As an individual, you may be looking forward to the end of winter. As a homeowner, however, you know that you need to prepare your home for the change of the season to minimize the risk of flooding, leaky pipes, and other common spring problems.
In this blog, we discuss what a reputable plumber can do to prepare your sump pump.
Schedule an Inspection in Advance
The purpose of a seasonal sump pump inspection is to check that all components of the pump are functioning correctly to reduce the risk of home flooding. Your plumber will perform a visual inspection and a series of tests to determine your pump’s preparedness.
Your inspection may include any of the following measures.
If the sump pump has not turned on for a significant period of time, it may have collected dust and other debris. Debris can also appear if you had a flood that moved a lot of earth during the winter.
Your plumber will use a flashlight to check for any gravel, sand, twigs, or other debris that could clog or block the pump.
Sump pumps include floats and/or switches that can easily become obstructed. During the inspection, your plumber will check for proper operation.
Pump Start Test
No matter how good your pump looks, it’s of no use to you if it doesn’t start properly. To perform a pump start test, your plumber will pour several gallons of water into the sump pump pit and observe how quickly the pump turns on and how well the pump functions.
The check valve is the valve that connects your pump to the accompanying pipework. This valve prevents water from flowing backward into the sump pump while the pump is running.
Your plumber will check that the valve settings are correct and that the valve has a sufficient seal to prevent backflow.
If you have a battery backup currently installed, your plumber may also check that the backup is in working order by shutting off power to the sump pump while performing a second pump start test.
Take Recommended Cautionary Measures
Once your sump pump inspection is complete, your plumber may recommend making some changes to ensure that your pump can handle an adequate volume of water. In the spring, you may see particularly high water levels due to a combination of snow runoff and seasonal precipitation.
To combat this threat, your plumber may suggest:
- Adding a second sump pump. If you live in an area with a history of seasonal flooding or a forecast that predicts heavy precipitation, one sump pump may not be able to keep up with heavy rainfall. Your plumber may recommend a second pump.
- Installing a backup power source. While snow thaw and rain are major flooding concerns, spring’s thunderstorms can have the dual effect of shutting down power and flooding your basement. Your plumber can install a battery backup as a second power source so your sump pump will run even in a blackout.
- Installing a high water alarm. If you don’t have anyone living on the lowest floor of your home, you may not notice flooding immediately. A plumber may recommend installing a high water alarm so that you know the moment that flooding becomes a threat to your home.
- Rearranging your lowest floor to minimize damage. In addition to assessing and optimizing your sump pump, your plumber may recommend that you move valuables off of the floor. This step ensures that none of your property is destroyed if a flood occurs.
- Scheduling an inspection of sump pump discharge piping. Even if your sump pump functions perfectly, leaks can appear in the piping that moves water from your home’s interior to the outdoors. Your plumber may inspect this piping during the initial inspection or schedule a follow-up visit.
In addition to the steps recommended by your plumber, contact your homeowner’s insurance company if your area is expected to see heavy rainfall. Flood damage is rarely covered by standard homeowner’s insurance, so you may need to supplement your coverage to ensure that you can repair any potential damage spring may bring.
Don’t wait for spring showers to find out if your sump pump is running properly. Schedule a sump pump assessment from Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. today.