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8 Essential Winter Sump Pump Maintenance Tips

As winter approaches, safeguarding your home from potential flooding becomes critical, and a well-maintained sump pump is your frontline defense. Neglecting sump pump maintenance can lead to costly water damage and an unhealthy environment. Follow these essential tips to keep your sump pump in top condition throughout the winter months.

1. Regular Testing and Inspection

Before the winter season hits, test your sump pump to ensure it functions correctly. Pour water into the pit to activate the pump, and verify that it activates, pumps water out and then shuts down. Regularly inspect the pump, check for any visible damage and clear debris from the pit.

2. Add a Backup Power Source

Winter storms often bring power outages. Make sure your sump pump is connected to a reliable backup power source, such as a battery backup or generator. This will keep the pump working during power failures and keep your crawl space or basement from flooding.

3. Check the Discharge Pipe

The discharge pipe carries water from the sump pump away from your home. Make sure it’s free from obstructions. Ice or debris blocking the discharge line can lead to pump failure and potential flooding.

4. Install a Sump Pump Cover

Prevent debris, dirt and ice from entering the sump pit by installing a cover. This helps maintain the efficiency of the pump and prevents clogs, so it can quickly remove water when needed.

5. Inspect the Check Valve

The check valve prevents water from flowing back into the sump pit after the pump shuts down. Regularly check the valve to confirm that it’s working correctly, as a malfunctioning valve can lead to water draining back into the pit. This would cause the pump to work harder and potentially fail.

6. Monitor the Basin and Float Switch

Keep the sump pit clean and free of debris to ensure the float switch operates properly. The float switch triggers the pump when water levels rise. A clean pit and properly functioning float switch are critical for the pump to work efficiently.

7. Remove Ice and Snow

Keep the discharge pipe clear of ice and snow. This prevents potential obstructions in water flow, which can result in pump failure.

8. Professional Maintenance

Consider scheduling professional maintenance. A certified technician can inspect and service your sump pump to address any issues to prepare it for the challenges of the winter season.

Safeguarding your sump pump against winter hazards is crucial for protecting your home. To make sure your sump pump functions as it should for your Rochester, NY home this winter, contact us at Nichols Electric and Plumbing.