sump pump maintenance

Summertime Sump Pump Maintenance

Lately Edmonton has gotten an extraordinary amount of rain. The Whitemud and Fort Road flooded, leaving cars floating in lakes where roads used to be. That kind of water has the potential to cause a lot of damage to homes or businesses, so having a working sump pump can be a life-saver.

Fortunately, every home in the Edmonton that was built in or after 1988 has a sump pump in it, but do you know where yours is and what kind of shape it’s in?

In this article we’re going to tell you about sump pump and sump pump maintenance so you can keep your home protected from unwanted water.

What is a Sump Pump?

You might not know if you have a sump pump because they are located in a pit or sump basin below floor level. Generally you’ll only see a pipe sticking out of the floor that goes into the ceiling or the side of the building.

They can be located in basement closets, the utility room, laundry rooms, or even a corner or spare room in your basement.

Have a look at the image below to see an example of a sump pump setup.

Image source: http://www.definingcanada.ca/category/sump-pump/

There are many, many different sump pump setups, so here is a link to an image search. You might see a sump pump that looks and functions like the one you have.

For more information on sump pumps from The City of Edmonton, click here.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The way a sump pump works is simple: It collects water in a basin under your floor. When the water level reaches a certain point, the pump is triggered and water gets forced up a discharge pipe and out. Water goes either directly into your city or town’s drainage system or outside to a drain that’s far away from your house.

If it’s working properly, your home will stay dry no matter how heavy the rain is. If your sump pump needs maintenance, isn’t working, or isn’t turned on, you could run into problems.

Here are some things to do when performing a maintenance check-up on your sump pump:

Test your sump pump. To do this, you have to make sure the power supply is connected and the pump is turned on. Next, pour water into the pump. If it kicks in and drains the water in a few seconds, your sump pump is working!

Clean your sump pump. You will have to unplug the pump and take it out of the pit/basin. Once it’s out, clean the pump of debris and gunk. It’s also a good idea to check the manufacturer’s guide to see how often it needs to be oiled. It is a motor after all, and motors do need to be greased every so often.

Make sure to clean the pump’s intake as well. A small brush is good for getting it nice and clean. Once everything is nice and clean, you can put it back into the basin, plug it in, and turn it on.

Check the outside pipe to confirm water is flowing towards the street or back lane.

The image below shows an example of a pipe that drains into the city’s sewer system:

Image source: http://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/lot_grading/lot-grading-sump-pump-discharge.aspx

In this case it is smart to make sure there are no cracks or leaks that you can see.

As with sump pumps, there are many different types of sump pump drainage. You might find that your outside pipe is clogged with debris or, in the case of the picture below, not connected.

sump-pump-exterior

Clean away any debris, and if it looks like it’s not connected like the one above, call us to fix it for you.

Locate the discharge pipe inside your house. It is usually black or white plastic and it will run up from the sump pit and into your ceiling or a wall. Check the pipe for any cracks or leaks.

In the winter, it’s a smart idea to disconnect the discharge hose so that water in the line doesn’t freeze and prevent drainage when the snow starts to melt in the spring.

Once you have performed tests, checks, and done a bit of cleaning, your sump pump should be good to go! If you find that it isn’t working properly, or if you can’t find your pump at all, call Kingstree Plumbing, and we can help you with your sump pump!

Our number here is 587-410-3554 or you can reach us by filling out our contact form.

2 replies
  1. Maxine Wilson
    Maxine Wilson says:

    I really liked your advice on keeping the outside of your sump pump clean, and free of debris. Honestly, I can’t think of the last time I checked ours, and I doubt my husband has either. We really need to be better about taking care of that. It may even be a good idea for us to hire a professional to come and check it all out, make sure there are no problems going on that we don’t know about.

    Reply

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  1. […] You might have figured out the theme here. Basically you only need to service your appliances when something is amiss. Your sump pump is no exception. Preventive maintenance will help all of your appliances live longer. Here’s our article about Sump Pump Maintenance. […]

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