You Might Be Ready for Spring — But What About Your Sump Pump?


The birds are chirping, the sun is setting later and later, and the temperature is beginning to rise slowly; signs which all point to the beginning of spring. However, if your sump pump isn’t working correctly, then the spring thaw could bring an unwanted danger to your home this season — flooding.

At Riley Plumbing & Heating, we receive countless calls each season from homeowners suffering from flooded basements and other water damage. Not only can it be costly to fix, but it can cause a massive headache and disruption to your everyday life as well. If it’s been a while since you had your sump pump checked and maintained, you could be risking harm to your foundation and structure of your home.

Improperly operating sump pumps are typically the culprits for basement flooding. Let’s take a look at how you can ensure that yours is working correctly and learn how to continue to protect your basement from damage with sump pump maintenance for your Hartford County, CT home.

How to Maintain Your Sump Pump

Your sump pump can be found in the lowest part of your basement. Once you locate the pump, ensure it:

  • Has power running to it from a GFCI connection. GFCIs will occasionally turn off on their own. Make sure it’s working properly.
  • Is upright and the ball moves freely. Vibrations from operating can cause sump pumps to tilt to the side.
  • Actually pours water. Pour water into the sump pump pit and watch to see the water gets discharged.

Sump Pump Troubleshooting Tips

Problem: Pump Doesn’t Turn On

Check: The water levels may be too low to trigger the pump to turn on. You could also have a blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker, or the pump might be filled with debris.

Problem: Pump Doesn’t Turn Off

Check: It’s possible that the switch on the sump pump is malfunctioning. You may need to replace it. There may also be some obstructions in the discharge pipe that need to be removed. Additionally, a sump pump that constantly runs might be too small for the job. Consider upgrading to one with greater discharge strength.

Problem: Pump Starts and Stops Too Frequently

Check: If it’s not due to an undersized unit, then there might be an obstruction in the discharge pipe, causing the water to run backward and refilling the sump pit.

What to Expect From Professional Sump Pump Maintenance and Inspection

The pit

A professional should inspect the size of the sump pit, ensuring that it’s large enough for the pump to function properly.

The check valve

The check valve on the discharge pipe needs to be operating properly to prevent water from flowing back down into the pit once the pump has turned off.

Backup power

Because they need to work under extreme conditions and where heavy rains and flooding can cause power outages, it’s recommended to have a backup source of power, typically a battery.

The alarm

Some sump pumps have an alarm that sounds when the device gets activated to alert homeowners that there is water buildup in the pit. It should be tested to ensure it’s working correctly.

The cover

A sump pump needs a cover to prevent water from evaporating into the basement. A professional can ensure it fits snugly and properly.

The discharge location

It’s recommended to have the sump pump’s discharge location at least 20 feet from the home to avoid water draining back into the house. Additionally, it should not drain onto other properties, into septic systems, or public sewers.

Want to keep your basement dry this season? Call Riley Plumbing & Heating today for sump pump installations throughout Hartford County, CT. We can give you the peace of mind and confidence to know that your home’s foundation and structural integrity is protected from the spring thaw.

To schedule an appointment for service or for more information, call us today at 860-225-1534.

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