Sump Pump Troubleshooting Avoids Problems

Sump Pump Troubleshooting | Sump Pumps | Waukesha WI | Schoenwalder Plumbing

Basic sump pump troubleshooting begins at the bottom of the basket, where old water and dirt are waiting to cause trouble.

A few minutes spent on sump pump troubleshooting can save hours of grief when the annual rains and spring thaw comes to Waukesha WI.  Reliable sump pumps protect your belongings from basement water damage.

An American Society of Home Inspectors study showed more than 60% of American homes suffer from some kind of water damage, accounting for more than $9 billion dollars in restoration bills. The cost of a failed sump pump can be anywhere from $500 to $10,000 depending upon how long the water is allowed to accumulate and how finished the surrounding basement is.

Periodic sump pump troubleshooting can save furniture, carpets, paneling, tools and appliances. And the cost goes up if you include in the basement water damage the mold and mildew that almost always adds to the mess.

Pumps Need Care

No mechanical tool lasts forever.  Even if your pump was working the last time you needed it, and has answered the call in the past, inspection is in order three or four times each year. Your checklist should include:

  • Pumps are made to be used – Sitting through a “dry” winter with no drastic thaws or uncharacteristic rains, sump pump components can get dry and stiff. Dry motors can seize and fail and should be primed into action periodically. Run a test.
  • Don’t gum up the works – The bottom of the installation sits in some water most of the time even when idle. These wet areas can get a slimy, gummy build-up as the minerals and contaminants in the water settle. Gummy components can stick and hamper operations when the pump is needed. In Wisconsin, hard water is prevalent so a crust coating may form when parts sit “high and dry.” That can jam up the works, too.
  • Electrical connects aren’t permanent – Something as simple as a loose plug in an outlet can lead to extensive damage if the pump is needed and cannot respond. Did you need that outlet for a special project and forget to plug the pump back in? Don’t let basement water damage be your first clue.
  • Consider backup – If there’s a power failure during a severe storm – an ice storm followed by heavy rain, or just a Waukesha WI summer downpour – a battery-powered sump pump can save the day. Weigh the cost of a battery and backup pump again the big dollar figures replacing your things would cost.

Sump Pump Troubleshooting Options

It doesn’t take much to extend the life of your unit and protect your valuables against the melting snow and annual deluges in Waukesha WI. Use this sump pump troubleshooting checklist on a quarterly basis:

  • Mix up a solution of vinegar and water to run through the whole thing – pipes, too. It will remove gummy deposits and the contaminants that settle in the sump basket.
  • Examine the float switch and make sure it moves freely. If it jams the motor may not automatically switch on and the basket could overflow causing a costly flood.
  • Pull the whole thing from the sump basket and make sure the vents, air holes and intake areas are clear of debris and all connections are watertight.

There are two types of sump pumps commonly used in Waukesha WI – a pedestal type and a submersible version. Pedestal pumps are the easiest to troubleshoot since the pump isn’t in the water. They may have fewer issues when it comes to routine maintenance but, in general, they aren’t as efficient or as quiet as the submersibles.

Submersibles are, obviously, in the water and subjected to the buildup of minerals that gum up intakes and working parts. While they may be more efficient, they are also more difficult to access and repair.

Sump pump troubleshooting is a relatively easy and inexpensive form of home protection. The trained professionals at Schoenwalder Plumbing have decades of experience with sump pump troubleshooting and solving sump pump problems in Lake Country including Hartland, Delafield, Pewaukee, Brookfield, Elm Grove, Oconomowoc, Dousman and New Berlin.

For sump pump troubleshooting, your hedge against basement water damage, call Schoenwalder Plumbing in Waukesha WI.

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