Tucked-Away Heroes at Home
We’re all making our way through another winter here in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield (IL). But it won’t be long before the first signs of spring reach the air, and those of us in the area know what a welcome time that is.
While we’re preparing to open the windows and spend more time outdoors, it’s also good to remind ourselves that we’ll be emerging from months of heavy precipitation absorbed by the ground.
All of that snow becomes what’s referred to as spring runoff. That runoff seeps into the earth around your foundation, and if your sump pump isn’t properly working, it can turn into flooding and water damage in the home.
With that in mind, let’s run through a quick review of sump pump basics.
How Does the Sump Pump Protect My Home?
Some statistics suggest that close to 60% of American homeowners contend with flooding each year. Whether it’s a storm in spring or runoff from winter, the sump pump prevents your basement or crawl space from the invasion of water. It does this by collecting excess water in a sump basin (pit) at the lowest point of your home and then pushing it out and away.
Without the sump, a basement or crawl space can become highly vulnerable to large amounts of water pressing in on it. This is especially true if the foundation has cracks or insufficient drainage.
What Can Interfere with My Sump Pump?
The following are common causes of a failing sump pump.
No power. This is probably the main reason that a sump pump malfunctions. If you lose power, such as during a heavy thunderstorm, the sump won’t have the energy needed to keep the water out.
The sump pump should always have a backup battery that activates when the primary power is gone. The backup system will also switch on if there’s too much water for the main pump to handle.
Keeping the sump connected to a surge-protection device is a good idea as well.
Incorrect installation. If the sump pump is the wrong size, there will probably be a problem. The sump pump pit should not be set in gravel or dirt. In addition, many manufacturers require or recommend the installation of a check valve on the sump pump’s discharge line. If it isn’t installed, backflow can make the pump impeller rotate backwards and unscrew the motor shaft. The pump motor will run but not pump water.
Discharge pipe (also called the flex hose). If the discharge pipe becomes frozen or clogged, the water that the sump should be directing away from the house will not be shifted. This can create a major backup that can both damage the sump pump and allow moisture or flooding into the basement or crawl space.
To prevent your discharge pipe from freezing, you can consider wrapping it in heatproof tape or other proper insulation. Maintaining some warmth in the basement or crawl space during winter is a good strategy too.
Float switch. If the float switch is broken, it will make the sump pump think it needs to keep pumping even when it doesn’t have to.
House position. How your home is positioned can affect the rate at which the sump pump is working. For example, your home might be on a hill or at a certain spot relative to the nearest water table.
Do-It-Yourself Sump Pump Maintenance
As we just discussed, a few different things can interfere with your sump pump in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield. Perhaps an even greater culprit is a lack of periodic sump pump maintenance. There’s a few things you can do on your own to help ensure it performs when you need it to.
Remove the cover and check the tank for any debris that can block it, such as toys, rocks or anything else that might fall in.
Flush the system with a bucket of water or a hose. The sump pump should run with ease. If it doesn’t, or if you hear any strange noises, contact Aquaduct Plumbing right away.
Examine the float. It should be travelling easily on the float rod.
Check the discharge pipe. It should not be frozen or blocked, and the water should be traveling away from your home.
Inspect the check valve. Ensure there is at least a 3/16” relief hole between the pump and the check valve.
Check the backup battery to ensure it has proper power. The battery should be replaced every few years as well.
You can also inquire with Aquaduct about sump pump alarm systems that alert you to when water levels in the sump pit are rising. For example, should a problem occur with water levels in the pit, a wireless web-based system can send you a text message to make you aware wherever you are.
Why Should I Care About the Ejector Pump?
When you take a shower, use the sink or flush the toilet, you produce wastewater that needs to be directed away from your home. To achieve this, gravity first moves the water down through your plumbing pipes. When the water reaches its lowest point, an ejector pump finishes by lifting it up and out to the main sewer lines or septic field.
You don’t want sewage water flowing into your home any more than you do water from rain and melting snow. If the ejector pump can’t push wastewater up and out to the sewer lines, it can only travel the other direction. Maintaining the ejector pump and making sure it’s properly working is just as important as doing it for the sump pump.
Contact Us Today
Clearly you depend on your sump pump and ejector pump to do their jobs. Here at Aquaduct Plumbing, we support you with the knowledge and resources for keeping water out of your home in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield (IL). If you ever have questions or need sump or ejector pump service, just give us a call at (630) 504-9594. We’ll be glad to assist you!
All products installed by Aquaduct Plumbing are made in the USA. They are also backed by a manufacturer’s warranty and a service warranty for both installation and repair of sump pumps, ejector pumps and backup batteries.