Sump Pump Maintenance Procedures and Tips - Always Plumbing & Heating
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    Sump Pump Maintenance Procedures and Tips

    May 23, 2017

    Sump Pump Maintenance Procedures and TipsWhy should we maintain our Sump Pumps?

    Our sump pumps should work efficiently for us and be there for us when we need them. The very last thing we need to happen is for our submersible pump to let us down when we need it the most. If we take the time to look after our sump pumps with a little maintenance then they will be there and ready to work for us when we need them the most.

    What maintenance is needed and how often?

    The maintenance that should be needed in most cases should be carried out periodically. Typically on a quarterly basis; with special consideration to the wetter months of the year. Ensure we carry out our maintenance prior to then.

    For many pumps the maintenance procedures are very similar as well as being relatively simple to carry out. A submersible pump should need around five to ten minutes of your time at most to complete the steps needed.

    Sump pumps are generally maintenance free themselves but we will need to look into various things to ensure a long and worry free life with the pump.

    A list of the items we need to look to properly maintain our sump pumps are

    Screen Debris – Here we need to ensure we clean any screening we have to our pump inlet. This will ensure the pump is able to have full flow going to in as well as ensuring there is no further debris being able to get into the pump and damage it.

    Hose Connections – Ensure they are tight and leak free. This will help to reduce any leaks being re-pumped and effectively being pumped around in circles.

    Check Valves – Ensure they are both fitted and also working. A check valve is there to stop the water we have just pumped away from returning down the pumping line and filling our sump up again. To check this fill the sump and let the sump pump run. Once the pump shuts off there should not be any water returning down the pumping line to re-fill our sump

    Installation – Ensure the sump pump is properly installed and is fixed into your sump so it is not moving around. This could cause further damage if left like this.

    Pumping line – Ensure this is leak free and in some cases where necessary ensured the pumping hose/line is protected from the frost. If this line was to freeze then your pump will be rendered useless.

    Float switch – Always ensure the float switch is working properly. Ensure you watch the pump both start and stop using the float switch. It is also worth ensuring there isn’t any debris or dirt on or around the float switch to impair the operation of it.

    Pump Cleaning Wherever possible it would not harm the pump to fully remove it (using all required safety precautions) and give it a thorough clean down, removing all debris and dirt from all around the pump.

    Impeller check – When you have the pump removed it is worth looking at the actual impeller if you can see it. In some cases there could be materials clogged around these or in extreme circumstances wound around the impeller. This will reduce the efficiency and operation of the sump pump. Remove any materials and ensure the impeller is free.

    Noisy pump – In the circumstances where your pump has become noisy and you have completed all of the steps above and find your pump is still noisy – it might be the case that your bearings or motor is wearing, or it could be something as simple as needing a flexible hose connection to absorb the vibration being transmitted into the piping. If you are unable to fix the issues by the above steps then you should seek professional advice on how to fix any further issues with your sump pump.

    Is your pump in need of attention?

    Typical symptoms that your sump pump may need attention would be; noisy pump, not pumping the same volume of water, not switching on with the float, tripping the circuit regularly, overheating.

    In the cases where your pump is not pumping the same amount of water, tripping the circuit or overheating you need to give your pump a good overhaul. This may be symptoms your pump or impeller could be blocked causing it to run at a slight temperature or even at a high current rating. In cases like this ensure you have checked all of the above and re tested. If the problems persist you may need to seek professional advice.

    What if my Sump pump has stopped working?

    Sump Pump installed in a basement
    A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system.

    If your sump pump has stopped working you may actually find it is the float switch that has malfunctioned. In most cases the float switch is the “moving part” and therefore more susceptible to malfunction. Dependent upon the construction of several models of sump pumps you may also be able to remove and replace the float switch rather than needing to replace the complete pump. It could be a matter of replacing the float switch to have your pump back into working order. If you are unable to do this yourself, then seek professional advice, however bear in mind once you need to pay a professional it could actually be cheaper for you to just get another sump pump.

    It may also be a worthwhile expense to have a reserve sump pump or backup sump pump just in case your pump fails you at the worst possible moment. We have reviewed many of the best sump pumps and returned honest and open reviews for you to decide upon the best submersible pump to suit your needs and budget.


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