Here's To Spring and SIX tips to help keep your BASEMENT DRY!
It certainly goes without saying that this has been a rough start to Spring, and its likely we'll get more than our fair share of precipitation. I know... "April showers bring May flowers", but spring showers can also bring flooding or sump pump issues.
At Austin Plumbing, we receive many calls each year about this very problem, and I bet you know someone who has experienced water issues at their home. Anytime there are heavy rains, homeowners must be prepared for possible flooding or sump pump issues.
Pictured is a client's home that experienced first hand what can happen when a clamp holding rubber couplings comes loose...It floods your basement!
We understand sump pumps can be tricky, and oftentimes, a big pain. Here are six simple suggestions to help you avoid future sump pump problems and keep your basement dry.
- Exercise your sump pump. The worst thing for any pump is infrequent use. Manually running the pump can increase its life. To do this, you can pour 10 gallons of water into your sump crock at least twice per year. Make sure the pump turns on and pumps the water out of the house, but be sure to inspect the piping for leaks. If it doesn't kick in, call us! This should be done at the end of winter and at the end of summer, ensuring that if there is a pump problem you will catch it before the pump is needed.
- Sump pump outlet is for sump pump ONLY. Do not use the outlet for anything else because there is a chance the circuit can blow. We sometimes find de-humidifiers that are plugged in near the pump will blow circuits, which can cause flooding.
- Keep gutter/downspouts clean. Be sure to also keep them exiting at least eight feet from the house. This will keep the rainwater from the roof away from the foundation.
- Make sure sump pump discharge is at least THREE feet from the house. Also, the pitch must face towards the ground. If the pipe ending freezes and cannot discharge properly, the blocked water flow could flood the basement and burn out your pump.
- Make sure downspouts are cleaned every few years. Underground downspouts clog just like normal gutters, thus they require maintenance. We offer our customers a service that breaks up and flushes any organic matter that collects, along with gravel from the roof shingles, which can also be an issue.
- Don't complicate your pump with too many extras. If your sump pump looks like a "Rube Goldberg machine", you may be in trouble. The image below is an example of what NOT to do. Quite often, the extra add-ons can loosen, causing leaks and a lot of damage.
Often this time of year, we have clients that completely flood their basements the first time they operate their hose bibbs in the Spring. A hose faucet can freeze and split (even if the water is shut off all winter long) if the hose was left attached or installed incorrectly. Typically they only leak when in use, so the first time you decide to water your flowers or garden...be sure to have someone in the basement to make sure there are no leaks or worse, flooding your basement.
The Smell Good Plumbers at Austin Plumbing wish you a happy Spring and a dry basement! But if you are experiencing any issues with your sump pump or any other plumbing related issue, please call the Smell Good Plumbers today at 262-367-3808. We're here to help!
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