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Your Sump Pump and You

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 7:18am

April showers bring may flowers… and sump pump problems, if you’re not prepared. You need a sump pump inspection every year, even if your system is currently running smoothly. These devices remove excess water from under the foundation of your home. Schedule a sump pump inspection or repair with Mr. Rooter of Oneida to keep your basement dry and prevent expensive repairs or interrupted services due to one of the following common problems.

Power Failure

Whether you’re talking about a sump pump or an air conditioner, when major home equipment isn’t working, the culprit is usually a lack of power. Among the most helpful plumbing tips is a common sense suggestion many homeowners overlook: Check your breaker box first thing and look for tripped circuits or burned-out fuses. Alternatively, your unit may have been unplugged by accident.

Unfortunately, when setting up a backup generator for use during heavy storms, homeowners may forget to include the sump pump. This is the time when your unit is needed the most. In fact, you may want a small generator dedicated to your sump pump to keep basement moisture at bay when the weather is at its worst.

Stuck or Broken “On” Switch

Related to power is the issue of a malfunctioning “on” switch. Sump pumps are generally turned on by a floating switch or sensor that reacts to rising water levels beneath the basement floor. As the water rises, the unit kicks on automatically, pumping water to other areas of your property.

You can check these switches manually to ensure they’re still working. Simply lift the level or press the test button. If the “on” switch is working properly, the unit should easily turn on. Because sump pumps are in water, they may shift placement over time. This can also block the “on” switch and prevent it from turning on. If your unit isn’t sitting properly, Mr. Rooter will secure it in a way that ensures proper operation. Our licensed plumbers are certified by Onondaga County for plumbing leak detection or any plumbing-related project.

Blocked Discharge Lines

Following the snow melt of spring, discharge lines can become blocked with yard waste and other debris. This won’t prevent your sump pump from running as usual, but the water won’t be removed. However, if you check the line and it’s free of any noticeable blockage, there may be a mechanical problem. These can arise from worn parts as easily as from poor installation or improper sizing.

A Lack of Maintenance

Again, any home appliance requires maintenance to stay in good condition. You wouldn’t expect your car to keep running without periodic help. Many responsibilities can be handled by the homeowner, including running your pump every two to three months to check for operational problems, cleaning out your pump by pouring vinegar into the pump space four times a year, clearing vents and air holes and manually checking to see water moving through the discharge lines.

Mr. Rooter works hard to keep your residential plumbing performing its best. Sump pump problems can be inconvenient, but repairs can add up fast. Prevent major property damage by scheduling a spring sump pump checkand performing basic maintenance on your unit throughout the year.

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