As winter comes to a close and the snow begins to melt, many homeowners will struggle to keep their basements flood-free. Without the right sump pump solution in place, the spring thaw can bring catastrophic water damage in your home. In order to ensure your system is up to the task of handling melting snow and rain, you need to thoroughly test your unit ahead of the warmer weather. Doing so now can help you avoid costly repair and replacement requests in the future!
Making Sure Your Sump Pump Can Handle Melting Snow & Ice
Before the snow and ice start melting, it’s important to make sure your sump pump is able to handle the increased flow of water to your basement. Homeowners can test their system to ensure it’s working in full force by following the steps below:
- Step One: Locate the outside pipe that catches the water as it drains from the pump. Make sure the inside of the pipe is free of obstructions that may be clogging the drain, such as dirt and debris. This is critically important after a snow storm hits.
- Step Two: Fill a five-gallon bucket or large pot with water. Slowly pour the water into the sump pit and watch the water level within the pit.
- Step Three: The float on the sump should rise and the pump will kick on before the water reaches the top of the pit. As the pit empties, the system should turn off.
- Step Four: If the float doesn’t rise or the pump doesn’t turn on/off automatically, the pump should be further inspected by a professional.
Always make sure that your unit is plugged into a functioning outlet. In addition to inspecting system performance, homeowners should run through a weekly checklist to observe the following:
- Identify any areas around the home that are melting faster than others and why
- Find out if your roof gutters run into the ground around your foundation
- Identify any puddles in walkways and driveways, and whether or not they disappeared overnight
- Check the basement regularly for standing water (at least every other day)
When to Contact a Professional Plumber
It’s not uncommon for a sump pump to stop working altogether when snow is melting. This is because snow usually refreezes at night when the temperatures drop below freezing, causing the sump pump drain pipes to freeze with it. When this happens, the unit is unable to remove the water from your basement. If you’ve tested your sump pump, inspected it for blockages, and are still experiencing issues, it’s best to contact a plumbing technician for additional assistance. You may need a backup system or battery installed, or may have a more serious underlying plumbing problem at play.
Additionally, if your sump pump is older than six years, you’ll likely need to replace the unit ahead of the seasonal thaw. Systems older than six years are more prone to failure, allowing water to collect and wreak havoc on your home.
Len The Plumber for Your Sump Pump Service Needs
Whether your sump pump needs repair, replacement, or routine maintenance, Len The Plumber has the end-to-end sump pump service solutions you need to keep water damage at bay. Allow our team to ensure your home is equipped with the flood prevention system it needs to avoid costly destruction.