Over 60% of homes in the United States suffer underground water damage or wetness. In the past few decades, sump pumps have become more and more popular. This is because in 1987 the Federal Clean Water Act was amended to require that certain residences install a sump pump even if they were not in a flood-prone area. Sump pump specialists were quick to develop a product that would work well and last long.
In this blog post, we take at some of the reasons sump pumps fail and what you can do to prevent them. Read on for more.
What Is a Sump Pump?
The sump pump is a small, submersible pump that you install in the lowest point of your crawlspace or basement. It works to remove any water that might have pooled there. The water level rises in the sump pit when it rains heavily or during prolonged wet periods.
The puddle disappears as the water pumps out of the hole. It is then pumped away from your home’s foundation walls through discharge piping.
Homes that are in flood-prone areas or have high water tables often use sump pumps. They can also protect homes from sewage backups or seepage.
Sump pumps are available in a variety of different styles and sizes, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. Many sump pumps now come with battery backup systems, so you can be sure that your pump will continue to work even if the power goes out.
How Does It Work?
It works by using an electric motor to draw water up from the sump pit and then pump it out of the home and away from the foundation. The machine will activate once the water in the pit reaches a specific level. It then deactivates when there is no longer any water.
Most sump pumps have a float switch, which helps to prevent the pump from running dry, burning out, and causing a huge plumbing failure.
Types of Sump Pumps
Two main types of pumps are available, pedestal and submersible.
Submersible sump pumps must be placed inside the sump pit, with the motor lowered in the water. These are the most common type of sump pump, as they are less expensive and easier to install than pedestal pumps.
For pedestal sump pumps, the motor sits above the pit, on a pedestal. These types of pumps are not as common, as they are more expensive and difficult to install. However, they have the advantage of being easier to service and repair.
7 Reasons Why Sump Pumps Fail
There are many reasons why sump pumps can fail. The most common reason is that the pump is not maintained. Sump pumps should be checked on a yearly basis to make sure that they are clean and free of debris.
1. Defective Device
Two types of defects are quite common. The most common reason for a sump pump failure is a broken or damaged impeller. The impeller is the part of the pump that helps to move the water.
If this becomes damaged, it can cause the pump to fail. Another common issue is a broken float switch. The float switch is what turns the pump on and off, and if it becomes damaged, the pump may not be able to turn on or off.
Clogging is another common issue that can cause sump pump failure. The most common type of clog is a debris clog.
This happens when small pieces of debris, such as leaves or twigs, become lodged in the pump. This can prevent the pump from being able to move water and may cause it to fail.
Clogged Drains or Discharge Pipes
Another type of clog that can occur is a drain or discharge pipe clog. This happens when the pipes that carry the water away from the pump become blocked. This can cause the water to back up and may cause the pump to fail.
Frozen or Blocked Discharge Lines
If the discharge lines become frozen or blocked, it can cause the water to back up and may cause the pump to fail. Check your pumps often in the winter.
Clogged Intake Screen
The intake screen on the pump can become clogged with debris, causing the pump to work harder. This leads to overheating and burnout.
Running Continuously With No Water
If your pump is running continuously with no water, check for a blockage in the discharge pipe. The discharge pipe is the pipe that the water goes through when it is removed from your home. If this becomes blocked, the pump will continue to run, even if there is no water present.
3. Excessive Rainfall or Flooding
Excessive rainfall or flooding can also cause sump pump failure. If the water level rises too high, it can overwhelm the pump and cause it to fail.
4. Power Outage
During a power outage or failure, your sump pump will not be able to operate. This can cause your basement to flood.
5. Improper Installation
If your sump pump is not installed the right way, it can cause many issues like pump failure. It can also cause leaking.
6. Wrong Size Pump
If the pump is too small for the job, it will have to work overtime and will burn out. Conversely, if the pump is too large for the job, it will cycle on and off too often and will also eventually burn out.
7. Poor Maintenance
Pump sumps need yearly maintenance to function. If you do not maintain your pump, it can cause some issues. If you do not clean your sump pump on a regular basis, it can become clogged with debris and may fail.
You should also lubricate your sump pump on a yearly basis to prevent the pump from becoming seized.
How To Prevent Sump Pump Failure
There are many things you can do to help prevent your sump pump from failing. To start, check the intake screen on a regular basis and clean it as needed. Make sure the pump is the correct size for your home.
Have a backup power source for the pump in case of a power outage. Have the pump installed by a professional. Inspect and maintain the pump on a regular basis.
If you do experience sump pump failure, it is important to call a professional right away to have the problem fixed. If left untreated, water damage can occur and be very expensive to repair.
Your Sump Pump Specialists
Sump pumps are an important part of keeping your home dry and free from water damage. While they are fairly simple devices, it is important to make sure that all the parts are working in order for the pump to function.
If you have any questions about sump pumps or if you need help selecting the right one for your home, please feel free to contact us. We are your sump pump repair Detroit MI specialists offering sump pump service and plumbers in Detroit MI. Make an appointment with qualified sump pump specialists today.