In most of the freestanding homes in Toronto and Scarborough, sump pump installations are commonplace. The pump protects your home from rising floodwaters by expelling them before they can reach a level at which they do damage. It’s not helpful to have a pump if it isn’t operating correctly, however, and like all machinery, these pumps require some basic maintenance to ensure that they remain in good condition. Here are 4 steps to follow every 4 to 6 months to ensure that your sump pump installation remains in tip-top shape:

Step 1: Check the Pump

Inspect the floor of your basement.  In homes in Scarborough, sump pump pits are usually located under the floor and have a cover with a pipe coming out of it. Pour a bucket of water into the sump pump pit and watch to see whether the pump starts working. If it works, you are ready for the next heavy rains; if not, you can either try some basic maintenance or contact your local plumber for help.

Step 2: Remove it from the Pit

Before you can remove your Scarborough sump pump, it’s vital to disconnect the power supply. Once you’ve done that, pull it out of the pit and unscrew the check water valve. Carefully remove any debris clinging to the exterior of the pump so you can see the condition clearly.

Step 3: Maintenance and Cleaning

You can perform basic maintenance and cleaning if you are comfortable with DIY tasks. Follow the steps below or view this video to see how it’s done:

  • Inspect the check water valve and see whether it is clogged or appears to be damaged.
  • Clean the pump inlet screen using a wire brush.
  • If you still have your owners’ manual for the pump, you can check to see if it needs lubrication and apply oil if needed.
  • Check the water in the pit to make sure there aren’t any large pieces of debris that could damage the pump.

Also, make sure your battery backup is fully charged and working properly. If you have a power outage the pump won’t be able to work off your hydro supply, so backup power is essential.

Step 4: Reconnect the Pump

Return the Scarborough sump pump installation to its former state by first reconnecting the check water valve to the pump. Put it back into the pit and connect the valve to the pipe. Turn on the power supply and pour 20 liters of water into the pit. Watch to see if it turns on and pumps the water out effectively. Most pumps switch on and off during operation, so you may need to watch it for a while to see if it empties out the pit completely.

If your pump is not operating correctly, a phone call to your Toronto plumber will ensure you get it attended to before the rains arrive. To arrange for an inspection of your current basement drainage system or obtain an estimate for a new sump pump installation, please contact us.