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Melting Snow Will Test Your Sump Pump.

Dan Weltman

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 • 12:24pm

Warm breaks in the weather can lead to melting snow. This melting snow and resulting flooding can become a serious problem for homes and offices. Even though sump pumps are typically associated with rainfall and wet weather, your sump pump can be an important part of you plumbing system all year round.

Rapidly melting snow can saturate the soil around the foundation of your home. A wet basement is more than just a headache. If enough water gets into the basement or lower floors, it can ruin belongings. Even a moderate amount of water can cause serious structural damage to your home. 

Regularly check your sump pump to ensure that it is running and discharging water correctly. The check valve should be properly fitted. A check valve only allows water to flow one way and prevents pumped water from returning back through the line. A bad check valve will allow water to return, causing the pump will run more frequently.

Check that your downspout extensions are properly installed. Drain extensions may get knocked from the downspout or damaged by heavy snow or ice. If they are damaged, snow melt may not move away from the foundation properly and water can accumulate where it shouldn't.

Also check any exterior sump pump pipes you may have. During the day, snow may melt, but cold nights can cause refreezing. If your outside drain or ground pipe freezes with water inside, the pump may not be able to eject water properly and can cause backups. A blocked drainpipe is as bad as having no drainage at all.

As a final note, it is normal for your sump pump to operate when the snows begins to melt. If your pump runs when the weather is clear and there is no snow, it's possible that you could have a plumbing leak that is causing flooding.

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