A sump pump is a basement waterproofing system that prevents water damage. While this system is generally reliable, at some point it will not perform as well as it once did and will need to be replaced.
This guide goes over common signs of sump pump failure and decline so you’ll know when to replace your pump.
How long your sump pump lasts will depend on the quality of your unit and how well it has been maintained. The average life span of a sump pump is between five and seven years, although some units last several decades. Certain pedestal pumps can even run for as long as 30 years.
However, whether the estimated life span of your sump pump is five years or 20 years, you should always keep tabs on the performance of your unit, even if it is still relatively new.
If your pump runs constantly — even in sunny weather — you’ll likely have to replace it. If your sump pump is always running, this means it can’t handle the amount of water coming into the unit.
Many factors could cause your pump to run excessively:
Sump pumps that constantly run will be unable to handle a high water load during a flood, so a professional should take a look at it as soon as possible. The longer this issue goes unresolved, the worse the situation will become — and the last thing you want is for your pump to fail.
It is normal for sump pumps to make some sound when they operate, such as low humming noises. However, if something sounds unusual, like rattling, squealing or grinding, this could suggest serious issues. These sounds could mean there are components that are failing — and failed parts could quickly cause your basement to flood.
Excessive vibration is another sign that your pump may be experiencing issues. When your pump sucks in debris, this causes its impellers to bend, making the unit vibrate excessively. If the unit continues to vibrate, the pump may be headed for serious problems in the future. Although impellers can be re-bent, you also risk damaging the impellers further. In this case, we recommend replacing your pump altogether.
Contractors don’t necessarily have the plumbing experience needed to install sump pumps correctly. If there was already a sump pump when you bought your house, you should have a professional inspect it, as it’s possible whoever installed it sized it incorrectly or never made sure it was working properly.
If your pump has completely ceased to function, motor failure is the likely cause. Motor failure can be due to several factors, including electrical or wiring problems and clogged and frozen drain hoses. The important thing is to contact a plumber immediately when you notice your pump is no longer functioning. The plumber will determine whether the pump can be salvaged or if the motor must be replaced.
If your home frequently experiences power outages, this could damage your sump pump, which is part of your electrical system. For this reason, we recommend checking your sump pump whenever a power outage occurs. You could alternatively install an auxiliary pump powered by a backup marine battery.
To ensure your home and valuable belongings are protected against water damage and mold, it is vital to have a professional inspect your sump pump once a year.
During your sump pump inspection, the professional will test the pump to ensure it’s operating smoothly. They’ll also inspect the following components:
By inspecting all components of your sump pump, a professional can diagnose exactly what is wrong with your system and make necessary repairs.
If you live in or around Columbus, Ohio, and need plumbing services, contact Crawford Mechanical Services, a family-owned, full-service plumbing and drain cleaning company.
Our services include:
To schedule plumbing services, you can contact our friendly staff using our form.