Heavy Duty Sump Pumps Solve Heavy Duty Problems
I have great envy for people who don’t need a sump pump in their lives. Last year, my sump pump stopped working in the middle of winter. Anyone who has a sump pump knows where I’m going, but for the rest of you blessed folks, here’s what happened…
My basement flooded (about four feet), my furnace broke, and the water started to freeze. I was very fortunate to only be renting my home at the time, and this all became my landlord’s problem to fix. But when you own your home and everything in the basement, this is not a problem you want to have. It can cost you more time and money than you can imagine. But if you ensure that you have the right sump pump for the job and that it works properly, you’ll be sitting pretty (and dry).
Prevention by Sump Pump
The best way to keep yourself from running into a problem as I did is to go through the proper (preventative) motions initially. Otherwise, aside from having to deal with the clean-up and repair after a flood, your home may suffer more consequences. You may damage other household necessities during a flood, or the water buildup can eventually cause mold and mildew.
Get Professional Sump Pump Installation
We all want to believe that we can solve any problem in our home. But unless you have the specialized knowledge to perform a sump pump installation, you’re going to have to get some help from a pro.
Scheduling a professional installation is easy to do (apart from bruising your handyman-pride). Not to mention anything you spend on professional servicing is ultimately going to translate into fewer headaches and cursing under your breath while you’re up to your waist in murky basement water.
Test Your Sump Pump
So, let’s assume you’ve already had one of our specialists come to your home and install your sump pump. You’ve passed the first test of responsibility! But it doesn’t end there. While we’d love to tell you that professional installation is going to keep you from having problems, we all know that’s not true.
Things happen, and sometimes your pump is going to stop working or work improperly, for one reason or another. So to stop yourself from running into a serious problem when it’s too late like I did, make sure you test your pump regularly.
Make sure that it is detecting water in your sump pit and that it’s draining properly. The mechanics of your pump aren’t overly sophisticated, but that doesn’t mean it will always work perfectly. Listen for odd noises when it’s running. Check your valves and lines for cracks, splits, or any other malfunction or deformation that might cause you problems down the road.
Common Sump Pump Fails and What to Do
Sump Pump Not Big Enough for the Job
High water means you need high efficiency. Some basements are more prone to flooding than others. For example, the house I was renting when I had my flooding problem was a home built in the late 1800s. The foundation was made from two-hundred-year-old stone and cement, and our floor was made of gravel. It was the perfect basement for water to seep in and turn into a flood.
Newer, more modern basements are more likely to have significantly less flooding than I’d experienced and may require less powerful pumps to keep them dry. There are many different sizes and powers of sump pumps, and you need the right one for the job, otherwise, you’re going to be up a creek without a paddle.
Take a look at this handy sump pump calculator to find out what size you need for your home.
Frozen or Clogged Lines
Your sump pump is only as effective as your lines. This is where your regular checking and maintenance is going to help. If you’re regularly checking your lines, you know they aren’t clogged or frozen, and you’re not going to run into problems. That’s great!
As I said before, my basement had a gravel floor. Part of the problem was that our sump pit would fill with water, and gravel would float into the unit and create a clog that wouldn’t allow water to pass through. Hard, tough objects like gravel make for a serious blockage.
For non-serious blockages, there are simple ways to clear your lines. But if you get into trouble, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber like your friends at Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing to come to help you out.
Powering your pump properly is going to be one of the most common problems with your pump. Power outages are your main concern, but if you’re like this guy, maybe you just forgot to plug the pump in. Either way, without power, you’ll get a basement full of water, and that’s not where anyone wants to be.
If you are sure that your pump is plugged in and otherwise working properly, it’s a good idea to have a battery backup. If wet weather is serious enough to knock out your power, you can bet it’s serious enough to start leaking into the basement as well.
Have an auxiliary power source available for your sump pump for those truly problematic times. An important note for this is to keep that power source off the floor. Your extra battery won’t do you any good if it’s waterlogged.
Keep Your Basement Dry and Your Wallet Full
We’ve all seen the horror stories of basement flooding: everything you have in storage floating in a pool of icy water, waterlogged, damaged, or just destroyed and unusable. That’s why a sump pump is so important in your home. If it’s something you want to hang on to, you want to keep it dry, too.
So start your journey off right by getting a professional installation and regularly checking your sump pump system. And when all else fails, don’t be afraid to get in touch with your friends at Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing for a little extra help.