Do you have a sump pump installed in your basement or crawl space? Ever wonder how to make them run better or keep them running longer? I can only assume that you did not spend all that money and time installing a sump pump only to have it fail when it is needed the most.

Basement waterproofing is very common just like crawl space waterproofing in order to control and hopeful stop your home from flooding. Don't forget the sump pump is a mechanical device and requires your attention from time to time.

image of sump pump

Tip #1 - Install a Basin with a Lid

Even if you already have a sump pump installed, this can be done. Installing a sump pump basin with a lid is a great way to protect the sump pump. Debris from above can fall into the area sump pumps are operating and clog them. Without a properly installed basin, sludge, sand, and dirt can also build up and clog the sump pump. I know it can be a pain to install a basing if your pump is already installed but can save you time and money in the future. Plus it could prevent your home from flooding due to a clogged sump pump.

What is a Sump Pump Basin?

https://crawlspaceninja.com/blog/what-is-a-sump-pump-basin/

Tip # 2 - Install a Dranjer Drain

When you encapsulate your crawl space or waterproof your basement you are addressing standing water that normally enters the foundation walls. Why not install a Dranjer drain to address any water that can happen if a pipe burst? These drains allow water to enter the basin without allowing soil gases to escape. If your lid is not sealed, skip this step until you seal the lid. A sump pump basin should always have a properly sealed lid as mentioned above.

Purchase Dranjer Drain and Other Items:

https://diy.crawlspaceninja.com/waterproofing/

Tip #3 - Use a Check Valve

Check valves are great and often overlooked. They keep water from back-flowing into the basin. If the water is allowed to back-flow where the sump pump is located. The sump pump will never shut off and will be in a continuous loop. Prevent this from happening with a check valve. This will prevent wear on the sump pump and save you money.

Do I need a Check Valve?

https://crawlspaceninja.com/blog/do-i-need-check-valve/

image of sump pump installed in crawl space

Tip #4 - Install a Battery Back-up

When are you most likely to experience a flood? Normally during a storm. When are you most likely to lose power? During a storm. People spend thousands of dollars to waterproof their basement and crawl space and overlook the importance of a battery back-up system.

The SEC Pump Sentry system is different because you can use on your current sump pump. Most other systems require you to remove your pump and insert their weaker, less powerful secondary pump. I don't want a weaker sump pump during a time I will normally have the most water infiltration into my home.

Are Sump Pump Battery Back-ups Worth It?

https://crawlspaceninja.com/blog/sump-pump-battery-backups/

Tip #5 - Sump Pump Maintenance

The sump pump is just like any mechanical device in that it requires routine maintenance. We recommend performing sump pump maintenance annually or as needed. If you have a sump pump in your home, Crawl Space Ninja is more than happy to perform the maintenance for you in our local areas. If you'd like to maintenance the sump pump yourself, click here for video assistance.

Is Sump Pump Maintenance Worth It?

https://crawlspaceninja.com/blog/sump-pump-maintenance/

Tip #6 - Never Run Sump Pump Discharge in Sewer

Many professionals install sump pump discharge lines directly into the sewer system of your home. Why? Because it is sometimes easier than taking it outside to a pop up valve. It can also be illegal or at least against building code. Besides if you ever have a sewage back-up, you can expose your basement or crawl space to lots of unnecessary damage.

Take the discharge line outside at least 15 feet from your foundation. You can also tie it into underground downspouts. But make sure you see them go to daylight and never tie two or more gutters to the sump pump discharge line. This can over burden the downspout extension.

Downspout Extensions

https://crawlspaceninja.com/blog/down-spout-extensions/

Tip #7 - Test the Sump Pump

If you live in an area that does not see a lot of rainfall or your rainy season is only a couple months out of the year, your sump pump could go months or even years without running. Like most items that degrade faster when not being used, the sump pump is no different.

Perhaps your sump pump is located in a part of your home you don't frequent like a crawl space or unfinished basement. The point is if you are not sure your sump pump has run within a month, you should test it now and schedule in your calendar to test the sump pump before the rainy season hits. You don't want to find out your sump pump is not working during the rainy season.

Purchase Sump Pump:

https://diy.crawlspaceninja.com/flotec-sump-pump-model-e50vlt/

Tip #8 - Install a Sump Pump Water Alarm

The Sump Pump WIFI Smart Outlet is a fantastic way to not only get notified during a high water event if your pump fails but it also tracks run times and shows statistical data to keep you informed. It connects to your home's WIFI to keep you up to date during events and plugs right into your outlet.

A less tech approach is your basic Water Alarm. This sits on top of the basin and creates a high pitched audible signal when it detects water. The Water Alarms are great near toilets, HVAC units, condensate pumps, and washers.

Do you need a sump pump or battery back-up system installed in your home? If so, please contact Crawl Space Ninja and we will be glad to help. Also, let us know tips you have for sump pump owners in the comments below.

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About Michael Church

Michael Church has been involved with indoor air quality since 2005 and feels the unhealthy crawl space is one of the major problems causing poor indoor air quality.

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