Mechanical tools don’t last forever and routine sump pump maintenance can save hours of stress and thousands of dollars if melting snow and ice plus the usual summer rains in Middleton WI overflow into your basement. Protect your basement and belongings with a quick, efficient maintenance program.
More than 60% of American homes suffer from some kind of water damage every year, accounting for more than $9 billion dollars in restoration bills, according to an American Society of Home Inspectors study. Failed sump pumps can generate repair costs from $500 to $10,000 depending upon how long the water is allowed to accumulate and what’s sitting in it.
Sump pump maintenance can save valuables, including furniture, carpets, paneling, tools, electronics and appliances. If you consider the mold and mildew that almost always adds to the mess, that cost can really climb. A few minutes of sump pump maintenance can be repaid over and over with one deluge thwarted.
Make Maintenance Routine
Maintaining a sump pump can extend its life. A pump working during the last big storm may not come to life in the next one. Just because it has answered the call in the past it may not now. Routinely review:
- Sump pumps need to run – Sitting through dry spells – winter or a drought – components may get stiff. Dry motors can seize and fail. Prime yours into action now and then with a bucket of water dumped into the sump basket – make sure the outside temperatures are above freezing so you don’t add ice to the problem.
- Clean up their act – A sump pump almost always sits in some water collected at the bottom of the basket. Stale water on the lower unit can result in a layer of slime and a gummy build-up as the minerals in the water settle. This gunk can stick and hamper operations when the pump is needed. And, hard water is the norm in Middleton WI which means you can have a crusty buildup, too if the pump is allowed to dry out completely. Little bit of the crust can jam up water intake vents at the worst possible moment.
- Check the plug – Something as simple as a loose plug in an outlet can lead to extensive damage if the pump is needed and cannot respond.
- Call in backup – During winter and summer storms there’s always a chance of a power failure. And, these storms can also result in flooding runoff before the power’s back on. If you’ve ever watched your sump basket get precariously close to overflowing or had to bail it out in hopes electricity would kick in soon, you know battery-powered a pump can save the day.
Quarterly Action Items
Use this sump pump maintenance to-do list on at least a quarterly basis:
- Create a solution of vinegar and water to run through you pump. This slightly acid solution will remove gummy and crusty deposits and the contaminants settled on the lower unit and in the sump basket.
- Make sure the float that triggers the pump into action moves freely. If it jams the pump probably won’t automatically switch on and the basket could overflow.
- Disconnect the pipes and take the pump from the sump basket. Make sure the vents, air holes and intake areas are all clear of debris and all connections are watertight – a cracked sidewall spraying water back into the basket is doing no good at all.
- Check the discharge tube. Make sure connections are solid and it isn’t clogged so water flows freely away from the house.
A pedestal type and a submersible version are the two common types of sump pumps in this area. Pedestal pumps are the a bit easier to troubleshoot since the pump isn’t in the water. That said, in general, they aren’t as efficient as submersibles.
Almost always in the at least a little water, submersibles are more likely to have the buildup of minerals that gum up intakes and working parts. As pumps they are more efficient, but more difficult to access and repair.
Sauk Plains Plumbing and Pumps is always ready to provide emergency plumbing services – including a sump pump checkup or replacement.
If you have a plumbing need, call Sauk Plains Plumbing at 608-798-2121, any time, night or day. Our professional staff will respond quickly and efficiently. Protect your basement and belongings with a routine sump pump maintenance program in Cross Plains and Middleton, WI