It’s Spring! Is Your Sump Pump Ready?

Your sump pump serves an essential role in protecting your home or business from water damage, so it’s important to ensure that this equipment is in good working order. Springtime is generally associated with extra rainfall. It’s therefore a good idea to do a maintenance checkup of your sump pump before the rainy season begins.


Initial inspection 

When you check on your sump pump, first make sure that it is upright. The float arm must be in the correct position in order to activate the pump. If the sump pump is in a tilted position, or it has fallen over completely, the float arm may be jammed. It’s also important to check the pump’s accessory elements. Make sure that the pump outlet pipes are solid and well sealed. Also, ensure that the vent hole (also called a weep hole) in the discharge pipe is not blocked.

Prevent blockages
You must occasionally check for potential blockages. First, unplug the sump pump, then lift it up and check the intake screen for small stones or other debris. You should remove the stones or other objects so that they don’t block the pump inlet. Over time, this would damage the pump.

Electrical concerns
Your routine inspection of the sump pump should start with a quick check on the condition of the electrical cords. After all, electricity and water can be a deadly mix. Next, if your pump is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, ensure that it’s fully functional. Modern GFCI outlets generally alert you when their circuitry is disabled, however older models typically don’t. If current to the sump pump has been shut off, you may need to reset the GFCI.

Test Run
One way to ensure that your sump pump will be ready to handle heavy rainfall, is to conduct occasional tests. Simply pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit—enough to raise the float or reach the switch— and observe what happens next. If the sump pump is working well, the water will drain immediately. If your sump pump does not start automatically, contact a plumbing specialist in Red Deer to determine what’s wrong.

Alarm option
Many sump pumps are equipped with high water alarms. If water starts to back up because the sump pump is not working properly, an emergency signal may be sent to your alarm company or your cell phone. Alarms can help prevent catastrophic damage. On the other hand, it is much more efficient to keep your machine in good working order.

Regardless of how well you maintain your sump pump, at some point you may need to repair it or replace it. McMullen's Refrigeration & Heating Ltd. is ready to take on any residential plumbing or commercial plumbing problem in Red Deer. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

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