4 Common Causes of Sump Pump Failures

If you have a sump pump installed in your basement, then I’m sure you know how much of a hassle it can be when it breaks. These fixtures can remain dormant, sitting quietly for most of the year but when the rainy season starts or when the snow is melting, the pump needs to be working smoothly again. A lot of household owners often forget about checking their pumps before it is needed and then get surprised when they discover problems. This is bad practice that you need to change.

Like cars and other mechanical systems, sump pumps are made up of several parts that all contribute to the process of pumping water. All of the nuts and bolts of the sump pump need to be in good condition otherwise, you may run into complications and even major damages that can cause flooding in the house.

sump pump failure

Here are some of the most common causes of pump failure:

  1. Switch Problems

A switch problem happens when the pump shifts position in the basin and pushes the float, which is responsible for the operation of the on and off switch. Because of the change in position, the float can become ineffective.

  1. Clogged Discharge Lines

To keep the sump pump running smoothly, the system requires discharge pipes that are clean and clear. It is important to protect the discharge pipes from debris like sticks, dirt and rocks. Additionally, it should also be protected from freezing for optimal performance. There are special grated line attachments that help the water flow out efficiently even when there is minimal blockage in the pipes.

  1. Improper Installation

One of the most important things is the installation because it all starts from here. Even if you purchase an expensive, high-powered sump pump but the installation is not done right, expect to have issues along the way. The manufacturer’s instructions should be done exactly right. If you are unsure of what to do, you can always hire experts to do the job for you. It would also help to do some research beforehand so you would have an idea of the process that goes into installation.

  1. Maintenance

Through the years, your sump pump system will naturally deteriorate. Pedestal type sump pumps should last at least 10 years and the best submersible sump pump typically lasts for at least 5 years. Of course, this would greatly depend on the maintenance of the mechanism. To extend the lifespan of the pump, make sure to regularly check if everything still works as it should. Clean out the pipes, if needed and replace batteries (for battery-operated pumps) every 2-3 years. More maintenance tips can be found here.

The next time you experience or suspect issues with the sump pump in your basement, take some time to do some research first and try fixing it yourself before calling your local plumber. Remember that prevention is oftentimes the best solution so don’t be lazy and take proper care and maintenance to avoid future problems and breakdowns.

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