Having a sump pump installation is almost essential for Toronto homes, but it remains one of the “most forgotten” systems in the house. It’s common to hear of homeowners forgetting to check or test it, and the result is that when you need it the pump doesn’t work. Make sure your home is safe against springtime flooding with a functioning flood prevention system, which includes a sump pump battery backup for use during power outages.

Check the Pump

Once you have a sump pump installed, it’s vital to check it regularly to ensure that it’s working. Things you have to check include:

  • Making sure it’s plugged directly into a GFI outlet (ground fault interrupter) and that the power supply hasn’t been tripped. If so, check for water in the area and reset the trip switch.
  • Checking to see that the pump hasn’t moved in the pit as a result of vibrations.
  • Determining that it’s upright and the float arm is working correctly, or it won’t switch on when the pit is full of water.

If possible, fill the pit with water from your garden hose and see if the pump kicks in and whether it empties the well in the appropriate amount of time.

Get it Serviced Regularly

If your sump pump runs quite often, you will need to service it more often. Even a pump that’s barely used, however, needs a service every year or so, to avoid any of its moving parts from rusting completely. If you’re able to change the oil, check the plugs and test its operational efficiency yourself that’s great. If not, schedule a visit from your local plumber and ask him (or her) to test the pump ahead of the rainy season.

Test the Sump Pump Battery Backup

Floods and heavy rains are often accompanied by power outages, so it’s essential to have a battery backup if you want peace of mind. Batteries tend to lose power over time, however, so whether yours is used frequently or not at all it’s vital to change the batteries regularly and test it occasionally. Check to see that there’s no buildup of residue on the connection points, and that the batteries remain in good condition. Clean out the pit and reconnect the pump before checking that it turns on reliably.

Notify Your Insurance

You may qualify for reduced premiums if your insurance company knows you have installed a sump pump and battery backup system. In addition, by installing a backwater alarm that lets you know if your system is activated and enables you to reset it or perform any other maintenance, you’ll be complying fully with the requirements of most insurance companies for flood prevention. Don’t wait until you have a flooded basement—take steps now to secure your home against flooding by installing the equipment necessary to prevent water from entry in the first place.