Simple Sump Pump Maintenance

Hi, I’m Shonda Vorst with the Central Insurance
Companies and today we’re going to talk about Sump Pump Maintenance. There are many
reasons excess water can find its way into your basement. There’s run off from heavy
rains or melting snow, the soil around your home may not drain properly, or you could
have cracks in your foundation walls. A sump pump is great for helping you remove this
excess water from your basement, but many times a sump pump can sit for months without
use so annual maintenance is extremely important to make sure it’s running properly. We are here in the basement of the Central
Insurance Companies and today I have with me Tim Friemoth from the Central Insurance
Facilities Department. Hi Tim. Hi. Thanks for joining me today. Yep. Tim is going to demonstrate for us the steps
that you should take to make sure your sump keeps pumping. The first thing you should do before working
with your pump is to turn off the breaker and then unplug the power cord to disconnect
power to the pump. Next, disconnect the sump pump form the discharge pipe and remove the
pump from the sump pit. Some water may run back to the sump from the check valve once
the pump’s removed. We recommend safety glasses and gloves for these next steps. First,
remove the check valve. Next, clean debris from the exterior of the
pump. A garden hose can also be used to clean the pump. Use a wire brush to clean the pump inlet screen.
You may want to inspect the check value and clean the pump inlet screen more often than
once a year, maybe every 3 to 4 months. Next, inspect the check valve. Check the owner’s manual to see if the pump
bearings require grease or oil. If you do not have the owner’s manual, you can look
up information about your pump on the Internet using the manufacturer and model number. After
the pump has been cleaned, reconnect the check valve, and place the pump back in the sump
pit. Check the power cord and then restore power
to the pump by plugging the pump in and flipping the breaker. Next, test the pump by dumping a bucket of
water into the sump pit to raise the float and make sure the pump turns on, adjusting
the float if required. If the pump turns on, your maintenance is complete! [SUMP PUMP TURNING ON] Now remember that the standard homeowner’s
policy does not cover many types of damage caused by water, including water overflowing
from a sump pump or backing up through sewers and drains in your basement. Many insurance
companies offer water back up coverage so contact your agent about having this coverage
added to your policy. Some companies even offer premium discounts or credits if you’ve
taken preventative measures to avoid a costly water loss in your home. Remember, a few simple
steps now can avoid a big headache later!

12 thoughts on “Simple Sump Pump Maintenance

  1. Why would you use a wire brush on a plastic inlet screen? To scratch the hell out of it??!!??

  2. Thanks for watching our video and for voicing your concern. While many sump pumps have metal inlet screens, like the one in our video, we do realize that some sump pumps have plastic inlet screens. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. You would want to use a nylon brush, rather than a wire brush if your inlet screen is plastic.

  3. Nice video.  Covers something overlooked by most … i.e. detaching the connections from the plumbing discharge.  Might want to warn that disconnecting the coupler above the check valve may release unpleasant effluent downward (depending on the setup).  Also, not always appropriate to lift the pump from the hole using the PVC pipe.

  4. If your sump pump is rarely used I recommend dumping water into the sump pump pit and running it to keep things lubricated. Otherwise it could freeze up.

  5. <3 Hydromatic pumps. Though their diaphragm switch is better than the vertical float.

  6. There is good information in this video. But I’d do things in a slightly different order. I would not waste time cleaning a pump that doesn’t work. Therefore I’d test it before removing it from the pit. Now this doesn’t mean you can skip testing it after cleaning as shown in the video- that is needed too.

    Likewise I would not dump water into the pit before knowing that the pump works. What I would do is lift the float to prove the pump works – then fill it with water to prove that it pumps it out.
    This way if the initial float lifting doesn’t turn on the motor, you can avoid having a pit full of water.

    Next, when replacing the check valve you need to make sure the arrow points up. If you accidentally put it in upside down it will “fit” but it won’t pump.

    This is another reason to test the pump before and after the cleaning. If you test with water before cleaning and then replace check valve backwards and test again and it doesn’t pump, you know that something you did broke it. Otherwise if you didn’t test before cleaning and your first test using water was with the check valve backwards you would not know what caused the failure.

    Lastly, if your basement is finished or you have valuables there, you should have a water alarm sensor inside the pit just above the point where the pump turns on. That way you will know it failed before any flooding occurs. You can buy one that beeps for about $10. Or a better one that emails your phone for $40.

  7. Haha!! The video says to check and clean the pump every 3-4 months… who does that?! I’ve had my Zoeller Sump Pump for over 13 years and just changed out with a new one (no other reason than it’s too old for me.) never once I took it out to maintain it. There is no need!

  8. So you unplug the pump……..AND flip the breaker?

    Is the idea to protect the pump from being energized by dark magic?

  9. install an inexpensive sump well alarm and have a backup pump nearby. A portable generator to run everything is a good idea since pump failure often occurs when you lose power in a storm or flood when you need the pump the most.

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