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How to Maintain Your Home’s Sump Pump

an illustration of a sump pump carrying water from the basement up through a discharge pipe
How to Maintain Your Home’s Sump Pump

Owning a home in Mount Vernon, WA, brings its unique set of responsibilities, especially when it comes to keeping your basement dry. A reliable sump pump is your first line of defense against flooding. However, many homeowners overlook the importance of regular maintenance, leading to unexpected failures at the worst possible times. While maintaining a sump pump might not be the most glamorous task, it’s essential for protecting your home, especially during the rainy season, which is the way of life here in the PNW.

At Skagit Plumbing, we offer exceptional plumbing services, including sump pump repair and sump pump replacement to homes across the Mount Vernon, WA, area. We’re here to empower you with the information you need to protect your sump pump and your peace of mind. Let’s dive into some sump pump maintenance tips so you can keep it in top shape and avoid the potential headache of water damage. If you experience constant sump pump problems despite performing proper maintenance, reach out to us for an in-depth inspection and practical solutions.

A Deep Dive Into the World of Sump Pumps

A sump pump is a small but mighty device designed to keep your basement dry and free from flooding. It sits in a sump pit — a shallow hole usually below the basement floor — and activates when water levels rise too high. Once the float switch senses an increase in water level, it triggers the pump to start working. The pump then moves the excess water from the sump basin to a discharge pipe, diverting it away from your home and preventing potential water damage.

Types of Sump Pumps

Not all sump pumps are created equal. The two main types of sump pumps are submersible and pedestal sump pumps. A submersible sump pump is installed entirely within the sump pit, making it less obtrusive and quieter. It is designed to operate underwater and reduce the risk of electrical hazards. On the other hand, a pedestal sump pump has the motor mounted above the sump pit, making it easier to access for maintenance but also more noticeable and noisier.

Benefits of Sump Pump Maintenance

Regular sump pump maintenance offers several key benefits, ensuring that your home remains protected against unwanted water intrusion. First and foremost, it prevents flooding by making sure the pump is always ready to perform efficiently. Without proper maintenance, you may find out too late that your sump pump is not functioning correctly, leading to costly repairs and potential damage to your home’s foundation and belongings.

Additionally, maintaining your sump pump extends its lifespan. Just like any mechanical device, a sump pump requires regular check-ups to stay in peak condition. By adhering to a routine maintenance schedule, you can avoid unexpected breakdowns and premature replacement. Finally, consistent upkeep reduces the risk of mold and mildew growth in your basement, creating a healthier living environment for you and your family.

Sump Pump Maintenance Tasks & How Often to Perform Them

Maintaining your sump pump doesn’t have to be daunting. Start by inspecting the discharge pipe and sump pit every three months. Ensure that the discharge line is clear of obstructions and that water can flow freely away from your home. Check the sump pit for debris and clean it out to prevent clogs.

Next, test the pump quarterly by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pit until the float switch activates. This simulates a flood condition and confirms that the pump is working correctly. Also, inspect the sump pump inlet screen for blockages and clean it if necessary. Consider having a backup pump ready in case of failure.

Sump Pump Maintenance Tasks Best Left to The Pros

While some sump pump maintenance tasks are simple and can be handled safely on your own, scheduling professional maintenance annually is still good practice. For instance, examining and lubricating pump bearings should be performed by a qualified technician to avoid damaging the pump.

During these visits, a plumber from our Skagit Plumbing team will also perform a thorough inspection, clean the sump basin, and confirm that all components, including the backup sump pump, are functioning correctly. Furthermore, experts have a more keen eye to spot potential issues early on and stop them in their tracks to keep your sump pump running smoothly.

Upgrade Your Sump Pump When It’s The Right Time

Even with regular maintenance, sump pumps don’t last forever. Knowing when to upgrade is crucial. If your pump is over ten years old, frequently breaks down, or struggles to keep up with water inflow, it might be time for a new one. Upgrading can improve efficiency and reliability, offering better protection for your home.

Get Expert Sump Pump Help From Skagit Plumbing

If you’re experiencing issues or simply want to safeguard your sump pump’s condition, contact us today. We provide prompt, professional service to homeowners in Mt. Vernon, WA, and the surrounding areas. Our experienced team can perform everything from annual maintenance to repairs and even complete replacements. Your home’s integrity and your family’s well-being are our driving forces.