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In Ottawa, basements flood all the time and this is likely due to the heavy rainfall in the region. It is imperative that a homeowner finds a cost effective means for protecting the home from flooding and water damage. The cheapest means of doing so is the installation of a sump pump coupled with a backup system. If you are a homeowner who already has had the forethought to install a sump pump as well as a backup system, you should check the system and pump regularly to ensure its operation and that it is in working order.
Steps for Assessing the Integrity of Your Sump Pump
Step 1: Look for the pipes outside catching the water that drains off from the sump pump; examine the inside of the pipe for any potential debris or dirt that might clog the existing drain.
Step 2: Using a large cooking pot or a 5-gallon bucket filled with water, pour water slowly into the sump pit. As you do so, keep an eye on the water level inside the pit.
Step 3: The sump pumps float will rise and the unit will automatically turn on before the water level gets to the top of the pit. Likewise, when the pit on the pump empties, the sump pump shuts off automatically.
Step 4: If you notice that the float fails to rise after pouring water into the pit or if the sump pump is not powering on or off appropriately, then the unit will require further inspection.
Step 5: While it may seem silly, it is always good to make sure that the plug is still in an electrical outlet as you test the pump. Sometimes repairing the unit is as simple as plugging it in. Also, make sure that the power is going to the electrical outlet where the sump pump is plugged in: Damp areas in the basement may trip the electrical outlets.
Step 6: Make sure you check the pump every 2 to 3 months.
Please note: A sump pump is dependent on electricity to operate. This is fine provided you have electricity but what happens if there is a power outage? A wise homeowner would do well to invest in a battery backup system. With the latter system, if the power goes out, the battery pack would take over and the sump pump would automatically turn on when needed. The backup system could have a seven-hour lifespan.
Another alternative that can keep your basement protected from a flood is to install a water backup system. The professional plumbers at Dr. Pipe Drain and Plumbing are happy to install either system for you. Both systems protect the basement from flooding, prevent water damage, prevent mold growth, and stop the development of humidity.