How Winter Will Test Your Sump Pump

Like it or not, temperatures are getting down below freezing around here. It’s time to start thinking about snow!

Sump pumps are usually associated with rainfall, but they are just as important in the snowy season, especially around here where the temperatures are never very consistent (remember last winter when it was in the 60s in February?). Melting snow will saturate the ground around your foundation and threaten to flood your basement. And there will be those few days where it warms up a little so the snow melts and it rains, creating a muddy mess that your sump pump will have to handle.

So, if you have a basement, a sump pump is extremely important in the winter. Now is the time to make sure it’s working correctly - that it turns on, the float switch works, and it effectively discharges water to somewhere away from your foundation. If any part of the system is not working as it should, the sump pump should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible in order to protect your home.

You can test your sump pump by filling a bucket or large cooking pot with water and slowly pouring that water into the sump pit, keeping an eye on the water level. The float switch should rise, and the pump should automatically turn on, pump out the water, and automatically turn off.

Additionally, consider installing a water-powered backup sump pump. In situations where there is a large amount of water coming in very fast, like during heavy rainfall and/or rapidly melting snow, a single sump pump can burn itself out trying to keep up. A backup pump will assist your main pump, as well as come to the rescue if the main pump fails due to a power outage or other causes.

Don’t leave anything to chance this winter. Be proactive and ensure your sump pump system is reliable enough to protect your basement at all times, even when water is pouring in. Universal Plumbing & Sewer can help you with anything sump-related, from installing a backup pump to ensuring the discharge pipe doesn’t freeze. Call us at 586-459-0040 and schedule an appointment today!