Plumbers urge homeowners to check sump pumps before more rain

MIDDLE MICHIGAN (WJRT) – With the rain coming to Mid-Michigan on Thursday and Friday, in addition to what has already fallen over the past two weeks, the ground is quite soggy.

Plumbers say now is the time to check pump pumps. For a quick test, fill a bucket of water and throw it into the sump to make sure the pump turns on and drains the water.

Sump pumps generally cost about $200 and save homeowners thousands of dollars in water damage.

“Go down and make sure it’s running well and not making any weird noises, no grinding noises. Make sure it spins and shuts off properly,” says Brandon Parisien of Blessing Plumbing and Heating.

He’s been working non-stop for the past few weeks, thanks to all the rain around Mid-Michigan. Most of his calls are pump failures.

“We use Nexgen. That runs from a pressure switch, so there’s less chance of something going into that float and just keep spinning or not running at all,” Parisien said.

He recommends sump pumps with a cast iron base rather than plastic for durability and reliability. But a new or old sump pump is useless if there is no power.

“Battery backups are good for sinks. So if you lose your power, you lose your water, you lose your resource, so you need that battery backup,” Parisien said. “When you’re on city water, you want a backup of water and that’s going to use the city water pressure to pump. It creates suction that pumps out the water that comes in if your primary pump fails.”

He said most of the homes he serves don’t have battery backups, which he says every home should have.

“The pumps will work just fine one day, it will start pouring and the abundance of water will get into that well — it won’t keep up and it will just die out,” Parisien said.

Pump pumps generally last about six years. A new model from most hardware stores in Mid-Michigan costs about $100 to $200, and a battery backup costs about the same.

Mechanically inclined homeowners can often replace a sump pump on their own, but anyone unsure of the project should call a plumber. But they may have a long wait due to the backlog of calls from previous heavy rains.

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