When spring has sprung and the temperatures begin to rise over the next few weeks, you’ll want to be prepared for the obstacles nature has in store for us, and your home is safe from water damage.
In many homes, a sump pump makes the difference between a flooded basement and a dry one. A sump pump is commonly installed in the basement of your home or crawl space to remove water that accumulates from rain, snow melt or natural ground water, especially this time of year as the ground begins to thaw out. It is also an integral part of the foundation drainage system and helps keep mold and mildew at bay and prevents electrical fires due to short circuiting when electrical appliances come in contact with water.
The typical life span of a sump pump is five to seven years, but this may vary based on usage. If your sump pump fails unexpectedly or its unable to keep up during periods of heavy rain, you may find that your basement becomes vulnerable to costly water damage.
The following are some of the most common sump pump issues and what you can do to avoid a basement flood:
- AVOID WATER — draining toward your home’s foundation. Check gutters for frozen ice and make sure none of your hose bibs froze over the winter.
- POWER FAILURE — Like any other electric appliance in your house, your primary sump pump is no different: Without power, it is completely worthless. Install an alarm or electronic level control switch for added insurance against failure. Even more fool-proof is having a Battery back-up sump pump system installed. A licensed and insured plumber can take your peace of mind to the next level.
- SWITCH WAS STUCK — Not all switches are created equal. There are several different types of sump float switches. Some are much better against getting stuck, a good reason to have your sump pump checked for the correct switch for your pump.
- PUMP WAS OVERWHELMED — Not all sump pumps are equal, and you get what you pay for. Minimally, you need a 1/3 horsepower sump pump capable of pumping 35 gallons of water per minute. If you have less horsepower than that, your sump pump might not be able to keep up with the flow of water. If your house sits in a higher water table and/or if you hear your sump pump running frequently, upgrade to a 1/2 horsepower pump (which can typically pump about 60 gallons per minute). To be completely safe, invest in a full system sump pump, which most definitely includes a battery back-up.
- SUMP DISCHARGE PIPE FROZE — If the pipe isn’t pitched properly, water will collect and eventually freeze, causing a blockage. Because what goes up must come down, the water falls right back into your sump pit. When the pit continues to fill up, the water has no place to go but all over your basement floor. We have a special freeze proof fitting to keep water flowing year-round.
- OLD AGE means time just flies by these days, Sump pumps should be replaced every five to seven years to be reasonably safe. The phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” will certainly catch up with you. The expense of cleaning up after a flood and your time will be 10-fold over the cost of replacement. Important to know when it is time to replace and be proactive.
Whether you are in Kalispell, Whitefish, Bigfork, Columbia Falls or anywhere else in the Flathead Valley. . .As always, your Safety and Comfort is our Central concern. Call 406-756-6656 for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs.