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Sump Pump Purpose & Maintenance

If you’re in an area where flooding is likely, the water table is high, or where rapidly melting snow or sudden heavy rainstorms are common, chances are you have a sump pump in your home. Sump pumps are pumps located in your basement that are designed to prevent excess rain or groundwater from entering the house. The pump is designed to be submerged in water. Most residential sump pumps are installed in pits, called sump pits, and help to keep your basement dry by pumping the water out of the pit, away from your house. When the water level in the sump pit reaches a certain height, the sump pump automatically turns on and expels the water. When the water level drops far enough, the pump turns off. In areas with low groundwater, the pump may not even turn on for years, if ever!
If your sump pump never gets serviced and debris builds up, it will damage your pump. Most homeowners find out the hard way that their pump isn’t operating when the basement is full of water, and they can’t even get near the clogged pump. You can take a few steps to maintain your sump pump yourself, but if there’s a major issue, you should call a professional. Here’s what you can do on your own to maintain your sump pump from Square One:
  • Check the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet to make sure it’s plugged in and the cord is still in good shape. If there is quite a bit of moisture in the area, the GFCI breaker may trip, causing the sump pump to shut down. If so, you’ll need to reset the GFCI.
  • Make sure the pump has not fallen over or isn’t leaning to one side as a result of vibrations during operation. If the pump is not sitting upright, the float arm can become jammed.
  • Pour some water into the pit to test the pump. It should start automatically and drain the water away quickly. If not, be sure to have it serviced by a professional. You may also want to go outside and make sure the water is being discharged.
You should have your sump pump serviced annually by a professional, or if you encounter an issue with your pump. If you call a professional to service your sump pump system, they should:
  • Check the pump and the switches to make sure they’re running smoothly.
  • Clean out any debris that has entered the sump pump liner.
  • Test the battery backup pump to make sure it’s properly charged.
  • Check the sump pump alarm’s battery.
  • Conduct a flood test to make sure the whole system is working properly.
  • Check the discharge line outside for clogs.
ANTEX Exterminating not only gets rid of pesky pests in your home, but we also install and maintain sump pumps. If you have any questions about your sump pump or hoping to have someone to set it up for you, give us a call at 910-295-5881 for our Pinehurst location, or 910-822-0099 for our Fayetteville location. At ANTEX Exterminating, we’re proud to serve the surrounding communities with their pest or property needs.