It is not uncommon for homeowners to completely forget about their sump pumps, at least until something goes awry. The sump pump is responsible for keeping water out of your basement and preventing flooding that can rack up costly expenses. Keep groundwater from flooding and damaging your property by maintaining your basement sump pump.

Seven tips to take care of your home's sump-pump are:

  1. Make sure it is level. Make sure your pump is sitting evenly, not tilted, in the basin on your basement floor. Vibrations and activity around the area can cause it to lean, which interferes with accurate measurements of the groundwater levels.
  2. Check the cord. Periodically check the power cord; these can become disconnected by kids and pets inadvertently. It should always be connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for safe operation in wet conditions.
  3. Conduct a test. Conduct a bucket test by dumping water into your sump-pump basin to see if the pump comes on; if so, it is working properly.
  4. Clean your screen. Disconnect the power and clean the intake-screen every couple- months to prevent dirt and debris with causing faulty groundwater readings.
  5. Inspect it annually. Annually, the pump should be removed from the basin to be inspected and cleaned. This is likely a job for a plumbing professional and should not be attempted by laymen.
  6. Give it some oil. Sump pumps may require oiling each year to remain effective; check your owner's manual for your specific sump-pump or contact a plumber to take care of this maintenance for you.This helps the mechanisms of the pump to work smoothly and measure groundwater accurately. 
  7. Don't forget the drainage pipe. Take time to check the drainage pipes that take the water through the system and out of your basement. Make sure that all joints are tightly connected, and that the drainage pipe points away from your home's foundation. Also, double-check that the discharge pipe is pointed to an area where it won't interfere with your septic leach-field or where it can't find its way back into your home's basement.

Neglecting to care for your sump pump can have catastrophic results. Since the pump keeps track of the groundwater level and pumps out water that could threaten to find its way in your basement, failure to maintain this can result in flooding and water damage. Talk to plumbing experts like Rite-Way Waterproofing and contractors to install, maintain, or repair your pump.