Learn about Sump Pumps
Sump pumps are often installed in a crawlspace or basement below the floor to defend your home against a flood or accumulating ground water. A sump pump also removes collected condensation created by your air conditioner and water from area-way drains, preventing moisture from collecting around the foundation of your home or in the floor of your basement.
As with any appliance or system, a little planning and regular maintenance is required to help ensure proper function
So if you notice that the sump pump in your basement or crawlspace isn’t kicking on when the water level rises, or if your pump is more than 10 years old — the typical lifespan of these machines — don’t wait to install a new one.
Here are the five things a professional should examine during an annual inspection of a sump pump:
- The alarm. Not all sump pumps have alarms that sound when the device is activated. If a sump pump has one, it should be tested to help ensure it functions.
- The check valve. A professional should make certain that there is a check valve on the discharge pipe. The check valve may help prevent water from flowing back down the discharge pipe after it is pumped out.
- A backup power source. Sump pumps often need to work during extreme weather conditions that may result in power outages. A professional may confirm there is a backup power source on a sump pump, such as a battery, and that it is working.
- The pit. A sump pump sits in a pit which gathers water until the pump removes it. The pit needs to be large enough — at least 24 inches deep and 18 inches wide — for the sump pump to function properly.
- The discharge location. The discharge location is recommended to be at least 20 feet from a home to help prevent water from draining onto neighboring properties, into public sewer systems or into a residential septic system.