Sump Pump Maintenance: Important Advice for a Cleaner, Drier Basement

The snow has melted and April showers are behind us, but summer storms can mean flooding in streets, yards, and homes. Homeowners in Milwaukee and its suburbs know that the local storm water management system can be overwhelmed by a long or sudden rain, and that a sump pump is the first line of defense against a wet basement and water damage.

The plumbing experts at Cliff Bergin & Associates can install and service sump pumps that protect your home from high ground water and flooding. We recommend an annual inspection of your pumping system to help prevent what could be a very costly and unpleasant home emergency. We also suggest the following maintenance tips to improve the reliability and life of your sump pump:

Be Aware of Weather Conditions and Check Gutters and Downspouts

Long periods of rain mean the ground will be saturated and your sump pump will likely be working harder and longer to keep your home dry. Check your sump pump and pit (also called a crock) often during these times. If water is not emptying efficiently, call a professional like Cliff Bergin before the problem literally spills over—causing flooding in your basement and exposing you and your family to unsanitary water and the risk of mold growth in your home.

Outside, clean gutters and properly placed downspouts help move rainwater away from your home. Make sure there are no obstructions in your gutter system or where it discharges.

Cliff Bergin & Associates can provide sump pump maintenance

Maintain and Test the Pump

Make a point of cleaning the pump inlet screen and checking the power cord/connection on your sump pump. You should also test it every few months—or more often during wet weather. Do this by dumping a bucket of water in the sump pit to raise the float, turn on the pump, and remove the excess water. The float and valves should move smoothly and the pump should turn off automatically.

Schedule a Service Call

Your sump pump pit should be covered, but debris may still find its way into the crock. Sump pump maintenance by experts like Cliff Bergin includes cleaning the crock to prevent dirt, gravel, sand, or other material from damaging the pump. We’ll also clean the discharge opening and line in the pit and make repairs as needed.

Be Proactive, and Realistic

There are many variables that affect a sump pump’s performance, so it is very difficult to predict how long it will last. With regular service, the life of your sump pump system can be prolonged—and signs of wear identified sooner. Even so, it will eventually need to be replaced. We can recommend upgrades as needed, as well as a backup system to support water management when you need it most.

“Plan B”

A backup sump pump is a smart investment, just ask anyone who has had to deal with water—or worse—in their basement. We recommend backup sump pumps as added protection against failure of a primary pump or loss of function due to a power outage. Call us for more information about battery backup sump pumps that can save you from the headaches and hassles of water problems.

For help with your home’s most important systems—from Carrier heating and air conditioning units to Jim Murray backup sump pumps—rely on professionals like Cliff Bergin & Associations.