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It's time to check your sump pump as Minnesota braces for more heavy rainfall

As rain drenches Minnesota, is your sump pump in good order?
As rain drenches Minnesota, is your sump pump in good order? 02:26

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Our recent rainy weather has sump pumps working overtime to keep our homes dry.

"In this weather, there's no forgiveness for making an error. You've got a flooded basement," said Mark Conner, owner of Mark's Plumbing Service & Repair.

Plumbing companies have already had a busy spring. With our NEXT Weather team forecasting another 2 to 5 inches of rain this week, they're expecting another rise in service calls, with most related to the sump pump.

You want to hear it working when heavy rain is falling.

"Most people don't really listen for their pump," Conner said.

He also recommends taking the lid off and getting a look.  


"You can actually see the water level and if that water level is getting higher, you know, close to floor level, you've got a problem. Oftentimes, all you have to do is reach in and shake the pipe a little bit," he said. "Sometimes you get a stuck float, and it's that simple, just a stuck float, and then it starts pumping... In most cases that I walk in, it's going to be all the way up to the top with water."

That's a sign the sump pumping is failing due to a broken part, overuse or lack of power. Outside, you'll want to hear water rushing away, but it's also important to pay attention to what you see, including your drainage.

"You're looking for contour, you're looking to see where is it backpitched towards the house," he said.

You also need to know if your runoff can sustain the volume of water we have in the Twin Cities right now, and to keep up with your equipment.

"(After) 10 years, consider a new pump because you just never know when it's going out," he said. "And it is an absolute disaster, extremely costly for homeowners. Homeowner insurance doesn't always cover the whole job."

He recommends a sump pump with a backup system for breakdowns and power outages. It costs more, but it's an extra line of defense against flooding and water damage.

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