sump pump

Taking Care Of Your Sump Pump

Are you one of the unfortunates who have a French drain in your basement to keep it dry? Are you maintaining your sump twice a year? By doing periodic inspections of your sump, you’ll stand a better chance of avoiding sump pit problems. Just follow my maintenance tips on how to keep a sump working

What is a sump?

sump pump


A sump is an underground cistern that collects either continuous or intermittent flowing fresh water that drains from a French drain pipe. A sump pump with a mechanical float pumps out all of the water in the sump pit into an outside rain leader.

Making sure the sump pump is working is imperative because some French drain systems don’t always drain water. A French drain system that only flows seasonally will dry up and can cause the following problems:

  • French drain clogs
  • sump clogs
  • pump malfunction

How to inspect your sump

To make sure your sump pump works when its needed remind yourself to do the the following ten inspection steps at Spring and Autumn:

  1. first inspect the sump pump electrical cord make sure that the cord has no breaks
  2. make sure the electrical cord plugs into a ground fault circuit interrupter
  3. if you the cord is not plugged into a  ground fault circuit interrupter have one installed
  4. inspect the sump pump and its discharge piping for any loose connections or separations
  5. check the base of the sump pit for any sediment accumulation clean out any accumulated build up if needed
  6. make sure the check valve on the sump pump discharge pipe holds water back from draining into the sump pit
  7. test the sump pump to make sure it works fill the sump up with water
  8. if the pump doesn’t work have it repaired or replaced
  9. inspect your outdoor rain leader or the pipe where the sump pump discharges to make sure its not clogged by visually verifying it drains
  10. make sure your sump pump doesn’t drain into your sanitary sewer if your not in a combined sewer area of Pittsburgh

Regular maintenance

Seasonal maintenance of your sump and its pump (at least twice a year) will eliminate the chance of it breaking down. The inspection will identify any developing problems that would lead to future malfunction of the pump and sump piping. If you don’t take care of your sump, you’re leaving the door open to possibly having an overflow or even worse.

If you have a French drain and sump pit in your basement, don’t wait until it overflows! Have Vince check it out immediately before it’s too late. Click here to schedule sump pump maintenance.

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