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How to Maintain a Sump Pump: Everything You Need to Know

How to Maintain a Sump Pump: Everything You Need to Know

When spring arrives, the agents at Lindow often see incidents of basement water damage increase. What’s the cause?

As warmer temperatures thaw the frozen ground, the soil becomes saturated with water — your yard is unable to properly absorb the extra precipitation of spring rains. Instead, that excess of water drains into your basement.

Fortunately, a properly cared-for sump pump can help you dodge every homeowner’s nightmare: the flooded basement. Learn how to maintain a sump pump to prevent water damage in your home.

How does a sump pump work?

A sump pump sits in a pit or basin at the lowest point in your home. When the groundwater around your house rises to a certain level, sensors activate the sump pump to drain the excess water out of the basin. This prevents your basement from flooding.

When your sump pump works properly, it’s easy to forget about it. Many homeowners don’t even realize they have one!

Since insurance policies often become void if a pump hasn’t been maintained correctly, it’s vital to check in with your system at least once a year to keep everything in top shape.

Keep on top of annual maintenance.

Sump pump maintenance is easy enough that any homeowner can run through a simple checklist on their own.

First, inspect the pump.

  1. Check your pump’s power source and make sure it’s uninterrupted. Many pumps also have battery backups, so check those as well.
  2. Inspect the sump pump’s basin. Make sure there isn’t any debris that could keep your pump from doing its job.
  3. Make sure the pump is sitting upright. Motor vibrations can cause it to tilt, which can interfere with its sensors.
  4. Remove the pump from the basin and clean the grate at the bottom. Debris often gets sucked into the grate.

Wondering how to test your sump pump?

After your inspection, add a few gallons of water to your sump pump basin and make sure your pump is working properly. It should automatically activate when the water reaches a certain level, and the discharge pipe drainage should be steady.

Be sure to invest in a backup plan.

Even if you have an existing backup system, you should run through this same inspection and testing checklist.

If you don’t have a backup pump, you should consider investing in one — especially if you live in a flood-prone area. Many water and battery-powered options are available! If you have a battery-powered backup pump, remember to add battery monitoring to your annual checklist.

When in doubt, call a professional.

If you’re ever unsure about something with your sump pump, it’s best to call a professional right away before anything has a chance to go wrong. Water damage is nothing to mess with!

Is sump pump failure covered under insurance?

In most cases, a standard insurance policy will not cover damages resulting from a failed sump pump — this is why annual maintenance is so important. However, you can opt for additional coverage options on your homeowners insurance.

If you’re looking for guidance on your coverage, contact us for advice tailored to your needs. Our agents will shop around and find the best fit for your individual situation.

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