Your sump pump is a vital part of your below ground waterproofing system. In fact, without it its highly likely that your basement will flood and undergo serious water damage.
So, how can you be sure that your pump is in full working order, ready to protect you when the weather gets wet, and that it isn’t in need of replacing?
The Main Signs That Your Sump Pump Needs Replacing
Your sump pump is a vital piece of kit, and might see as much use as your fridge, washing machine or a sink. That doesn’t mean that you will have a clear idea of a problem within your sump pump should one emerge though – in fact, you might have no clue what’s wrong, or indeed if anything is wrong at all.
So, how can someone unfamiliar with the sump pump in their home know when its time for their pump to be replaced? Here are some key factors to look out for.
Your Sump Pumps Age
Like any bit of machinery, a sump pump is a working instrument that has moving parts and will run itself down over time. Whilst maintenance can be performed on the pump to prolong its lifespan within your waterproofing system, eventually it will need replacing.
As a general rule, most sump pumps have an expected life expectancy of around ten years. This rule is open to some pretty serious variables though. Factors like how often your sump pump is used, along with how long it stays turned on for will effect the lifespan.
That isn’t all that must be considered though. Factors such as the electrical source that powers the pump can effect a sump pumps lifespan, as can the quality of the pump itself – lesser quality pumps are obviously going to have a shorter lifespan than pumps of a more premium build quality.
The pumps operation can also factor into the lifespan of the sump pump as well. The distance that the pump has to push the water in order for it to discharge can be a serious influence on the pumps lifespan as well, as the further the water has to be pumped means the harder that pump has to work.
Keep all this in mind, and judge for yourself whether it might be worth having your pump looked at or replaced due to its age. Remember, you can always arrange for sump pump maintenance to be carried out on your pump, and if it is displaying signs of aging then the attending engineer will recognise them and recommend a replacement instead of repair.
Your Sump Pump is Too Noisy
Your sump pump should routinely make noise whilst it works to empty your basement of moisture. However, If that noise becomes louder than usual, more frequent, irregular, – or just never stops – then you could well have a serious problem on your hands.
First, irregular noises coming from your sump pump. Your sump pump should be making noise – that’s a good sign that its working. However, the normal noise for your sump pump to be making would be a steady low whir of a motor running.
So, if you hear something like a clunking sound, or a scratching, or any kind of noticeable difference from the usual whir of your motor its probably a sign that your pump is in distress.
Occasionally you might find that a qualified engineer is capable of repairing your sump pump. Arrange for a check up to find out, but it can be the case that a loud clunking or other unwanted noise is a signifier of a catastrophic failure within the motor, or the pumping system itself.
Sump Pump Stuck Running
One common sign of a sump pump failure is one that many people miss – and that’s your sump pump getting stuck whilst running. There are a few reasons that a property owner might not realise that the sump pump is broken. If it’s running constantly, if it happens in a wetter time of the year for example the owner might just assume that there is constantly moisture that needs removing from the basement.
It might even be that the property owner doesn’t understand sump pumps and assumes that the constant running of the motor just signifies that the sump pump is in use.
This, however, is not the case.
It could well be that the float switch has become clogged, that the check valve connected to the pump is broken, or that the property is handling an amount of water that one sump pump alone is incapable of dealing with.
Regardless of the reason, inaction in any of these scenarios can lead to serious issues, such as a motor burn out or costly and serious wear and tear damage to the pump itself. Even if the extended and constant use of the sump pump doesn’t break the pump itself, it can lead to a serious failure in the wetter months of the year when the pump can’t keep up with the volume of liquid within the tank.
Basically, if your sump pump is stuck consistently running it may well be time to consider investing in a replacement pump that can adequately handle the day-to-day workload required of it.
Sump Pump Not Running Enough
You may consider this an odd option to include after warning about the perils of a pump stuck running too long, but it can happen.
If your sump pump is not powered by the mains, then there is a very real and present danger that if it isn’t used enough that the battery can go flat and the pump will effectively be useless.
Think of it in similar terms to a car – if it’s left too long without being used, often the battery will go flat. You need to make sure that you, or a qualified engineer are undertaking routine maintenance of the pump to avoid any nasty surprises when you need it most in the wetter seasons.
Clogged pipes are not necessarily a cause for concern, or a reason to believe that your sump pump is in need of replacing.
If the pipes connected to your sump pump become clogged then you could well find that the debris filling the pipes is damaging your pump as it passes through your sump pump.
Or, you could find that if the exit pipe on your sump pump is the one that’s blocked, that your sump pump is working even harder to clear water out of your basement waterproofing system.
Either way, that’s undue stress or damage within the sump pump system – and if left unsupervised it could lead to serious failure within your sump pump.
Again though, this is a situation that could be avoided if your sump pump is visited regularly by trained engineers ready to conduct maintenance on your sump pump. If caught in time, many issues that could lead to a devastating sump pump failure can be avoided, and your basement will stay protected all year round.
If the inspection is carried out and your sump pump isn’t up to scratch though, our engineers are on hand to expertly install a brand new pump that will serve your basement well for a very long time – and with a well kept maintenance schedule in place, you can rest easy that your basement is protected against flooding.
Call 0800 019 9949 or get in touch with us online to organise your sump pump maintenance schedule today.