What is a sump pump?
A sump pump is a crucial piece of equipment in your home that prevents roof water or ground water from flooding your basement. The water gets collected in the sump pit which is then pumped out away from your home and its foundation.
Just like any other device or system, a sump pump needs regular maintenance and service as well.
How should I maintain my sump pump, so it lasts longer?
- Inspect visually: Keep an eye on your sump pump, especially during the wet seasons or when undergoing repairs or reconstruction near the pit location.
- Clean all debris: One of the major reasons for sump pumps failing earlier than expected is months of collected debris that was not addressed. The sump pit’s pump and inlet are especially prone to clogging due to debris and need regular cleaning.
- Check the float switches: The float switches should move freely without any obstructions.
- Inspect the controller: DTBs controllers have a simple to understand set of lights and alarms. By examining the lights on the controller, a fault can be picked up before a potential flood strikes.
How often should I service my sewage/sump pump?
The role your sump pump plays in keeping your house safe and its foundation dry is underrated. It’s crucial to maintain your sump pump to ensure its smooth operation. Depending on the conditions of the pit, such as whether it is subject to a highly acidic or alkaline environment or whether the waste entering contains hot oily and greasy waste, service interval recommendations range from quarterly to annually.
DTBs well trained technicians will ensure that each service undertaken identifies potential problems and verifies the functionality of the pump system; moreover, our technicians can make appropriate recommendations for the frequency of service per sump pump.
What does the professional inspection of a sump pump include?
In a professional service of a sump pump by DTBs trained technicians, these are some of the key features which are inspected:
- Pumps: As the name suggests, pumps are the heart of the pump pit. From where the rainwater or sewerage gets collected, these pumps pump out the fluid to the discharge point. In most pump wells, a dual pump set is installed to add a backup in the event of one pump failing or when there is sudden storm surge requiring twice the power to keep up. The pump is mechanically and electrically inspected thoroughly during a routine inspection to ensure that it will operate reliably until the next scheduled service.
- Pit Plumbing: Our technicians go over the plumbing within each sump pit, which are analogous to the veins and arteries in a person. By assessing the check valves, air bleed holes, gate valves and installation of the pipework, DTB can identify any potential failures or inadequacies to minimise the likelihood of a failure.
A common point of failure is the check valve, which prevents water from flowing back into the pit once a pump switches off. A faulty or failing check valve can cause an immense back flow of water rushing back into the pit, which can result in the plumbing to break apart.
- Controller & Alarm: Not all sump pumps have alarms installed on them. But if the pump that the technician is checking has one, it is electrically tested, to ensure it is working properly. The controller enables the pumps to activate when water levels are high and serves as a handy way of alerting owners to a pump fault or a near-flooding situation.
- Sump Pit: A clean pit is an ideal pit. The more debris in a pit, the harder it will be for the pumps to function efficiently. Furthermore, this may wind up jamming and overworking the pumps, shortening their lifetime. Leaves, rocks, plastic, textiles, and mud are some common forms of debris found, which our technicians can clean up.
- Power backup: A technician will ensure, where applicable, that an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) is operating correctly. In the case of battery backups, batteries are tested, recharged, and replaced as needed, while generators undergo oil changes and general safety checks. This really gives the peace of mind that your home won’t flood when a power outage occurs, especially during heavy rains or thunderstorms.
These are only a few of the major areas of the sump pit that DTBs technicians will service and ensure that the system is functioning well. Following a service, we provide a comprehensive report of the service carried out and will advise on any suggested or critical changes to be made.
It’s a good practice to maintain and service your sump pump regularly. After all, it helps you keep your property clean and minimises the likelihood of your home being flooded.
Do invest in a good quality sump pump and inspect and clean it quarterly or yearly as per its components. And finally, don’t hesitate to seek professional help in an emergency or if you face any issues, though it’s recommended to opt for a yearly professional inspection