Plumbing Knowledge

4 Common Sump Pump Killers

Sump Pump Failures

Any mechanical system you use consistently has a probability of malfunctioning. Any sump pump requires a power source; when that power source fails, the pump also does. For starters, improper installation can be the root cause of a failure or lack of performance. Also, depending on the level of quality. Brand and model types will change everything. Depending on how much you invest, to begin with, it can vary the character and overall performance.

How Sump Pumps Go Bad

  1. Pump/Switch Clogging

Clogged systems are standard in a basement setting. These pumps often don’t have lids, causing dirt and debris to get inside over time. Here are the various ways backups may occur.

  • Sump Pit filled with debris or dirt.
  • The pump’s mechanical parts clogged. (Usually when the pump sits at the bottom of the pit).
  • Float switch jamming
  • Cheaper systems can get stuck in the “on” position.

2. Frozen/Clogged Discharge Lines

The discharge line collects all unused water and pushes it out of one area. In some situations, this line can freeze up or clog, causing the entire system to fail. Designed to take water and transport it away from the house’s foundation, this must stay clear for obvious reasons. 

Solution: Ensuring your pump’s discharge line can’t freeze and stays clear. Using specific heating add-ons to warm the discharge line will ensure it stays at the correct temperature. Installers can overlook insulation in this area of your home, but it can bring significant consequences. On the output of your line, you’ll want to install a guard that prevents debris, rodents, and anything else from finding its way inside.

3. No Power to Sump Pump

It seems like a minor issue, but if you lose power in the worst of times, it can become a massive headache. During storms or miscellaneous power outages, if you aren’t running a backup power source, your basement can become a disaster.

Solution: A higher capacity battery operated sump pump will leave your worries in the dust. Talk to a professional plumber to figure out the options at bay.

4. The Pump is ALWAYS Running

Depending on the issue, sump pumps can remain in the ON mode at all times. Getting to the bottom of the problem is important because once your system gets burned out, you have no choice to replace it. A couple of common reasons the sump pump may continue to run:

  • Switch stuck in on position due to vibration or cheap construction.
  • The sump Pump or liner is too small or big for the designated space.
  • Missing or Broken Check Valve
  • Sump Pit has continuous flooding.

Solution: Have a technician inspect your system before it fails during times like a storm or other catastrophic events

To wrap things up, general maintenance or inspection of your sump pump can be an insane upgrade to your life. If you ignore this mechanical system and its importance, you might end up spending a ton for home restoration. The foundation, as it may sound, is crucial to the well-being of your home. The problems can range pretty widely on a sump pump, so it’s best to add it to a routine inspection list. You won’t regret anything unless your pump fails you catastrophically. 

Want some more information on sump pumps, or interested in how they work? Check out the video below!