Some concern at the Barrie Fire and Emergency Service about overworked and overheated sump pumps, which could get a good workout over the next couple of days with the expected rainfall.
Fire Prevention officers recommend you pour some water into the pump enclosure to ensure it is working smoothly and shuts off when it should.
Fire crews frequently respond to potentially serious incidents of sump pumps overheating in residential homes. The severity of these incidents can result in thousands of dollars in financial losses for home owners or occupants, not to mention serious injury or death.
- Only use pumps with overheating switches – if you still have the manual for your sump pump, check to see that it has this switch. This is standard on new sump pumps, and it simply turns pumps off when they overheat. If your pump is old and doesn’t have this safety feature, consider replacing it.
- Have your pump plugged into its own circuit – if the pump motor shorts it will trip the breaker and cut the power before a fire starts.
- Repair issues as they occur – trust warning signs (pump turning off and on, loud noises etc.) and have your pump serviced by a professional.
- Keep combustibles away – keep the area around the pump clear of combustibles.
- Look inside your sump pump and remove any visible debris.
- Choose a submersible pump as a safer alternative instead of a stem or column style of pump.
- Ensure that the motor is not tilted as this may cause damage from internal overheating.
- If you have a battery back up on your sump pump, take steps to ensure that it is maintained and charged at all times.
source: Barrie Fire and Emergency Service