Simple checks at home can pay off ahead of severe weather

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CARMEL – Plumbing companies have started receiving calls from homeowners because of recent heavy rainfall and the threat for flooding.

“Really the bulk of them (the calls) happen in the first couple of rains because these pumps haven’t worked all year and now you are asking them to work. (It’s) just like if you parked your car in the garage and didn’t start it for a year, the battery probably (would) be dead,” said Jack Hope, the co-owner of Hope Plumbing.

Hope said homeowners should start checking their sump pumps now–before Central Indiana gets significant flooding.

“Most sump pump failures are going to (happen) at the beginning of the season. More happen with the first big rain just because they’re not used to working,” Hope said.

He added that sump pumps tend to fail within the next couple of months because of old age. Hope said pouring a pitcher of water is a simple way to check to see if your sump pump is working properly.

“You can hear it kick on and you can see that the water level is going down and that’s really all that you need to do to test your pump,” Hope said.

Hope said testing your sump pump will not damage it.

“Like exercise for people, exercising your sump pump is a good thing. So, check it out once or twice at the beginning of the year and more than anything just listen to make sure it’s turning on and off,” Hope said.

Hope said people should follow the pipes from their sump pump outside to ensure it flows away from your home. He also advised homeowners to check their gutters even if they don’t have a sump pump.

“Make sure that they run as far away from the house as possible so that the least amount of ground water is going into the house,” said Brad Persic, also with Hope Plumbing. He said checking inside and around your home now could make a difference.

“I’d go around every Spring, at least, and check (the) gutters. Make sure everything is away and (check) your sub-pumps. (It) will save you a tremendous amount,” Persic said.

People can also move items off the floor, place them in boxes or plastic containers to make sure they are protected from flooding.