerged in water. Newer sump pumps are submersible, which means that they are not readily visible as they can be covered with water in the pit. These newer models are both quieter and more efficient.

Sump pumps are intended to pump clear water and don’t handle solids well. If your pump is needing to move gravel, dirt or debris, then it will become dirty and less efficient.

How do I check my sump pump to see if it’s working?

If you have a float-style switch on your sump pump, then there is a quick and easy way to see if it’s working. Simply find the “float arm” located on the pump’s side and lift it up using a broom handle to avoid electrical shock. When you lift it up, you should hear the pump running. If not, there’s a problem.

If your pump has, instead, a piggyback-style plug, then unplug it and then plug it into a power outlet. It should run until you unplug it – but don’t test it this way for more than a few minutes, because you don’t want it to overheat. Yet another testing method involves dumping five gallons of clean water into the sump pump, which should cause it to begin working.

If you find that your sump pump isn’t working properly – or if you’d just like us to take a look and performance maintenance, contact Warner Service to have a qualified plumber examine your sump pump and make sure it's in good shape.

Topics: Plumbing