The Big Melt

Along with the arrival of warmer weather and melting snow, the arrival of spring rains and flooding risks are just around the corner.

If your home has a basement, that’s the first place to check for ways to prevent potential flooding problems. You should start by checking the condition of your sump pump.

At a basic level, make sure the pump is plugged in. If your pump hasn’t been activated in a few weeks or months, you can test its performance by pouring a bucket of water into the pump pit. As you add water, the float arm should rise and activate the pump.

You should also examine the pump for signs of rust or corrosion that could indicate a problem if the pump is asked to perform at peak capacity.

If the pump doesn’t activate or you’re concerned about its condition, it’s time to contact a plumber to schedule repairs before demand increases in the spring.

Similarly, it’s important to check the other end of the system — the pump’s exit pipe or hose. Some homes vent sump pumps through a small pipe emerging from the foundation wall, while others use a hose or pipe to direct water away from the home.

In either case, it’s a good idea to examine the system to make sure water can flow freely from the sump pump. Ice, dirt or other debris can block the hose or pipe and prevent water from being removed from your basement.

You should also make sure floor drains are clear and able to accept incoming water.


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