Do Sump Pumps Need Maintenance?

Sump Pump Maintenance

How often should you have your sump pump serviced?

Having a well-maintained sump pump is one of the best investments to ensure your basement stays dry and you avoid a messy, flooded basement clean-up. A small sump pump plays a big part in protecting your place. Please keep your sump pump in good working order by inspecting after heavy rains..

  • Monthly pump cleaning. Does you sump pump or ejector pump remove washing machine water?  The inlet cannot be blocked, because blockage can eventually damage the pump and cause basement flooding. See How to Maintain a Sump Pump below.
  • Quarterly pump maintenance. With heavy SW Chicago rainy times you should inspect your pump and pit more than once a year. Inspect the inlet screen for debris. See How to Maintain a Sump Pump below.
  • Once a year pump maintenance. It’s smart to inspect your sump, pit and piping. PDM plumbers knows pumps inside and out.

You’ll Probably Have Some Water In Your Sump Pit all the time.

Sump pumps work to remove groundwater on a regular basis, and large quantities of water in a crisis. Groundwater coming towards your house flows into rock-filled drains, from which water is diverted to the sump pit, and pumped back outside away from your home. During an unexpected water event like a flood, a high-quality sump pump may discharge 4,000 to 5,000 gallons of water per hour. The groundwater is far more common than flooding.

So you know, five inches of rain on your roof can equal 8,715 gallons of water according to USGS. When a sump stops pumping that means a typical 900-square foot basement with water one foot deep equals about 6,500 gallons.

How Long to Dry Out a Flooded Basement?

Drying a flooded basement can take one to two weeks. Avoid a flood. Learn how to maintain a sump pump before the next rain storm. Or, we’re happy to maintain your sump or sewage ejector pump each year. Just ask.

How to Maintain a Sump Pump.

  1. Visual sump pump check. Especially true during persistent rainfall if your basement is remodeled.
  2. Remove all debris from the sump pit bottom and pump inlet screen. Build up of debris is one of the major causes of sump pump failure. It is important to check your inlet suction screen and discharge line and make sure that there is no blockage every few months or after a hard rain. Remove the sump pump and clean both the pump and pit at least once every year.
  3. Float switch – is it unobstructed, moves freely?
  4. Fill pit with water. Add five gallons of water, check float switch operation and pump discharges water in pit at a good speed.
  5. Weep hole, relief hole, air bleed hole inspect. While the pump is running, make sure a stream of water is escaping from the air bleed hole. If not, clear the small hole of any deposits or debris.
  6. Check the discharge outlet piping. Make sure basement and outdoor discharge piping is tight and draining at least 20 feet away from your home/business.
  7. Battery backup pump. Power goes out and the sump pump stops. Tha’s why a battery back up pump is great insurance. Check battery water level a few times a year. Batteries can last 2 to 5 years. Change as directed by the manufacturer for added insurance.

How Long Does a Sump Pump Battery Last?

As a general rule of thumb, during a power outage most new fully-charged batteries last 5-7 hours of continuous pumping and roughly 1-3 days of non-continuous pumping depending on the frequency. In general we advise changing your fluid type battery every 4-5 years.

How Many Years Does a Sump Pump Last?

Could be 3, 5 even 10 years depending on how well its maintained and how often it runs. As you can imagine, sump pumps work until the day they die. Unfortunately you can’t predict when the pump will fail. That is unless you have a special electrical test instrument that measures how well your pump motor is performing (not all pumps allow this test). Better yet, PDM Plumbers offer a FREE sump pump motor health test while on a service call.

Call a Trusted PDM Plumber to Maintain Your Sump or Ejector Pump at 815-726-6264.

PDM stands against cutting corners when it comes to water damage. If you have a question call the PDM Clean Team for knowledgeable sump pump maintenance, repair and replacement service.

We’ve offered honest pump answers since 1885. Contact PDM for sump pump maintenance in Joliet, New Lenox, Frankfort, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Lockport, Romeoville, Homer Glen and SW Chicago Suburbs


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