The dry weather has likely made most of us forget that we even have a sump pump, let alone check to see if it works. Yet this is when we need to be the most vigilant. If you have a sump pit that actually dries out or a pump that sits idle for the summer, it is important to lift the float every week to keep the sump pump from seizing up. It will rain again, and you want to be ready. I should qualify that statement with this next caveat: NexPump users have no need to worry since the system spins its pumps to test them twice every day.
Everyone else however, mark it in your calendar to check your pumps weekly. Some sump pump switching mechanisms are wired directly to the sump pump and some have a piggy-back plug where the sump pump plugs into the plug for the switch and then into the wall outlet. For those of you with the piggy-back system, don’t take
the lazy way out and just plug the pump directly into the wall, bypassing the switch since this will only test the pump. You want to make sure the switch is tested each time as well.
To test the sump pump and switch, you could fill the pit with water until the pump turns on. This would be a waste of good, clean water. As little as it may be, if everyone tests there sump pump this way, it would add up to a significant amount of wasted water. Water that has gone through the costly process of municipal treatment.
The better way is to remove the lid from your sump pit and reach in to lift the float switch to engage the sump pump. A few second is all it takes. While the lid is off, it is advisable to shine a light into the pit and look for debris; this could be floating debris or a buildup of sludge on the bottom of your sump pit. A continual buildup of sludge can eventually cause your sump pump to stop pumping. This would be disastrous. Also, a rock, a small piece of wood, or even a nail or screw will eventually find its way into the impeller of your sump pump and cause disaster. Use a wet vac to suck out anything that should not be in there. Chances are you will only need to go this far with your sump pump once or twice a year.
Anyone who is familiar with this routine has surely dreamt of having a way to have the sump pump do all this on its own. While there is no system to automatically clean the sump pit of debris, there is a sump pump system that will do its own testing and can tell you if one of its pumps gets blocked with debris. Not only that, but it includes a built-in charging station for the battery backup portion, electronic sensors that are rated for millions of cycles, and can even email and phone you if a problem is detected. NexPump truly is the “World’s Most Reliable Sump System”.
Finally, a word to those with new homes. New building codes require the use of a sealed sump lid. This design is to keep radon and other poisonous gasses out of you home as well as unwelcome moisture. Your weeping tile is a great collector of these and empties all of it into your home. Homes have become more airtight in recent a year which is great for energy consumption, but not so great for venting gasses like Radon. Don’t fall into the complacent attitude that your house is different. My point is, keep the lid on your sump pump, it is there
for a reason. If taking it off and putting it back on is cumbersome due to the sealed lid, you can certainly take your chances and hope for the best or better yet, make the wise investment in a NexPump. NexPump was developed out of need, not just to fill a want. If you don’t have a NexPump, that’s OK, just be proactive and keep an eye on you sump pump.