How to Inspect Your Sump Pump | Storms & Hurricanes

Tropical storm Joaquin has been upgraded to a category 1 hurricane, packing sustained winds of 75 mph.  This could be one of the biggest storms since Hurricane Sandy, so it’s best to keep a close eye on its path.  Here is the projected path hurricane Joaquin:

Hurricane Joaquin Path


Whether we get hit with a major hurricane or not, one thing is certain: there will be a lot of rain.  Be prepared for flooding and high winds.  Use this Storm Safety Guide from AAA to help protect your home and family in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm.  One of the best ways to keep water outside of the home where it belongs is by using a sump pump.  Sump pumps are installed in the lowest part of your home and collect water through a drainage system around your home’s foundation.  They then pump the water from your sump to an area far away from the home.  For homes with a high water table, they are absolutely necessary to keep your basement and home dry.

For those of us who have sump pumps, their maintenance is one of the most important things to make a little time for on a regular basis.  If a sump pump is not working properly, it could mean flooding of a home or office building that sits below the water table level.  Flooding can mean excessive damage to not only the basement, but to any other lower floors, and even foundation damage which will all then need to be repaired or replaced completely.  With such simple precautionary steps as performing a few quick maintenance checks it is easy to keep that sump pump running properly without such damage.

Sump Pump Inspection Guide:

  • For electric sump pumps: Ensure the sump pump is plugged into a working outlet, and that the cord is in good shape.  Due to the damp, the breakers on these outlets can trip more easily, which then shuts off the sump pump.  This is a simple fix as the breaker just needs to be reset.
  • For battery powered sump pumps: replace the battery as often as is recommended by the manufacturer.  On backup battery powered pumps, replace the battery every two to three years.
  • Check that the sump pump is standing upright.  Since sump pumps vibrate they can fall to one side, which can jam vital parts, causing it not to activate properly.  While upright, all working parts should be free to move as necessary.
  • Pick up submersible pumps to clean the grate on the bottom.  Ensure that there are no small stones in the grate which could block the inlet or damage the pump.
  • Check that outlet pipes are tightly joined together, check that their outlet is at least twenty feet from the foundation of the home or building, and that when the sump pump is on it is actually removing water through the pipes.  In some cases, the pump may run but not pump any water.
  • Clean the vent hole in the discharge pipe, remove any debris which was stuck in it. Check for debris blocking the suction intake.
  • Listen for strange noises coming from the motor.
  • Check for oil in the sump well (may indicate a failed pump seal).
  • If the activating switch for the pump works on a float, check that the float is not restricted.

One quick way you can check if your sump pump is operating correctly is to dump a bucket or two of water near the machine to make sure it starts up automatically and that it drains efficiently.  Besides performing maintenance on a sump pump annually, it is good to check it again after heavy rains to ensure that it is still removing water properly.  While most new models have indicators which alert you when the pump is not working properly, it is still good to physically check the machine periodically to ensure it is running properly.

Watch this video for more Sump Pump Tips:

With proper sump pump maintenance your Newark sump pump will give you great service for a long time.  You may also be interested in purchasing a backup generator! If your sump pump does not have a battery backup, then it won’t work if the power goes out, which is probably when you’ll need it most.  Learn how to choose the right generator for your needs and budget.

Protect your home from water damage by having Boulden Brothers install, maintain, or repair your sump pump!

Boulder Brothers is available to answer any electrical and home generator questions you may have. Your safety and comfort are out highest priorities. Feel free to give us a call at (302) 368-3848; we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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