broken rusty sump pump in basement

7 Reasons Why Sump Pumps Fail When We Need Them Most

When your basement floods, your sump pump can save you from significant water damage and thousands of dollars in restoration costs. For this reason, you should routinely check on your sump pump to make sure it’s not displaying any warning signs of a malfunction.

Below, we’ll explain some of the most common causes of sump pump failures and provide some tips for avoiding these problems.

7 Reasons Why Sump Pumps Fail

  1. The discharge pipe is clogged or frozen. Your sump pump must be able to pump water out of your basement. If ice or debris clogs the discharge pipe, water will just return to your basement.
  2. The float is stuck. The pump itself can move in the pit, and when this happens, the float can get stuck in position. If the float can’t move, then it will never flip the switch that activates the sump pump.
  3. The sump pump has lost power. If a storm knocks out the power in your neighborhood, then you can also lose power to your sump pump.
  4. The sump pump is too small. If your sump pump lacks the horsepower to keep up with pumping demands, it can give out due to premature wear and tear.
  5. The sump pump is too big. Bigger isn’t always better. Overpowered sump pumps can overwork themselves, resulting in shorter lifespans.
  6. The sump pump is dirty. Sump pumps can get extremely dirty (understandably), and that grime can prevent them from operating.
  7. The sump pump is old. Sump pumps last about 10 years on average. If yours is approaching that “retirement age,” it has a higher risk of breaking down.

Tips for Avoiding Sump Pump Failures

To prevent clogs in the discharge pipe, keep the pipe opening covered with a grate. This will keep rodents or the wind from carrying debris inside. If frozen discharge pipes are a problem in your region, consider getting a specialty discharge line installed so that water can still leave your basement during a freeze.

If power outages during storms tend to be a problem, you might want to consider installing a sump pump with a backup battery. Alternatively, you can also use a portable generator to power the sump pump—just make sure the generator is positioned at least 20 feet away from any occupied buildings.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid a sump pump failure is routine maintenance. While you can attempt to maintain your sump pump on your own, it’s best to involve a sump pump professional so that they can check the equipment thoroughly and also make sure that no clogs are forming.

Do you need sump pump services in Columbus? Give The Rooter Works Plumbing and Drains a call today at (614) 412-3324 to schedule your appointment!