Cincinnati’s hilly terrain is ground-zero for hard working sump pumps. Your home’s sump pump has a very important job to do. It protects your basement from flooding when water creeps in from heavy rainfall or after a snowstorm. If it isn’t working properly, by drawing water in as it pools on the basement floor, the water can settle. This can lead to wood rot, mold and even foundation problems.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much time or effort to keep your sump pump working at its best. As long as you schedule regular maintenance from an experienced plumber and know what to do – and what not to do – for your sump pump, it will help keep your basement dry for years to come.

Take a look at our list below of sump pump do’s and don’ts. We recommend having this list handy and taking a peek at it every so often to make sure you’re doing what you need to keep your sump pump purring.

Sump Pump “Do’s”

Do hire a professional plumber to install your sump pump (Allied Reddi-Rooter). While some homeowners choose to install a sump pump they buy at the local home improvement store on their own, we do not recommend going this route. Installing a sump pump incorrectly can lead to a pump failure which can keep your home’s water at its lowest level. This, in turn, can cause major damage.

Do listen to the motor. We recommend taking time to listen to the sump pump motor on a regular basis. If it’s working properly, you should hear the motor hum and the occasional sloshing of water. If you start hearing new noises, it’s time to call the plumber.

Do install a battery backup system. Sump pumps run on electricity. But what if your power goes out during a storm and your sump pump stops working, just when you need it the most? This scenario is precisely why we recommend installing a battery backup system.

Do regularly clean the pipes. Make a point of routinely checking the drainage pipes to make sure there’s no debris that could cause a blockage. It’s important to also clean the area around the sump pump to make sure debris from the floor doesn’t get pushed into the pump during a storm.

Do schedule routine maintenance. Sump pumps are extremely reliable and durable. Still, it’s important that you have a plumbing professional check it every year to make sure it’s working properly. If it isn’t, they can make the necessary repairs to get it back up and running quickly.

Sump Pump Don’ts

Don’t flush products that aren’t biodegradable down drains. This includes paper towels, feminine hygiene products, or face wipes – no matter how “flushable” it says they are on the packaging.

Don’t pour chemicals in the sump pump. Paints, most cleaning products, floor wax and acids should never be put in the sump pump. If you try to flush these chemicals down the sump pump, they can end up in the city water supply and cause contamination.

Don’t ever try to lift the sump pump out of the ground. Or try to repair your sump pump on your own.

Don’t DIY sump pump installation. As we mentioned above, this should only be done by a licensed, experienced plumber.

Need to repair or replace your sump pump? Allied Reddi-Rooter has been Cincinnati’s sump pump experts for decades. We exclusively sell and install  Zoeller sump pumps. They are the absolute best quality product avaialable. Learn more about Allied Redd-Rooter’s sump pump services. Our Cincinnati sump pump reiar team is here to help you in your time of need.

A wet basement floor is concerning, whether you’ve been living in your home for a longtime or just moved in. If you’ve started to notice puddles of water on your basement floor or in your crawlspace, it’s important to act fast. If you don’t, it could lead to mold issues or costly foundation problems. 

One of the first things you’ll need to know is whether or not your basement has a sump pump, which is essential for removing water from the basement floor and funneling it through your drainage system. And while many basements in Cincinnati have a sump pump, some do not. 

The American Society of Home Inspectors reports that nearly 60% of homes in the U.S. have some moisture in their basement or crawl space. That’s why it’s important to understand what a sump pump does, what to look for when it’s time to purchase one, and how to maintain your sump pump so it keeps your basement from flooding. 

Here at Allied Reddi-Rooter, we often get asked about sump pumps, so we decided to answer some of the most common questions about this important plumbing device below.   

What is a sump pump? Where is it located?

The sump pump is located in the basement floor or crawl space, and its job is to make sure that the space doesn’t flood as water creeps in – usually after a heavy snowfall, a big rainstorm, or after a pipe bursts. Water will always pool in the lowest part of the house, so that’s where the sump pump needs to be. 

How does a sump pump work?

As water begins creep into the basement and onto the floor, it will activate the sump pump to start working by drawing the water into it. Then, the pump will push the water into the dry well or the drainage system under the home. Once the water in the basement is cleared, the sump pump will turn off. If it did its job, you’ll no longer have pooled water on the basement floor. 

Do I need a sump pump?

Yes. Many homes already have a sump pump, which serves as an integral part of the basement’s drainage system. If yours does not, we encourage you to invest in one. Without one, water can (and often will) accumulate in the lowest part of your home, whether it’s a crawlspace, a basement or the foundation. Without a sump pump, that water can settle. This leads to wood rot, mold, and even foundation problems. 

What do I look for when buying a sump pump?

First, you’ll need to choose between a submersible pump and a pedestal pump. While pedestal pumps can be less expensive, they tend to have a higher failure rate than submersible pumps. With pedestal models, the float switch can get so inundated with water that it can become too heavy to lift. 

You’ll also need to choose between a cast iron and a plastic sump pump. Obviously, a cast iron pump will last longer than one made from plastic, although plastic is more affordable. And mechanical switches tend to last longer than sump pumps with pressurized switches. Have a large basement that serves as a living space, too? If so, you may want to consider a back-up, second sump pump as well. 

Allied Reddi-Rooter carries sump pumps by Zoeller, known for their efficiency, durability and quality.   

How do I clean and maintain my sump pump? 

First, clean the screen gently with soap and water. Then, check to make sure that the power cord is connected and that the sump pump is receiving power. From there, test the float. If you pour water on it and works, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t turn on, give us a call. 

Once a year, do a deep cleaning by pulling the sump pump out of the ground and cleaning it entirely. You’ll also want to clean the pit. Make sure to remove all dirt and debris that has accumulated over the year. 

How often should I clean my sump pump? 

Great question! We recommend cleaning your sump pump at least every four months. This will help prevent any buildup of debris to keep your sump pump working at its best for years – if not decades – to come. Worried you’ll forget? Fair enough. At the very least, you’ll need to clean your sump pump at the beginning of spring before snow melts, and after a significant rainfall or storm. This will give you the chance to inspect the pump to make sure it is working properly. 

Need to have your sump pump inspected or repaired? Ready to install a sump pump in your basement? Whatever your sump pump needs are, we’re here to help. We’ve been fitting Cincinnati homes with high-quality sump pumps by Zoeller for decades. We can also repair and replace your existing sump pump systems. Learn more on our Sump Pump website page.  If you’ve got a wet basement, don’t delay. Call or contact  the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter to learn more. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs. You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask us a question.

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