sump pump

Is Your Sump Pump Ready for Spring?

It’s almost spring. After months of winter cold and snow, Michiganders are so ready to see the snow melt and the grass grow again. One side effect of warmer temperatures that many homeowners don’t look forward to is a wet basement, however. If you’re worried that your basement may flood with snowmelt, or you’ve experienced a flooded basement before and don’t want to again, installing a sump pump before spring arrives is a great solution. 

Sometimes spring waltzes in with starts and stops – which allows the snow to melt and be absorbed by the ground gradually – and sometimes it happens all at once. Often in Michigan we see snow melting and significant accumulations of snow at the same time. As a result, large puddles form, roads can experience flooding, and rivers rise

If you have a wet basement, especially in spring, you’re not alone. This is a wet state. The ground gets waterlogged, and sometimes there’s no place for water to run off except your basement. This is how you get seeping, puddling, or flooding there. Installing a sump pump will prevent this. It’s your best line of defense against basement flooding. 

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

When water saturates the soil around your house, it will often accumulate under your foundation. The sump basin sits under your house. It collects this water, and when there is enough of it in the sump pit, the float switch triggers, and the pump will activate. It pushes the water up through a pipe which discharges it away from your home. When flooding is less of a problem and the water level drops, the float switch disengages. This turns off the pump until the next water event. 

No one wants a flooded basement. It’s dirty, destructive, and expensive to correct. If you have a sump pump and you are concerned about whether it will work right, here are some steps you can take as a homeowner:

Clean your sump pit – Check the condition of your sump pit. If there is dirt, debris, or other material inside the pit, remove it. You can clean dirt or accumulated water out with a wet/dry vacuum in a few minutes. 

Test your sump pump – Now is the time to test your pump to see if it’s in good working condition. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and pour it into the sump pit. If your pump is working, this should activate the float trigger and turn on the pump. Your sump pump should remove this water in a few minutes and turn itself off. If it doesn’t work correctly or turn off when it’s done, call Weinkauf Plumbing & Heating. We will come out and inspect your pump. 

Install a backup – If your basement gets very wet, you may need a backup. This device can be installed in your sump pit and works off a battery. This means that it will work to pump your basement even if the power goes out. A backup is designed to pump when it’s needed and especially when the water level exceeds the capacity of your regular sump pump. 

The end of winter is the ideal time to test and see if your sump pump is in good working order. If you discover problems or you want to avoid flooding in your basement, a sump pump is your answer. It’s more expensive to install a sump pump when the basement is already flooded because the plumber will have to pump the water out first. Sump pumps will be in great demand soon as well, so act now before the thaw. 

Weinkauf Plumbing & Heating wants to be your choice for plumbing service in Alpena, Michigan. If you need sump pump repair, replacement, or a backup installed, call us. We are here to help. 


About Luke Gerhart
Luke is the President of Weinkauf Plumbing & Heating, Inc., has been a Alpena County resident for over 22 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Ferris University, and has over 35 years of construction experience in Michigan.