Open your windows and you can almost smell fresh spring air. Let’s just forget that we’re supposed to get 8” of snow this weekend and remember that there’s still quite a bit of standing water and melting snow currently. Now would be a great time to do a proactive check on your sump pump before coming home to a lake in your basement.
If you have a sump pump in your basement it’s obviously there for a reason, but being out of sight it’s also out of mind. So what are a few easy things you can do to prevent a watery disaster? I asked our Licensed Plumbers, Eric & Todd, and here’s a few simple suggestions that they had:
- While it might sound obvious, check the pump before the spring thaw and make sure it works. Sometimes the pump will sit idle for months at a time, and the wet spring would not be the time to discover a problem. Either do a “wet test” and dump a bucket of water into the pit, or if you can safely reach the float, gently lift it and make sure the pump kicks on.
- A good failsafe is to install a battery backup pump as well in case of a power outage or if the main pump fails. Not only will these systems (which are typically less than $200) save your basement in an emergency, they sound an alarm to alert you to the problem. Well worth the investment.
- Another inexpensive solution to a common sump pump nuisance is to replace the standard check valve in the drain pipe with a Quietsewage check valve. This valve has a spring installed in it that quietly closes the flapper, eliminating the annoying slamming sound when they typically close. They are also built into a clear housing so you can monitor the valve in case of a problem.
- Finally, do your best to keep water away from the perimeter of your home. Check your gutters frequently to make sure they are clean, and even consider installing a downspout extension; certain extensions can be removed when you’re not expecting heavy rain, and other can be made permanent and camouflaged under landscaping materials.
And of course when it comes right down to it, if you flat out need a new pump we’re here to help as well. We always have several sizes in stock and can help you with the fittings & supplies you’ll need to get the job done. And if you’re not comfortable with the job you can simply pick up the phone and we’ll have Eric & Todd on the way to get it done for you. Stay dry!