A sump pump sits in a basement and is used to remove water. The pump can be turned on manually although most pumps will have an automatic sensor switch, they activate when water hits the sensor.
Water can get into most basements. It can come through small cracks in the walls or can even be a result of water rising up from the ground, especially if the water table is high where you live.
Sump pumps are often referred to as mine dewatering pumps, are often overlooked and forgotten about until they go wrong when you need them the most.
When the sump pump stops working the water won’t be forced out of your basement, causing it to flood. If there’s enough water it can rise into your home, causing a huge amount of emotional and physical damage.
That’s why you should have your sump pump serviced every year, it will help to ensure it is working properly and will last for many more years.
How Dirt & Debris Affects You Pump
Water that enters your home will carry fine particles of dirt, these are generally referred to as silt and each particle is smaller than a grain of sand. The most common way for these particles to get into your home is when the water rises up from under your home and finds a way through the foundations.
The silt particles move into your pump with the water. But, while some of the silt is pushed out of the discharge tube, as much as half of it will simply sink to the bottom of the sump and stay there.
The particles can, over time, clog the vent that is situated on the bottom of a submersible pump. If this vent is blocked water will be unable to move inside the pump. If the pump then tries to turn on the motor will burn out as the pump runs dry, unable to pump any water.
In the same way larger pieces of debris can also collect on the impeller inside your pump. Debris on the impeller reduces the flow of water out of the pump, eventually cutting it off altogether.
Cleaning The Sump Pump
The only way to avoid these simple issues giving you a major headache is to regularly clean the sump pump.
The easiest way of doing this is to use a little vinegar. Simply unplug your sump pump and pour one gallon of vinegar into the pump. You can actually pour this into the sump pit rather than putting it directly into the pump.
Let the vinegar sit in place for approximately 30-60 minutes. You can then plug your pump back in and add 5 gallons of warm water to the pit. This will get the pump to start and it will flush the vinegar and water out, removing debris and dirt at the same time.
It’s a good idea to check the end of the waste pipe to make sure the debris is being pushed out. If there is you’ve been successful, if not you’ll need to repeat the process.