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Guardian Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Blog

Guardian Angle EP#1 – Sump Pumps

Water in your basement, but you just installed a new pump last year! How can you save yourself 10’s of thousands in Damages? Desiderius Erasmus said, Prevention is better than the cure!

Blaine here for Guardian Plumbing and Heating. Excited to bring you our first Episode of the Guardian Angle. These videos are for you, our customers. They are not intended to be heavy, technical, install your own equipment tutorials, but alternatively, easy to understand tips about things that most people can do to protect their homes and increase the life of all their Plumbing and heating equipment.

Information is so important, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. I’m fortunate to have a son that knows everything. For example, one day when we were stopped at Miette Hot Springs just outside of Jasper, my 9-year-old son informed us of this! Upon Google investigation, I think he had it backwards

One of the problems that we often run into, is the call that I just put in a new sump pump last year and it failed, my basement is flooded. That is the last thing that we want to hear. We know the pain of dealing with cleaning up that mess and having to rebuild and being displaced, not to mention the costs. What we have found, after investigating these scenarios is that it often boils down to how the pump is being used. It gets worked hard all spring, sometimes in the summer and then a lot of our sump pumps don’t move an ounce of water all fall or winter. The water that is flowing into your sump pit often is full of silt, this silt can sit on parts necessary to move the water out of your basement and make them stick. This will prevent the water from leaving your basement. It could also cause the motor to overheat and stop working as well. This all happens, and you will never know until you see the water on the floor.

That’s why I wanted to write this article, there is a simple test that you can run as a homeowner to make sure that your sump pump is going to work in the spring when you need it. You will need a few items to help you perform this test. A 5-gallon pail for water and a flashlight. I like using a head lamp because it keeps my hands free.

Start by making sure that you have a sump pit. If not feel free to call us and we can evaluate for free the best way to protect your basement. Once you find the location, remove the lid, some just pop off like this one, others will have a few bolts for you to remove. Locate the pump and make sure that it is plugged in.

Then take the 5-gallon pail, fill it with a nearby tap, or you could use your bathtub if its easier. Then pour the pail of water into the pit. You need to fill it up enough that float turns on the pump. Usually if the water is higher than the pump, the pump should have kicked in. If it kicks in than it will start moving the water level lower, eventually stopping. Make sure that the pump stops pumping before it runs out of water. The float should take care of this, but you want to make sure it turns on and off.

If the pump does not turn on, you can check with another device to make sure there is power at the plug in, if there isn’t you can check your breaker box. If your pump overheated it could have also blown the breaker. If you have power, and no pump. I suggest that you would call a professional in to check over the system and probably replace the pump. If everything was working well, I would suggest one last check and that would be to make sure that the spot where the water is being pumped to is getting the water away from the house. My house is set up so that it drains into a special storm sewer pipe, but many other houses, require a patio block or hose to get the water away from the house. Replace the cover on your sump pit, so you don’t lose a kid in there and you are done your test.

That’s all it takes to make sure that your pump fires up in the spring. Now it is totally possible that your pump could fail mid season. It is a mechanical device and they only last so long. So, try to listen for it to kick in, especially when it starts to rain. We do also have battery back up sump pumps that connect inline with your existing pump, to give backup if you pump fails or if the power goes out. These systems also have the ability to send you an email or text message to let you know that it is working on the back up system. We will do a full episode on our battery back ups in the future as they can really give you some peace of mind!

Right now, at Guardian, we are offering a free Sump Pump inspection, where we will come and provide this service for you free of charge, just to make sure that everything is working correctly. Call us and book an appointment.    

Here at Guardian, our top priority is building trust and integrity through lifetime partnerships that meet our customers needs. This is accomplished through a WOW experience for our customers consisting of honesty and fairness, exceptional technical knowledge, reliable, efficient products and a commitment to excellence. One of the key ways we fulfill this mission is though the Guardian Protection Plan our protection plan includes Annual Maintenance included, 20% Discount on repairs, 24 Hour Priority Service and and industry leading Lifetime Warranty on Recommended Repairs. Thank you for spending some of your valuable time with us today. We hope that this information serves you well!

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And that’s how we saw things today from the Guardian Angle!

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