Your sump pump is one of the most vital parts of your plumbing system. Very few people however can answer where there sump pump is let alone sump pump basics. You might only actualy need you sump pump once every five to ten years, but it is good to know that it is there when you need it. Your sump pump is vital if it ever floods in your basement such as from a sewage backup into your basement, your sump pump will remove much of the excess water, pumping it out of your basement. Your sump pump is the last line of defense when flooding occurs and will help to save your valuables, as well as protecting the integrity of your home’s foundation.
When it comes to selecting a sump pump for your home you have a choice between a standard sump pump and a grinder pump, or even both with a clever installation. A standard sump pump removes water which has entered your basement. Your grinder pump grinds up sewage and sends it to your main sewer line. With either type you should have a good battery back up on hand in case of power failure. You should also replace this battery every 2 to 3 years because of battery shelf life as you need to be 100% certian your back up battery is going to function in a time of need. You also need to consider the maximum lift of your sump pump model, most models are around 10 feet of maximum lift. The lift of your sump pump is how much water it pump up vertically in feet. Your maximum flow rate is also critical to consider. Most common models are a a 1/3 horsepower pump. If your basemet frequently floods you may want to consider using a 1/2 hp pump as a 1/2 hp pump will pump more water and lift it higher than a 1/3 hp pump.
If you do decide to install a new sump pump, a Proper installation as well as precisely following the manufacturer’s installation guidelines, is essential for the safe and efficient operation of your sump pump. Improperly installed sump pumps can be dangerous especially ones that were not grounded properly. It is recommended to hire a professional plumber do any sump pump installation, it is not worth the risk of electrocution or sump pump failure due to an improper installation just to save a few bucks. A qualified plumber will install your sump pump with a grounded 15A electrical circuit and a surge protector. Sump pumps that are professionally installed as well as properly maintained often have a shelf life of 10 to 15 years before needing replacement.
You should test your sump pump every 3 months to ensure it is functioning properly should a disaster strike. Simply turn off your power and pour in 5 gallons of water. The sump pump should start up on your battery back up and remove the water, if it does not there is an issue and a professional should be called at that point. You should then retest it with the power on. If the sump pump does not start up, make sure your sump pump is connected properly to your power system. If the power is not the issue then your sump pump is in need of repair.
There are some signs to let you know its time to replace or repair your sump pump. If you pump is making abnormal noises, or too much noise it could be due to a variety of reasons. If your pump is humming for example it might have a broken impeller blade. if your sump pump is making sucking or slurp noises you may need to adjust its float switch. If your pump is banging around its often due to the discharge pipe banging against the wall or flooring, in which case you can add insulation to solve the problem.