It’s August in Kansas City but it already is beginning to feel like the beginning of fall with refreshing cool weather and heavy rains starting to come with frequency. As rains come to our area it’s important for every homeowner to think about their basement. Basements can take on water for a number of reasons like foundation cracks, shifting soil, leaking egress windows and most often sump pump failure. The main benefit of having a sump pump in your home is that it alleviates the worry of accidental water damage. As long as a sump pump is in good working order, you should feel well protected. Sump pumps most often are out of sight and out of mind, until they fail. Their successful operation is imperative to keeping basements and crawlspaces dry when the heavy rains come. Sump pumps are small but play a huge part in maintaining a dry environment. Sump pumps are normally located in the lowest corner of the basement and they work by allowing water to fill its pit and then pump it out through a series of drainage pipes.
Left unchecked, a sump pump failure can lead to thousands of dollars in flood & water damage. Therefore, sump pumps should be checked regularly and the good news is that you don’t need a plumber to do it! The test is very simple as outlined below:
- Locate and remove any cover over the sump pump device
- Check for any debris or build up in the sump pump that needs to be removed
- Find the little float arm on the side of the pump
- Lift up the arm briefly. If you hear the pump running, it’s working.
- If the pump doesn’t run, it’s not working and needs to be serviced by a plumber
- It’s recommended to check monthly to prevent sump pump failure
Electricity powers sump pumps and many time storms which produce strong rain also produce power failures. So it’s important to have a backup system in place, in the event you lose power. Many times insurance policies will cover water damage from a sump pump’s mechanical failure but not from power failure. Adding a backup battery is recommended preferably a water-powered backup over a battery-powered backup, when possible. A water-powered backup is driven your homes current water system by connecting to the main water line coming into your house. The pressure of that water coming into the house is what powers the pump. So, as long as you have running water your backup pump will have the power to it. In choosing a power backup one of your primary considerations is to make sure whatever backup system you use will pump the same amount of gallons as your standard pump.