A sump pump is a helpful way to keep water out of your basement, but they aren't something that doesn't need maintenance and care. Since a sump pump can spend several months at a time unused, it's in your best interest to make sure that it's always working at its best. Here's a look at some of the things that you'll want to be sure you're doing to keep your sump pump functioning.
Every Few Months
After every few months of idle time, you need to be sure that your sump pump is clean and ready, just in case. Examine the condition of the power cord as well. It should be intact, showing no wear, fraying or cracking. You should also clean the inlet screen so that there's no debris on it. This ensures that the water can flow freely when it does have to be used.
You'll also want to test the pump for proper operation. Remove the cover from the top of the sump pump pit. Take a look at the inside of the pump pit to see if there is any debris inside. Remove any leaves or other particles that may be in there. Once the pit is clean, test the pump operation by pouring water into the pump pit. Once the water level reaches several inches, the pump should engage. If it does, recap the pit.
If it doesn't start, it's time to reach out to a sump pump technician to help you.
The sump pump should be removed every year for a thorough cleaning. If you aren't confident in your ability to do that on your own, you'll need to call a sump pump installation and repair shop to have a technician do it for you.
If you're going to do it yourself, pull the pump out so that it's accessible. Then, rinse it completely. If your pump has greasable bearings, you should grease them before you put the unit back together. You can find out by checking the manual for your pump or asking a sump pump technician.
With these routine sump pump care tips, you'll be able to keep your home's pump running at its best. The more consistent you are with that care, the more confident you can be that the pump will respond when you need it most. If you're not comfortable caring for the pump yourself, you'll need to work with a reliable service company to do the tasks for you.