If your piece of Midlothian real estate is nobly situated atop a commanding hilltop, you probably won’t run into the issues discussed here because gravity works on your behalf when it comes to plumbing. On the flatter elevations, many of us must deal with sumps and sump pumps.
For the uninitiated, sump pumps are those unseen submerged plumbing devices that hum along dependably for years, quietly defying the force of gravity by sending waste liquids upward enough that they are able to drain back down into either sewers or leach fields, never to be seen again. Sump pumps are a kind of Secret Service for your real estate investment, protecting your home in an unobtrusive manner. No sunglasses, perhaps, but just as reliable. No muss, no fuss…that is, if all goes well. When it doesn’t, you’ll know.
Believe me—you’ll know!
Sump pump malfunctions can result in flooded rooms and costly repairs. And it’s also true that sometimes you don’t learn about a sump pump misfire until it’s too late. A sump failure can be an irritating real estate problem whether you’ve just bought or are selling your Midlothian home. As a rule, sump pumps are incredibly dependable…until they aren’t. The good news is that just following a few simple precautions will help ensure that you never open a door to discover any of your valuable belongings afloat.
First and most important: if the sump pump is part of a system that isn’t used very often, test it once a month by running enough water through the system to activate the pump. The pumps use float activators that can become stuck in place if not triggered for long periods.
If the pump does not activate (you’ll hear a faint humming sound when it goes into action), check for leakage at the sump pit where it is housed. If moisture is starting to seep up around the seal, it could be for one of several reasons:
- Electrical issues
- Debris in the impeller, switch or discharge line
- A stuck float
- Frozen discharge line
- Complete mechanical failure
You can handle some of these problems yourself, such as carefully checking to make sure the electrical outlet is working. More ambitious DIYers can choose to open the seal to free a stuck float or remove debris—though more serious problems will require a call to the plumber.
If power outages are a regular occurrence, a backup pump can help you prevent sump pump disasters. A backup pump activates if the primary pump fails to clear the sump as usual.
Taking steps to avoid sump pump problems will help you avoid an indoor flood—something that’s a real estate plus when it comes to selling your Midlothian home (particularly for buyers focused on the possibility of water damage). In any case, if you are preparing your home for sale this fall or winter, I hope you’ll give me a call!