Your sump pump is not something you probably think about often, but it should be a plumbing component that you highly respect. So when you need it most, you better hope it works just fine!
Continue reading to learn the top 7 reasons why sump pumps fail, and what you can do to mitigate the hassle.
Sump pumps are usually ignored by homeowners because they are more of an emergency piece of equipment, much like your fire extinguisher or smoke alarm; although you won’t likely need to ever use it, it is critical to have it there in case of an emergency. The problem here is that a sump pump does not necessarily become a priority until you really need it, and if it doesn’t work, you are in for some trouble.
Sump Pump Operation
Before you can begin to understand all the reasons why sump pumps are known to fail, it is helpful to clear up any confusion you have about what they are and what they do. The chief purpose of a sump pump is to drain out flood waters. Generally installed in the basement, they are designed to transfer flood water out of the house through an external discharge pipe. They work quickly to alleviate the damage and mess that flooding waters can cause indoors.
Sump Pump Failure
The best thing you can do for your sump pump is to remember to inspect it regularly to ensure it is not experiencing any mechanical issues; because when you least expect it, you’ll need it to work well! If not, your broken sump pump can leave you with thousands of dollars’ worth of mess and destruction that will have to come out of your pocket. In fact, a lack of maintenance is the first reason why they tend to break down.
Here are some more common reasons why sump pumps experience mechanical issues or breakdowns:
❶ Stuck Switch – A stuck switch happens to be one of the most common mechanical problems that cause sump pump failure. This usually happens when the sump pump moves inside the basin, which causes the inner float that operates the switch to stick to the side of the pump.
❷ Old Age – One of the most common reasons why sump pumps break down overtime is old age. Sump pumps are manufactured to last anywhere from 8 to 10 years, around which time, they should be replaced to ensure ultimate safety and efficiency.
❸ Power Failure – Power surges and outages will make anything stop working that runs on electricity. The same applies to the sump pump. This is why it is strongly encouraged to install a backup generator for your sump pump.
❹ Obstructed Discharge Pipe – Frozen or clogged discharge pipes are another frequent cause of sump pump failure. Water cannot be drained through the discharge pipe if it is obstructed. Regular maintenance can reduce the chances of this happening.
❺ Overwhelmed Pump – It is easy for a sump pump to become overwhelmed and break down. If a sump pump is not the right size or capacity, this can easily happen. Proper size and horsepower are two factors to consider when choosing a sump pump.
❻ Improper Installation – A big cause for sump pump failure is improper installation. This often happens when novice homeowners or handymen decide to install one on their own, lacking the proper training, plumbing code knowledge, and equipment. It can also happen if you hire a poor quality plumbing company for the job.