A sump pump performs a critical function by removing water from the basement or lowest level of your home. Sump pumps are placed in special dugouts called sump pits. When functioning normally, the pump will activate when standing water raises above a certain level, keeping your basement from flooding. But when a pump fails during times of heavy snow melt or rain, you could find yourself with thousands of dollars in water damage to your home. Thankfully, you can keep your sump pump up and running with just a few simple considerations.
Before the Rain
The best thing to do to stay dry this year is to check how well your sump pump system is currently functioning. First, visually inspect your pump for obvious issues and ensure you have an adequate power supply. Next, pour some water into the sump pit and see if your pump kicks on. It should have no problem pumping out a few gallons of water. If you do suspect a problem, examine your check valve. Water should only be flowing one way through it. Also, be sure your discharge pipe is clear of debris and has not been cracked by growing tree roots. You should inspect your sump pump periodically throughout the year if you live in a wet area or below the water table. An annual inspection may suffice prior to the rainy/snowy season if you live in a dryer climate.
Consider a Backup
Now that you have checked your current system, you should be feeling more confident about your sump pump. However, if you still have lingering concerns that you may wake up to a pond in your basement, you might want to consider a backup system. The most obvious cause of failure would be a power outage. Inclement weather can cause a blackout in your local grid. Unfortunately, this may be when you need your sump pump the most! A backup battery can come in handy for just such occasions. Need a little more insurance you are not going to be faced with potentially thousands in costly home repairs? You can get an entire backup sump pump for as little as a few hundred bucks. Not a bad one time insurance purchase.