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Sump Pump Failure: 8 Causes

Much like any other emergency or security system, you will rarely need your sump pump, but it is very necessary in emergency situations. A sump pump can help mitigate water damage in the event of flooding by draining floodwater from the home using an external discharge drain. However, in order for a sump pump to function as it should, regular maintenance is required. Some of the reasons why your sump pump may stop working, include:

1. Old Age

How old is your sump pump? Wear and tear can result in pump failure after 7-10 years. Ideally, sump pumps should be replaced after 10 years in order to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.

2. Power Failure

With bad weather often come power failure. This combination can cause your basement to flood even if you have a sump pump. Installing a backup generator for the sump pump can help avoid flooding during a power failure.

3. Lack of Maintenance

Oftentimes, sump pumps may seem to fail, when really, it just needs a good maintenance service. Give your sump pump a quarterly cleaning by making a vinegar solution and running it through the pump, ensuring that the float is unrestricted. Also ensure that the air holes and the vents on the pump are clean and clear of debris.

4. Pump is Overwhelmed

If your sump pump is too small for the amount of water entering it, it may become overwhelmed. If the pump is too big, it will become overworked and its lifespan will be shortened. Before buying a sump pump, speak to an expert who can help you to size it correctly.

5. Clogged or Frozen Discharge Pipe

If water flows back down the pipe and into your basement, it is possible that the discharge pipe is clogged with debris, or frozen. It is possible to put preventative measures in place to avoid frozen pipes, or you could have a specialty discharge pipe installed. This will allow the water to flow out of your basement even when the main pipe is frozen.

6. The Switch is Stuck

It is pretty common for the sump pump switch to become stuck, especially when the pump shifts inside the basin. When this happens, the float (which operates the switch) can lodge itself against the side of the pump, causing it to become ineffective. Debris can also jam the float. In both cases, a bit of housekeeping can help you adjust the pump and get it back into working condition again in no time.

7. Defective Pump

It is important to test your pump frequently, and especially shortly after installation. to ensure that it is working as it should. Manufacturing defects are unlikely, but not impossible.

8. Poor Installation

If none of the above problems apply, it is possible that your sump pump was not installed correctly. Proper installation means that

there is a check valve on the discharge line
there is an air relief hole in the discharge line
not setting the pump on dirt or gravel

When faced with sump pump failure, call Anta Plumbing for expert assistance. We handle all sump pump installations, maintenance and repairs.

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