Care Tips For New Sump Pump Owners

When you install a sump pump in your basement to help you combat water accumulation, it's essential that you maintain it properly. Unfortunately, many new sump pump users are unfamiliar with some of the most common issues that can occur, so they miss key details and find themselves with a malfunctioning pump and standing water in the basement. If you want to avoid having to wade through the water and deal with the resulting damage, there are a few things you should be attentive to. Here are a couple of things to consider.

Always Have A Backup Plan

Your sump pump is going to be directly connected to your home's electrical system. That means it's only reliable as long as you have power. If you're in the midst of a heavy storm and the power goes out, you'll lose the sump pump operation too. That's a bad combination.

You have a couple of different options to serve as a backup plan for this. First, you can get a standby generator and connect your primary sump pump to the generator so that if the power goes out, the generator will keep it running. This is great provided that it's functioning as intended.

As an extra safety net, you should also consider having a backup pump installed. These are battery-powered sump pumps that are installed directly beside the primary pump. The backup pump will engage when the primary one fails, so you'll have less risk of water accumulation.

Remember That Size Can Matter

Although a standard sump pump is usually sufficient for most homes with basement water problems, there are some situations where you may need to consider a large-capacity pump instead. Before you choose a sump pump model, talk with your installation contractor about the water table where your home is. A high water table means that you'll deal with a higher volume of water around the property, so you need to have a pump that can respond faster and pump more water per minute. Otherwise, you risk the pump not being able to keep up with the water flow.

Age Is More Than Just A Number

With optimal care and maintenance, you can expect your sump pump to give you as much as ten years of reliable service. However, if your pump is nearing this age, it's time to start thinking about replacing it. Being proactive about monitoring the age of your pump can save you from the unexpected wear-related failures that might leave your basement under water.

Tethered Isn't Always Better

When you're looking at pump models, consider the float switch style carefully. Tethered float switches are at risk of getting stuck against the side of the sump pit, and when that happens, they won't engage the pump the way that they are supposed to. You can avoid that risk by investing in a pump that has a vertical float switch instead. They are crafted in a way that reduces the likelihood of any kind of physical obstruction, giving you more reliable pump operation.

Pipe Pitch Can Be Problematic

When you have your sump pump installed, work with the contractor to ensure that the discharge pipe is pitched in a way that encourages drainage sufficiently. Otherwise, you risk the pipe freezing, especially if you live in an area that's prone to severe winter weather. When the pipe freezes, the water will flow back down the discharge pipe and back into the sump pit, Eventually, the pit will overflow and leave water in the basement.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when you're dealing with a sump pump. Understanding some of these key facts will help you to get the most out of your investment and protect your home. For more information, check out sites like