A sump pump is a device installed in a pit under the lowest point of your house. This submersible equipment is mainly installed in the basement of your house. A sump pump prevents your basement floor from flooding during heavy rains. It also keeps the groundwater from rising to the level of your basement floor.
However, sometimes a sump pump may malfunction and you should have a technician quickly fix the problem. Here are some main reasons for a sump pump failure.
1. Power Failure
Often, a sump pump fails because of an electrical power outage. To account for such occurrences, have a backup generator that you can activate manually. Consequently, when a storm knocks out power, a backup generator will keep the sump pump up and running.
Power surges can also damage your sump pump. To prevent this, have a surge protection device.
2. Overwhelmed Pump
Another reason for sump pump failure is if you are using an incorrect size.
When your sump pump is too big, it overworks and has a short lifespan. On the other hand, if your sump pump is too small, it underworks and doesn't last long. If your device cannot provide the required horsepower, an influx of water can overwhelm it. You should determine the amount of horsepower your sump pump requires.
3. Improper Installation
Sometimes a sump pump fails because it was improperly installed. This can result in several problems. First, if you don't install the check valve on the discharge line, the device will not pump. Second, if you use an incorrect diameter of the discharge line, the sump pump will malfunction. Thirdly, most sump pumps need a small air-relief hole in the line to eliminate pressure from the discharge pipe.
Lastly, you shouldn't place your sump pump in dirt or gravel. The gravel and dirt can enter the pump and cause clogs, damaging or disrupting the float alarm. Prevent these issues by hiring an experienced sump pump technician to install your sump pump.
4. Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines
A sump pump cannot work if water doesn't move out of your home through the discharge line. You should protect the discharge pipe from freezing. Also, ensure the discharge pipe is free of dirt, rocks, sticks, and other debris.
To stop the lines from freezing or to prevent snow or ice blockages, your technician may recommend a particular grated discharge line attachment. This attachment has openings that allow water to flow out of the pipe in case of a blocked line.
5. A Stuck Switch
A stuck switch is a common mechanical problem resulting in sump pump failure. This happens when the pump moves inside the basin, rendering the float that controls the switch inoperative.
Another possible reason for a stuck switch is debris around the float. The debris jams the float, making it useless. A professional will resolve this issue by cleaning the sump pump and adjusting its position inside the basin.
6. An Old Pump
Proper maintenance can only do so much to extend the life of your sump pump. The quality and capacity of a sump pump will affect its longevity. The service lifetime of sump pumps also varies from one brand to another.
When a sump pump gets old, it burns out because of aging issues. Buying a new sump pump is a worthy investment if the pump has outlived its usefulness. Ask your technician to advise you on the best brand and the appropriate capacity when shopping for a new sump pump.
With more than 20 years of experience serving the Omaha, NE, area, PlumbRite will resolve your sump pump issues in the shortest time possible. Whether you want sump pump maintenance or your device isn't working, count on us to provide quality services.
Additional Service Areas
La Vista, NE