A Guide to Sump Pump Repair and Maintenance

Backup Sump Pump - Overhead
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When you need it, you really need it now, and that’s why sump pump repair and maintenance are so important. Though a basement sump pump may sit quietly for most of the year, once the snow melts or the rains start falling, you expect that sump pump to jump into action and keep your basement from flooding.

Fortunately, you don’t need to spend much time or money on sump pump repair and maintenance. Here are some of the most common things to check and fix.

Check the Float

The float is a vital part of a sump pump, and it is also one of the most vulnerable. The float rises with water in the sump pit, which in turn triggers the pump to start pulling water out of the pit. To check the float, slowly pour some water into the pit. If the float rises with the water and the pump activates and then shuts off when the water has been removed, you’re in luck. Repeat this test every few months.

Clean the Sump Pit

Debris in the sump pit is a major cause of float problems. Even if your pump is working as it should, cleaning out the pit should be a regular part of sump pump repair and maintenance. Remove any loose items in the pit.

Test the Check Valve

If you pour water into the sump pit and, instead of triggering the pump and removing the water, water just returns to the pit, you probably need to replace the check valve.

Clean the Impeller

Keeping debris out of the sump pit is an important part of sump pump repair and maintenance. Sometimes, however, debris can work itself past the screen in a sump pump and jam the impeller. To see if this is your problem first unplug the pump, then disconnect it from the piping and remove the pump from the pit. Disassemble the pump to access the screen and impeller. Remove any debris, reassemble and replace the pump.

Check the Electricity

If the sump pump does not seem to be working at all, check the electrical connections. Make sure the pump is plugged in properly, and check the circuit breaker. Pay special attention to the ground fault circuit interrupter if your pump is connected to one, as these have a tendency to trip. Press the reset button on the GFCI. If the electrical supply seems fine, chances are good that your pump needs replacement.