How to Maintain Your Sump Pump and When You Should Replace It

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Here are some tips and things you can do to ensure your drainage system continues to function properly. The operating instructions for your sump pump drainage system offers detailed information on maintenance and safety guidelines, or you can consult with a licensed plumber Toronto for details on your particular system.

Maintaining Your Drainage System

Your drainage system is the first line of defense to keep water out of your basement, protect your possessions, protect the building foundation and the structural integrity of your house. Between the rainy season, snowfall or in the event you leave your house for any length of time, you want to know you can rely on your drainage system to perform properly. Each spring before the rains begin marks a good time to check and test your system.

Follow these routine steps:

Sump Pump
– Check the cover is clear of debris before removing it.
– Pour enough water into the sump pit to trigger the pump’s switch.
– Listen for the sounds of the pump – this can be an indication of any trouble.
– Disconnect the pump from the power source and remove it from the sump pit to thoroughly clean out any debris or lint that can clog the pump.
– Regularly check the sump pit to make sure it is free of debris. If your pump has a screen covering the intake, you must ensure it remains clean and free of any blockages.
– Check the floor drain trap and make sure to keep it clean.

Sump Pit
– Clean the pit annually following the freeze. Weeping tile drainage is responsible for the carriage of small amounts of sand, soil and debris that accumulate in the pit.
– Remnant water in the pit produces a musty odor. Flush the pit with fresh water until the stale water is removed.

Backwater Valve
The backwater valve must be properly placed to prevent sewage backup from coming through any other drainage such as sinks, toilets, showers or laundry tubs. The valve is designed to close automatically if sewage backs up from the main sewer line.

– Access to the backwater valve must remain unfettered.
– Check the flapper, and make sure it is able to move freely.
– Regularly check the valve is clear of any material that might impede proper operation.

Sump Pump Discharge Pipe
Part of the effort to keep draining from heading toward the house is to direct all water away from it. Check where and how the discharge pipe leaves the house. You cannot have the pipe discharging directly against the basement wall where it only returns to the ground water that seeps back into the pump. Keep a check on the discharge point to ensure nothing is blocking the flow.

When to Replace the Sump Pump
The best time to be replacing the pump is before the big storms are to hit. This is why it is important to properly maintain your equipment. If you notice that the pump is not kicking on when it is supposed to, or if the unit is over 10 years old, it is best not to waste time replacing it.

– Pumps running hot due to improper installation or debris impeding the flow of water can burn up the motor.
– The switch on the pump happens to be a weak point. If the bushings are not in proper working condition, this may impede the pump’s ability to turn on when the water raises the float to the level that lifts the trigger.

If you are unsure of your own estimation of the performance of your home’s drainage system, you can consult with a licensed, professional plumber Toronto to answer questions and make the best recommendations to keep your home safe and dry.

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