April showers bring May flowers, right? They can also bring homeowners many annoying problems. A flooded basement is probably the worst of them all. So let’s avoid getting a flooded basement this spring, shall we? 

With the heavy spring rains, the ground becomes completely saturated and the water table grows steadily. Depending on where you live in relation to the water table, you may be at more of a risk than others for having your basement flooded. Basements flood when ground water seeps in due to a rising water table. 

Where Is My Sump Pump?

To prevent water seeping into your basement, our homes have sump pumps. These pumps are usually found in the corner of the basement within the sump basin. The sump basin is very important to keeping water out of the basement. The sump basin is deeper than the rest of the basement. It is designed this way to ensure that when the sump pump is placed in there, that the pump is drawing from the deepest point.

How Do Sump Pumps Work? 

 The sump basin acts as a receptacle for ground water. During heavy rains, ground water begins to rise within the sump basin, causing the float switch on the sump pump to slowly rise as well. Once the water has met a certain level, the switch will turn the pump on to evacuate the sump basin of water. This cycle can repeat quite frequently during the rainy months.

Checking A Sump Pump

Performing an annual inspection of the sump pump is an important responsibility of the home owner. An important first step is to listen. You want to be sure that your sump pump isn’t running all the time or that it isn’t louder than usual. You then want to take off the basin cover to and take a look inside. Take a look at the pump to make sure that there is no external damage to the pump or debris within the pit. If there is debris, be sure to remove it.

Once you have inspected the pump and basin, it is important to test the pump. Using a 5 gallon bucket, pour water into the basin to initiate the float on the pump. Replace the basin cover and check the discharge pipe outside of your home. Ensure there is no debris obstructing the flow of water from your home. You want the water to make it’s way as far away from your home as possible. The closer the water is to your home, the sooner it will end up back in your sump basement.

Things To Consider

While a malfunction with your sump pump can cause your basement to flood, it’s not the only cause. A sump pump needs power in order to work. If your power is out from a storm, your sump pump isn’t going to work. In order to keep your basement safe in a situation like this, you will need a battery backup system.

Battery backup systems are the only true way to fully protect your basement. If your primary pump does not have power, and the sump basin is filling with water, the secondary pump in the battery backup system will run off of a battery that rests outside the sump basin. Now, this secondary pump isn’t meant to replace your primary one. It acts as a temporary replacement while you work to get the power back on.