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Springtime Sump Pump Maintenance

April 6, 2017
Spring is such a nice time of year. The snow starts to melt, the birds start singing, and we can finally step outside without the suffocating bulk of winter jackets. But with the thawing of winter’s snow and ice also comes the risk of water flooding your basement. As soil thaws it becomes overly saturated with water, and when a spring rain adds a few fresh inches, the water may find its way to the basement and into your sump pump basin. If your sump pump fails, you’ll have a major water damage problem on your hands.
 sump pump
Ideally, you should have a qualified plumber perform an annual check-up on your sump pump, but there are a few common sump pump problems that you may be able to solve yourself.

  • Debris In The Sump Basin. Debris from items stored around the basin can get into the unit and hinder the float mechanism, causing it to fail. Test the float itself by filling the pit up with water, making sure it both starts and stops the sump pump as designed.
  • Clean The Weep Hole. Some pumps will have a weep hole, usually between the sump pump and the check valve. You can clean this weep hole out with a toothpick or other tiny object, taking care not to break anything into the weep hole.
  • Clean the Impeller. If your sump pump has stopped running suddenly, or has been making a whining noise, the impeller could be clogged.. The impeller should be connected to the sump pump with bolts and may need a good cleaning to work properly.
  • Sump Pump Odor. Typical odors are caused from the sump pump trap. You can eliminate the odor by using a bleach-water mixture to cleanse the basin. One part bleach to five parts water will work. You can also fill the basin with water until the sump pump engages, cycling the water and helping to eliminate the odor.
If you continue to have sump pump problems, or the task is larger than a do-it-yourself step will fix, hire a professional to ensure the job is completed properly. Essential Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. is a full service Plumbing & Sewer company serving DuPage County and surrounding communities for both residential & commercial customers for over 22 years. If you’re experiencing springtime sump pump woes, don’t hesitate to contact Essential Plumbing & Sewer!
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