Sump pumps are great, especially if you're in a flood prone area. They can save you a lot of effort with a dry-vac or worse. Yet, they do have their problems, most of which you can avoid. Here's a short list of items that would be good to keep an eye on, so you don't incur expensive repairs.
1. The Float Switch - The float switch is set up so when the water level gets to a certain part, the sump pump starts its work. Then when the water goes back down, it shuts off again. This is the way it should work. It's a good idea to check this every year. Just push up on the float switch arm to make sure it goes on.
2. The Inlet Screen - The inlet screen is on the intake impeller. This screen can get clogged with silt or debris. If your sump pump isn't working and making a whining noise, guess where you look first!
3. The Check Valve - The check valve on your sump pump is set up so that when the sump pump shuts off, the water will go back into the pit. Your pump may have a weep hole which is between the sump pump and the check valve. It's a good idea to clean the hole with the end of a paperclip to make sure it's clear of obstruction.
4. The Sump Pit - The sump pit can contain a bunch of junk that could have flowed in from the drainage tile. If a bad smell is coming from the pump then this is where you look. Sometimes water is trapped in the drainage pipe and it will just sit there. You may need to flush the old water out to get rid of the odor and so the pump operates properly. Make sure you fill the pit until the sump pump jumps on. You might also try using one part bleach to 5 parts fresh water to get rid of the smell faster.
5. Back-ups - If there's a really big storm coming through, your home may lose power. If that happens, you'll need a backup source or standby generator. An automatic standby generator means that you don't have to be in the home in order for it to come on and run your sump pump. Automatic means you get more peace of mind.
Of course, if you don't want to deal with maintaining your sump pump, you can call us. Even better, a Maintenance Plan will mean that a plumber will come out every 18 months and do a check on all your plumbing. Call us and we'll discuss what's better for you.