5 Signs That Your Sump Pump Needs to Be Replaced
As an established homeowner, you already know the essence of having a working sump pump in your home. It is practically your last line of defense from a flooded basement and expensive home repairs as a result of water damage. It is essential that you get your sump pump checked from time to time. You do not want to be caught pants down with a faulty one in the middle of a storm or hurricane.
Sadly, most homeowners find themselves in such predicaments. Since sump pumps only work when required and may not run weeks at a time, it is hard to notice when they get worn out or even damaged. And that’s where repair services come in. Companies that offer sump pump repair, Chantilly area estimate that such gadgets have a lifespan of 7-10 years. However, such numbers are not cast in stone.
You need to understand that your pump’s life expectancy depends on the amount of water it displaces, its frequency of use, and runtime. For the new homeowners, you may not know how old your sump pump is. At best, have a licensed professional or plumber check it out during late winter or early fall. Remember, your sump pump will be overly busy during spring.
Before we look into some common reasons that render your sump pump replaceable, let us delve into some statistics. Below are the top 5 cities most prone to basement flooding across the US according to Google trends;
- St. Louise, and,
Even if you do maintain a regular maintenance schedule, you are bound to sleep with a bit of stress if you live in the designated areas. This may be due to the soil condition, weather or climate, and the rainfall amount. Consequently, your sump pump ends up straining, leading to breakdown. Below are some of the few pointers that it is time for an overhaul or pump replacement.
Your Pump Runs for a Long Time
It simply indicates that your unit does not have the required horsepower to manage the distance to be pumped or the volume of water it is required to handle. Numerous factors go into calculating the size of the pump needed such as pathways, pipe diameters, and the reservoir dimension.
Further, the number of elbow joints means that your pump will require more power to push water through the bends. If the pump is required to push water vertically or uphill, your pump will require more force to push upwards resulting in a longer runtime.
Moreover, prolonged running could point to a faulty float arm and switch mechanism. This could be due to shifting of the pump leading to unresponsiveness of the float, or simply, an underlying issue with its power source. The switch could further be stuck on the on and off position.
Overall, a continuously running sump pump will not handle the water load during floods or heavy rains. You will likely have to replace it.
Frequent Cycling on and off
The frequency in your sump pump cycling on and off may be due to your basement’s small basin. Consequently, the basin finds it hard to manage the amount of water in your basement thereby overstretching your pump’s capability. Therefore, the possibility of your pump burning out is quite high due to overworking.
A large sump pump basin (20-30 gallons) would do the trick compared to a typical 5 gallon one. This will mean modifying your existing basin to handle your basement’s requirements. According to NDSU, your sump hole should have a top that’s at least two feet in diameter. This is geared towards creating space for associated piping and storing ample water between the pump’s on/off cycle. Otherwise, maintaining a smaller basin only leads to an increased probability of installing a new unit.
As with any motorized machine, the failure of a motor spells doom when it comes to operability. A simple way to assess this is by plugging it into a power source. Typically, the presence of power in the machine but not working points to an underlying internal condition.
Sump pumps have hoses or pipes that expel water from the pit. However, during cold seasons, the pipe freezes making it difficult to get rid of excess water. This causes the motor to increase or work at higher output levels bringing about burnout.
Furthermore, the pump’s motor may suck in quite a lot of sediment prematurely wearing it down. You could install a filter to avoid sucking in debris, though they would need frequent cleaning and occasional replacement. The motor is the pump’s lifeline hence, a defective one automatically leads to replacement.
Your Pump Makes Weird Noises
Sump pumps are not created to make lots of noise. Anything beyond a low humming noise while running should be carefully inspected. A few probable causes for such a scenario would be a jammed impeller or a failed bearing. As with any machine, loud noises are an indication of a worn-out or damaged part. Engage your plumber to ascertain whether a replacement or quick fix is in order.
Remember, as earlier quipped and according to TRIAD, if your sump pump is more than 7-10 years old, no amount of repairs can warrant its effectiveness, thus, you will be better off replacing the unit with a new one.
Frequent Power Outages
Not only is your sump pump part of your plumbing system, but it is also part of your electrical system. Your pump’s electrical system is compromised every time there is a power outage. Blackouts sometimes cause power surges that may destroy the internal workings or electrical components.
To avoid such a scenario, you will need to invest in a generator or a set of rechargeable batteries. Further, you could consider getting a battery-powered sump pump to work with in case your primary pump fails or breaks down.
As we cap it off…
Walking down to a basement full of water is no fun. Despite it being life-threatening, a water-logged basement considerably reduces the value of your house due to wear and tear, not to mention the huge dent in your pocket in terms of repairs. A sump pump stands as your last line of defense. Therefore, you will need to exercise keenness as to your unit’s functionality. In case your unit experiences the above challenges, do not hesitate to engage plumbing professionals. You will be glad you did so.