A sump pump is a key component in your home that helps prevent ground- or rainwater from building up in your basement — pushing water out from under your home and helping to keep it away from the foundation. As with any other system or appliance in your home, a sump pump needs regular maintenance to help make sure its functioning properly.
Here are the five things a professional should examine during an annual inspection of a sump pump, according to InterNACHI:
- The alarm. Not all sump pumps have alarms that sound when the device is activated. If a sump pump has one, it should be tested to help ensure it functions.
- The check valve. A professional should make certain that there is a check valve on the discharge pipe. The check valve may help prevent water from flowing back down the discharge pipe after it is pumped out.
- A backup power source. Sump pumps often need to work during extreme weather conditions that may result in power outages. A professional may confirm there is a backup power source on a sump pump, such as a battery, and that it is working.
- The pit. A sump pump sits in a pit which gathers water until the pump removes it. The pit needs to be large enough — at least 24 inches deep and 18 inches wide — for the sump pump to function properly.
- The discharge location. The discharge location is recommended to be at least 20 feet from a home to help prevent water from draining onto neighboring properties, into public sewer systems or into a residential septic system.
A sump pump can be an important tool to help prevent excess ground- or rainwater from entering your home resulting in costly water damage and mold. But, as with any appliance or system, a little planning and regular maintenance is required to help ensure proper function.