Common sump pump problems and what you can do to avoid a wet basement

Sump pump pic

 

1.  Power Failure

A sump pump is no different than any other electric appliance in your house — without power, it is completely worthless.  As a safeguard, invest in a high quality back-up power of some sort or battery powered back up sump.

2.  Switch was Stuck

There are several different types of sump float switches. Vertical and tethered floats are the most common.  We strongly prefer vertical floats because tethered floats are notorious for getting stuck on the side walls of the sump pit, which can result in a flooded basement.  Some sump pumps also have mechanical pressure switches that are prone to failure. Always check fuses too, make sure there isn’t just a blown fuse.

3.  Pump was Overwhelmed

A common misconception is all pumps are created equal.  They’re not!  In sump pumps, as in life, you always get what you pay for.    And to be completely safe, have back up power.

4.  Sump Discharge Pipe Froze

This is a very common during the very cold winter time. If the pipe isn’t pitched properly, water will collect and eventually freeze, causing a blockage.  Because what goes up must come down, the water falls right back into your sump pit.  When the pit continues to fill up, the water has no place to go but all over your basement floor.  That’s why it’s not a good idea to ever run a long discharge line.

5.  Old Age

Just because your sump pump seems to be working fine, like anything, over time they get old and tired and you could end up with a basement full of water.  Sump pumps should be replaced every five to seven years to be reasonably safe. Also, it is best to have a spare one that can be easily installed. If you cannot do it yourself any plumber, water proofer and sometimes a competent handyman can usually do it.