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F.H. Furr's Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Insider Blog

5 Reasons Your Sump Pump Fails


Sump Pump failure can ruin your basement.

Imagine pulling up to your house in the pouring rain. You've got a car full of groceries and you need to carry them all in. Once you finally get inside, you're drenched. You head downstairs to get some dry clothes out of your dryer only to step in water up to your ankles. You realize your sump pump has stopped working and the basement is completely flooded!

This is the WORST time to find out that you need a repair because IT'S TOO LATE! 

Sump pumps fail for all sorts of reasons, check out the list below to prevent this disaster in your home!

A sump pump with battery back-up is one of the best options for your home's basement.

Reason #1: Lack of Maintenance

As a rule, you should have your sump pump maintained by a professional at least once a year. Every 2-3 months, you can do you own check up with these simple steps:

  • Test the system by pouring water in the sump pit to see if it's still pumping.
  • Listen to your unit when it's running. Make sure there aren't any abnormal noises.
  • If you have a pedestal sump pump, be sure the area surrounding it is clean.

Reason #2: Float & Switch Issues

A switch problem is the number one mechanical issue with sump pumps. If your unit shifts at all, it can cause an issue with the float. It is necessary for the float to be in working order because if it isn't, then your switch won't work effectively and your pump may be rendered useless.  Your unit relies on the switch and the float to work properly. Your plumber will check for this issue during an inspection.

Reason #3: Clogged Discharge Lines

Check the pipe coming out of the side of your house to ensure the water is able to flow out and drain your home in the event that your unit needs to run. A tip to doing your best to ensure the line doesn't get clogged is putting a grated covering over the end of the pipe. This will help keep debris and dirt out of the line, but will also keep small animals such as mice or chipmunks out as well! Even with a grated covering over the end of the line, it won't guarantee that it won't clog. Be sure to continually check the end of the pipe for anything clogging it. In the cold months, you'll want to be sure the end of the pipe doesn't freeze or become blocked by snow. When shoveling your driveway or around your heat pump, be sure to check your sump pump drain line as well!

Reason #4: Power Failure

If you have had a power failure since having your unit installed, it definitely needs to be checked. Power failures are a leading cause of failed sump pumps. The best way to prevent flooding when power surges happen is to install a battery backup. When electricity fails, your sump pump will quit, unless you've got a battery backup, then you'll continue to be protected from flood waters.

Reason #5: Age

Most sump pumps last about 7 to 10 years with normal wear and tear, and some units will exceed this time period, but it is recommended that you replace yours after 10 years to ensure the maximum safety of your home and efficiency of the pump.

 

Your sump pump is like an emergency first aid kit for your home. It's not often that you need to use it but when your home needs it, it HAS to work properly, otherwise, you may find yourself in the middle of thousands of dollars worth of water damage. When you need your plumbing system maintained, call on the experts at F.H. Furr!

Topics: sump pump plumbing maintenance