Dry finished basement with window

It’s officially spring, and warm weather is on the horizon — a relief for sure, but also a challenge for homeowners. Spring means melting snow and rain showers, topping up the groundwater and raising the risk of basement flooding.

Now more than ever, you’ll rely on your sump pump. But what is a sump pump, and is yours up to the challenge? Here’s what you need to know about sump pumps to keep your household dry and safe.

How a Sump Pump Works

A sump pump diverts water that accumulates in your basement. It collects water that enters your basement and drains it to a spot away from your foundation (at least 5 to 15 feet away) to prevent flooding and damage in your home.

Sump pumps are often located at the lowest point in your home’s basement, in an area known as a sump pit: A hole approximately 2 feet deep and 18 inches wide. As water enters the sump pump, the device is automatically turned on by a floating activator arm or pressure sensor, and it begins to drain the water away from your home’s foundation.

Of course, once the water is gone, you don’t want it coming back in. That’s where your sump pump check valve comes in — to help prevent water from flowing back into the pump.

The Real Value of a Sump Pump

Your sump pump is crucial in your flood-prevention efforts, but have you considered how much time, energy, and money it can save you at the end of the day? A well-functioning sump pump can help: 

  • Preserve your home’s foundation
  • Protect your basement walls from peeling
  • Decrease the likelihood of water damage to your basement baseboards
  • Reduce the chances of mold, mildew, and other fungi growth
  • Maintain low basement humidity levels and enhance indoor air quality
  • Protect basement appliances, such as washers and dryers
  • Prevent termites and other insect invasions

When To Replace a Sump Pump

A sump pump will help you rest easy, knowing your biggest investment is protected from potential water damage. That means you’ll want to keep your sump pump working well — and respond quickly when there’s a problem.

Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Sump Pump

There are several warning signs that help you know when to replace a sump pump. Look out for things like:

  • Sump pump is constantly running without shutting off
  • Flooding in your basement or other areas of your home
  • A grinding noise from the motor — this means the bearings are going bad

During and after periods of heavy rain, it’s important to periodically check your sump pump for any of the signs above. Catching a sump pump problem before the device fails can save you money (and a major cleanup).

If you notice a minor issue with your sump pump, try Remote Assist! This new virtual diagnosis and repair service by HomeX gives allows you to speak to a licensed plumbing expert who can answer your questions, and they may even be able to help you fix your problem over the phone or through video chat. Learn more about Remote Assist.

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