Sump pumps are located usually back in the corner of your basement in a dark place that no one likes to talk about. I first encountered a sump pump when I moved from my home in Toledo, and the land of no sump pumps, to Sylvania the land of sump pumps. Maybe it was the newer construction of homes I moved to or the topography, but sump pumps are an item that residents of Sylvania Ohio should and must pay attention to if they are going to have a dry basement.
A sump pump is a means of keeping your basement dry and must be maintained. My professional adviser Gary at Maumee Plumbing says there are a variety of pumps and should be replaced according to the manufacturer or every 4-5 years.
So my tip of the day is what you should do to maintain your pump so you don’t have any bad experiences between change outs of your sump pump.
Sump pump maintenance falls into two categories in my opinion. A. Sump pumps that rarely run and the water is pretty clear in the crock, and B. Pumps that run often and the water is cloudy to even having red iron deposits or red decaying algae in the crock. For those not familiar with sump pumps the crock is the circular "bucket" below the basement floor that water flows into from the footer tiles and is pumped out by the pump.
Category A. Maintenance would consist of filling the crock with water every 3 months just to make sure the pump is operating properly. If there is an odor from the area I would recommend putting a 1inch tablet of Durachlor which is a chlorine tablet in the crock once a month. These tablets are available at most pool supply stores. If you are using the tablets I would fill the crock with water until the pump turns on and empties the crock prior to putting in a new tablet.
Because your pump is not running a lot most residents feel they do not have to change their pump. I would still recommend you to change it every 4-5 years.
Category B. One should do a good cleaning of the sump crock and pump every 3 months. This maintenance should take place only when the pump is not removing water from the crock for 20-30 minutes. You do not want to have the pump unplug and the water from the footer tiles overflowing the crock.
- Unplug the main pump.
- Put on rubber gloves and using a paper towel remove as much red iron or algae from the pump side walls and pipe opening that empties into the crock.
- Use a bucket to make a cleaning solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Pour the cleaning solution into the crock until the pump is completely covered.
- Wait 10 minutes
- Plug in the pump to remove the bleach and water cleaning solution.
- Unplug the pump and fill the crock with water above the pump.
- Plug in the Pump to drain the crock.
- Repeat steps 6 and 7.
- Put in a 1 inch tablet of Durachlor (chlorine tablet).
- Put in a second tablet in the crock in 30 days.
- Put in a third tablet in 60 days.
- In 90 days repeat steps 1-9.
One misconception is because you are maintaining your pump you do not need to change it. This is not correct. You need to change your pump as recommended by the manufacturer.
If you are in a very high water table area and are concerned of pump failure I would recommend you also have a water back up system. This system can be installed in your current crock at a very affordable price. If you would like for me to refer you to someone, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put in the subject box water back up system.
I hope these tips have helped. If you have any additional suggestions I would like to hear from you.
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