Avoiding a wet basement disaster


WARNING:  Never walk through standing water in a flooded basement.  An electrical outlet or a wire can charge standing water and cause personal injury or death.  If the following actions require walking through standing water, stop and call a professional.

With rain likely to continue throughout the day and showers tomorrow, plumbing companies know from experience that they will be busy with emergency sump pump repairs.  Some basements will be flooded, and some people will face the considerable expense of repairs and damage restoration.

Before calling a professional about a non-working sump pump, a local plumbing company, My Plumber, recommends taking the following steps (assuming that one can maneuver around any standing water):

1. Check the outlet and make sure the sump pump is plugged in properly.

2. Check the breaker box to make sure the power supply has not been shut off.

3. Gently shake the discharge pipe; the mercury floats may be stuck from lack of use.

To decrease the chances of a sump pump emergency, My Plumber recommends checking the function of a sump pump every three months. 

This can be done by pouring a bucket of water through the system to make sure it is working.  Sump pumps can prevent expensive flooding damage, but only if they are working when the rains come.