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Basement Flood Protection Checklist

Basement Flood Protection

Protect your basement by performing these steps regularly.

1. Examine Your Sump Pit

  • Make sure the sump contains no debris, gravel, or silt.
  • The bottom of the pit should be level so the pump can be positioned properly.

2. Examine Your Sump Pump

  • Make sure the pump does not rest directly in silt or gravel. Put the pump up on bricks if need be.
  • Remove any corrosion or build up around the suction inlet screen.
  • Make sure the pump stays in place while operating and does not move across the pit.

3. Ensure that Your Float Switch Can Swing Freely

  • Make sure nothing obstructs the movement of the float switch.
  • Adjust the float, if necessary, to allow maximum travel and avoid short-cycling the pump.

4. Make Sure Your Sump Pit Cover Fits Properly

  • When installed correctly, the cover should keep debris and other objects out of the sump, preventing them from interfering with the float switch.
  • If you have a radon-sealed sump pit cover, you might need a plumbing or radon expert to help you ensure that it is properly sealed.

5. Check the Water Volume of Your Sump Pit

  • Watch how often your pump cycles during a period of heavy rain.
  • Use our sump pump capacity guide to determine if your pump is correctly sized for your basement's water volume. Replace your pump if necessary.

6. Check Your Pump's Power Source

  • Make sure your sump pump has a dedicated circuit breaker and electrical outlet.
  • Be sure that the pump's circuit is not shared with a large appliance that could cause the circuit to overload, tripping the breaker or fuse.
  • Make sure your pump cannot be unplugged accidentally.

7. Examine Your Indoor Pipes

  • Inspect all pipe joints, checking them for tightness. Fix any misalignment or joint stress issues. Tighten and support any joints that connect via rubber boots and hose clamps.
  • Make sure your sump pump(s) have high quality, properly working check valves installed so that water cannot reverse and flow back into the basement.

8. Inspect Your Outdoor Pipes

  • Make sure your sump pump discharges away from your foundation to keep water from recycling back down into the basement. That said, your outdoor pipes should be as short as reasonably possible, as excessive piping and pipe elbows will reduce sump pump capacity.
  • If your sump pump discharge connects to a drain hub for a gutter downspout, make sure that there is an air gap so that water can escape if the pipe freezes or gets clogged.

9. Install a Water Alarm in Your Sump Pit

  • Install a water alarm that notifies you if the water in your sump pit has risen above the normal high water level.

10. Install a Backup Sump Pump

  • Even if it works properly, your primary sump pump is vulnerable to power outages. In addition, homes with backup generators can still be affected by power outages, as generators can fail for a number of reasons.
  • Add a backup sump pump system, either a water powered sump pump or battery backup sump pump, so that if your primary pump cannot turn on, your backup pump activates to keep your basement dry.


Image source: KairosPhotography



This article is intended for informational purposes. Before beginning any construction project at your home, please ensure that you take necessary safety precautions and consult construction professionals whenever necessary.