You may not realize how much you depend on your sump pump to protect you from a flooding basement or crawlspace. That is until it fails.
When a sump pump fails, it not only doesn’t stop water from flooding your basement, it can also make the situation even worse.
Find out what causes your sump pump to fail and what you can do to prevent it.
Causes for a Sump Pump to Fail
A few common reasons for a sump pump to fail include:
- Power outages
- A malfunction of mechanical parts
- Age of the unit; an older model may simply give out due to its use over the years
- Improper installation puts extra strain on the unit or not pump at optimum levels
- Inexpensive units not designed to handle your needs
Sump Pump Failures Explained
You will realize pretty quickly when your sump pump fails but may not understand why it happened. Here are some common reasons:
When the power goes out and you don’t have a battery backup, it can spell disaster because you have no protection from basement flooding.
Other causes for loss of power is if the sump pump is accidentally unplugged or the circuit breaker is tripped.
Clogged Sump Pump or Discharge Lines
Many people install sump pumps without a lid, which creates a high risk for clogging. If your sump pump is installed without a lid, dust, dirt and other debris can get inside and cause it to clog.
A dirty sump pump can experience mechanical failure including the switches which can get stuck in either the on or off position or stop working when you need it most. Having a sump pump lid also protects children, pets and excess water from flowing back into your space.
Another cause for sump pump failure is due to dirt, debris or even rodents to get into and clog the discharge lines. Discharge lines are an important part of the system as they carry the water out and discharge it far from your home, protecting its very foundation.
If the sump pump seems to be working but there’s no water in the pit, it’s a sure sign of improper installation. A sump pump is installed incorrectly if it’s not connected to the drainage system or there is no drainage system in place.
In order to work effectively, excess water flows to the sump pump where it then drains into the pit. If you don’t have a drainage system, such as drain tile, the sump pump can’t successfully drain water into the pit.
Make sure you have a clear – not clogged – drain tile system and that it’s pitched correctly for the sump pump to work at maximum efficiency.
Your sump pump may perform well during lighter periods of rain, but during heavier rains, it might just not have what it takes to power through and keep up with all the excess water.
An inadequate pump can easily burn out or stop working during a critical time of removing excess water and preventing a flood.
If the sump pump is running non-stop, it will burn out sooner than later. If your unit is running non-stop, call in a professional to diagnosis the problem. Under normal circumstances, your sump pump should not be running continuously.
The technician will check for problems such as defective or broken parts, clogged switches or adequate size and function.
Free Yourself from Sump Pump Failure
When it comes to basement flooding, prevention is the best course of action. When water is backing up in your basement is not the time to realize your sump pump isn’t reliable, designed to handle your needs or experiencing mechanical failure.
Consider these options before a minor issue takes a disastrous turn:
- Make sure you invest in a reliable, high quality sump pump. Check with experts in water removal to assess and make recommendations in terms of which sump pump to buy. You may also consider a battery back-up model or more than one sump pump.
- Install a drainage (drain tile) system.
- Inspect and clean your sump pump regularly.
Your sump pump plays a critical role in home protection. When it fails, you have to deal with flooding and water removal, water damage and all the dangers and issues that go hand-in-hand with a water back-up or flood.
When your basement floods, call in the water removal and mold remediation professionals at RCS in Santa Rosa. We can quickly remove the water, repair any damage and restore your home back to its safe, dry condition.