Take care of your Sump Pump!

Lately, Edmonton has gotten an extraordinary amount of rain. The Whitemud and Fort Road flooded, leaving cars floating in lakes where roads used to be. That kind of water has the potential to cause a lot of damage to homes or businesses, so having a working sump pump can be a lifesaver.

Fortunately, every home in Edmonton that was built in or after 1988 has a sump pump in it, but do you know where yours is and what kind of shape it’s in?

In this article, we’re going to tell you about sump pump and sump pump maintenance so you can keep your home protected from unwanted water.

What is a Sump Pump?

You might not know if you have a sump pump because they are located in a pit or sump basin below floor level. Generally, you’ll only see a pipe sticking out of the floor that goes into the ceiling or the side of the building.

They can be located in basement closets, the utility room, laundry rooms, or even a corner or spare room in your basement.

[Tweet “Is your sump hiding? Check basement closets, utility rooms, or even corners. #yeg #plumbing”]

Have a look at the image below to see an example of a sump pump setup.

There are many, many different sump pump setups, so here is a link to an image search. You might see a sump pump that looks and functions like the one you have.

For more information on sump pumps from The City of Edmonton, click here.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

The way a sump pump works is simple: It collects water in a basin under your floor. When the water level reaches a certain point, the pump is triggered and water gets forced up a discharge pipe and out. Water goes either directly into your city or town’s drainage system or outside to a drain that’s far away from your house.

If it’s working properly, your home will stay dry no matter how heavy the rain is. If your sump pump needs maintenance, isn’t working, or isn’t turned on, you could run into problems.

Here are some things to do when performing a maintenance check-up on your sump pump:

Test your sump pump. To do this, you have to make sure the power supply is connected and the pump is turned on. Next, pour water into the pump. If it kicks in and drains the water in a few seconds, your sump pump is working!

Clean your sump pump. You will have to unplug the pump and take it out of the pit/basin. Once it’s out, clean the pump of debris and gunk. It’s also a good idea to check the manufacturer’s guide to see how often it needs to be oiled. It is a motor after all, and motors do need to be greased every so often.

Make sure to clean the pump’s intake as well. A small brush is good for making it nice and clean. Once everything is nice and clean. You can put it back into the basin, plug it in, and turn it on.

Check the outside pipe to confirm the water is flowing towards the street or back lane.

The image below shows an example of a pipe that drains into the city’s sewer system:

Performing a Maintenance Check-up on Your Sump Pump:

In this case, it is smart to make sure there are no cracks or leaks that you can see.

As with sump pumps, there are many different types of sump pump drainage. You might find that your outside pipe is clogged with debris or, in the case of the picture below, is not connected.


Clean away any debris, and if it looks like it’s not connected like the one above, call us to fix it for you.

Locate the discharge pipe inside your house. It is usually black or white plastic and it will run up from the sump pit and into your ceiling or a wall. Check the pipe for any cracks or leaks.

In the winter, it’s a smart idea to disconnect the discharge hose. So that water in the line doesn’t freeze and prevent drainage when the snow starts to melt in the spring.

Once you have performed tests, checks, and do a bit of cleaning, your sump pump should be good to go! If you find that it isn’t working properly, or if you can’t find your pump at all, call Kingstree Plumbing, and we can help you with your sump pump!

Looking for a plumbing repair service near you?

Check out Kingstree Plumbing! We provide residential and commercial plumbing services, including plumbing repair, installation, water softeners, water heaters, gas fittings, sump pumps, humidifiers, and whole-house repiping.

It’s our goal to ensure you have an operational plumbing system. You can always rely on it, regardless of the issues you may experience.

Our professional plumbers offer only quality services to you. Help you keep your plumbing systems in good operating condition with efficient repairs and replacements when necessary.

Fill out our contact form for regular services and more information, or call 780-695-2792 for emergency services.


About The Author

Darren, Founder of Kingstree Plumbing, started in the trades over thirty years ago in England and has been plumbing for 17 years. He wrote his Red Seal certification upon immigrating to Canada in 2009. Living with his family in the Sherwood Park area, Darren found a community he loved. Kingstree Plumbing grew out of a desire to give back to the community that welcomed them so graciously.

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