April Showers Bring May Flowers – And Damp Basements!

This time of year we worry about all of the melting snow and rain that could potentially dampen or flood our basements. Here are a few tips from RISMedia.com on checking your sump pump to hopefully avoid this issue:

• Most sump pumps have an average life span of 10 years and fortunately, sump pump problems can usually be avoided by regular maintenance checks and can easily be fixed by the homeowner.

• Check for Debris – Debris from items being stored around it as well as children’s toys can get into the unit and affect the float mechanism, causing it to fail. The float can burn out so check it! Make sure it starts and stops itself by filling the pit with water.

• Inspection of the check valve-This is sometimes and installation issue. When the sump pump shuts off, no water will should back into the sump pump. The arrow should not be pointing toward the sump pump.

• Keep the weep hole clean– This can be done with a small object such as a toothpick but be careful! You don’t want to break anything off into the weep hole!

• Clean the Impeller – If your sump pump has been making a whining type noise or has stopped running, this filter could be the issue! It may just need a good cleaning to continue working properly!

• Sump Pump Odor – Most odors are caused by the trap in the sump pump. This trap will always retain water, but when water doesn’t flow into the basin through the dry seasons, an odor can start to form. You can try filling the basin with water until the sump pump starts, cycling the water and eliminating the odor. Or, you may use one part bleach to five parts water and the smell will be eliminated!

 Installations of Back-up power supply – Heavy thunderstorms bring not only large amounts of rain quickly, but in a lot of cases power outages in turn clogging your sump pump. Once you lose power the back-up system takes over getting rid of the extra water as the basin fills up. Water powered back-up systems are also available. They are designed to tap into your home’s water supply to provide the energy needed to run the pump. A great investment in comparison to the price paid to flooding.

Don’t have a sump pump? No problem. A dehumidifier will help keep your basement dry. If you need a sump pump, installing one may not be as expensive as you think!

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