A flooded basement can be one of the worst nightmares for homeowners. If you have a finished basement, water can ruin flooring, walls, furniture, and any other items near the floor. Even if your basement is unfinished, standing water can lead to mold growth and possible foundation issues.
So what’s the best defense against water trying to enter your basement? Today we’re going to talk about the sump pump.
What is a sump pump and how does it work?
The job of a sump pump is to remove groundwater before it rises and seeps into the basement or crawl space. First, a sump pump hole or crock is dug below the floor level. Water collects in the hole and once it gets high enough, the sump pump kicks on and pumps the water outside or to the storm drain. You can also have drain tile installed around the perimeter of your basement to redirect water to the sump pump so it can be safely removed before getting into the basement.
Maintaining and replacing a sump pump
If you already have a sump pump, hopefully it is doing a good job and keeping your basement or crawl space dry and free from water damage. You should be aware of some routine maintenance to make sure your sump pump is working properly.
- Make sure your sump pump is plugged into a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet to prevent an electrical issue with water. It’s also a good idea to reset the GFCI every now and then.
- Consider adding a battery backup so your sump pump can still run if the electricity goes out during a heavy storm.
- Check that the pump is standing upright and hasn’t shifted over time. Make sure the float arm isn’t restricted or getting jammed, which would prevent the sump pump from being activated when the water level gets high enough to drain.
- If you have a dry spell and haven’t heard the sump pump run in a while, pour a few buckets of water in the crock to make sure the pump is still working and will run when needed.
- Clean the bottom of the crock to remove sediment and debris that could potentially block the pump.
- If the pump discharges outside on to your property, make sure the water is being released at least 20 feet away and the ground is sloping away from the foundation.
How long do sump pumps last?
Sump pumps have an average service life of around 10 years. So it’s important to know when your sump pump was installed so you can be ready if it dies and needs to be replaced.
A quality sump pump can be the key to maintaining a dry, healthy basement or crawl space. If it’s time to add or replace a sump pump in your home, talk to the plumbing pros at Reichelt Plumbing. We’ll be happy to come to your home and discuss any and all of your plumbing needs. Call us today at (219) 322-4906.