Is your sump pump ready for the spring thaw?

It is getting to be the time of the year where we are about to round the corner and see temperatures begin to rise and eventually the ground will thaw and all of this snow will just be a memory as we head into spring!  There are many home maintenance issues that we face with the spring, checking that the shingles on the roof made it through unscathed, replacing a deck board or two, cleaning up the yard from fallen branches and debris that is hidden most of the winter by the snow. 

Inside of your home, the biggest and one of the most important maintenance issues will be your sump pump.  It is crucial to spend a few minutes, lift of the lid and check on your equipment to ensure that there are no problems and your home and living space are protected from being flooded.   

A simple test to determine whether or not your sump pump is functioning properly is to pour around a gallon of water down into your sump pump reservoir. If the water goes through in a prompt manner, then all is well however, if the water goes down slowly or gushes right back up the surface know that you either have some obstruction in your pump or the pump itself has malfunctioned and requires either repair or replacement.

Common problems associated with sump pump failure are:

Sump pit debris - ​A buildup of mud, sand, debris or other foreign materials at the bottom of your sump pump can jam the pump and burn out its motor. The pit can be kept free of debris by scooping out the sediment at the bottom of the sump pit.


Clogged discharge - when water backs up from the discharge pipe, this can lead to the sump pump burning. Although this is more likely to happen in the winter when pipes freeze and thaw causing a back flow back into the pump.

Old age -  ​Old age can lead to a malfunctioning pump.  Like all equipment – they eventually should be replaced with newer and more efficient unit. If the sump pump is hard at work all season, it may burn out and require replacement.

Loss of power - Powerful rainstorms can both drop a ton of rain in a short amount of time, and cause costly power outages.  If you have a backup power source for your sump pump, whether it is dedicated to your pump or a generator, the cost of installing one could save you thousands in the long run.

So take a few minutes this spring, take a look in the sump pump pit to ensure everything is working on point to ensure you can get to the other tasks that spring will have you taking care of outside, not mopping up a wet basement and replacing drywall.  If you find you have a problem or are unsure if you have a problem contact a professional for further advice!

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Kathy Dionne

Kathy Dionne

REALTOR®
CENTURY 21 Millennium Inc., Brokerage*
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