Purchasing your own home is a huge step for any young adult. It’s a great way to start building wealth and to enjoy the pride of home ownership.
That said, home ownership also entails a lot of responsibilities. For instance, estimates indicate that homeowners typically spend 1% of their home’s value every year on maintenance. This maintenance is essential to keeping your equipment in working condition.
One piece of equipment homeowners often overlook is their sump pump.
This pump is essential for removing water from your basement and keeping it dry.
Let’s look at 5 essential tips to keeping your sump pump in good condition.
1. Clean Your Sump Pump Once a Year
Your sump pump works hard all year keeping rainwater and melted snow from building up in your basement. This prevents both water damage and the growth of harmful molds. Because of these, it tends to collect debris that the water brings in.
For this reason, you should clean the pump once a year to prevent blockages. Simply take the cover off the pump, and clear out any rocks, leaves, or twigs that have collected over time.
2. Check the Drain Hose
The main way that the pump moves water away from your basement is with a drain hose. You should check that the drain hose is properly connected to ensure optimal water flow.
The drain hose also typically features a check valve that stops water from going back the other way. You’ll want to examine this valve to make sure there are no blockages. You should also check it in the wintertime so that the pipe doesn’t get frozen over.
3. Examine the Pump’s Electric Source
Most pumps operate electronically. Because the pump is frequently exposed to water, you should make sure the pump is connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet.
If the outlet gets damp, this could lead the breaker to trip. Be sure to check the outlet periodically to see that it is still working.
4. Consider a Battery Backup
Since your pump operates with electricity, that means it won’t work in the event of a power outage. This could be problematic, as two main causes of power outages are thunderstorms and snowstorms.
Both of these weather conditions can also cause flooding in your basement. For this reason, you definitely wouldn’t want a non-operational sump pump in those circumstances.
You might want to consider a battery backup so that it continues working during a power outage. You should also replace this backup battery every two to three years.
5. Test Your Pump Yearly
Once a year, you should test your pump to make sure it’s still working properly. You can do this easily by pouring water into the basin.
If the pump is working correctly, it should start operating immediately. The water should also drain once the pump starts. If this doesn’t happen, it might be time to call a plumber.