A sump pump is your basements security blanket. It may not run all the time (unless you live in an area with a high water table), but when you need it, you want to make sure it’s in good working condition. That means you want it to be free of any mechanical issues so you won’t have a problem when it starts raining.
Here are some reasons your sump pump can fail, and how to find a solution to the problem.
Problem: POWER FAILURE Solution: BATTERY BACKUP SYSTEM
Heavy rainstorms and power failures can go hand in hand. If the power goes out, you sump pump may not work, and your basement can flood. We recommend a PumpSpy Battery Backup System. It has a backup sump pump and battery so if the power goes out, the battery backup will still power your pump.
Problem: STUCK SWITCH Solution: ADJUST SWITCH POSITION
This is one of the most common problems for a sump pump to fail. Make sure the switch has plenty of room so it doesn’t get stuck against the pump. Moving the position of the switch or cleaning the area around it can remedy this problem.
Problem: PUMP IS TOO SMALL Solution: LARGER PUMP AND/OR BACKUP PUMP
If your pump isn’t the right size for the amount of water entering the basin, it can easily become overwhelmed, which means a flooded basement. Make sure your primary pump is at least 1/3 HP (larger if you live in an area with a high water table). Or you can install a PumpSpy Battery Backup System which has a backup pump that pumps more per hour than any other backup system, and can easily handle the excess water.
Problem: CLOGGED OR FROZEN DISCHARGE LINE Solution: FREEZFLOW / BASIN LID
If your discharge line become clogged or frozen, flood water will flow back down the pipe and flood your basement. Installing a FreezFlow to your outside discharge line will let the water discharge through the specially designed vents, preventing a backup in your basement. Also covering your sump pump basin with a lid will prevent debris and small critters (mice) from entering the basin and clogging the pump and line.
Problem: SMELL COMING FROM BASIN Solution: CLEAN BASIN AND PUMP
If you have excessive odors coming from the pump, dropping a chlorine tablet in the basin every few months should help get rid of any algae growth causing the smell. Chlorine will also help neutralize any iron ore algae and prevent it from clogging the pump.
Problem: OLD PUMP Solution: NEW PUMP / BACKUP PUMP
How much your sump pump is used will determine how long it will last. Some pumps may last up to 7 years or more. If you pump is constantly running due to a high water table in your area, the lifespan may only be 3-5 years, or less. Having a PumpSpy Battery Backup System will give you a backup pump in case your primary pump fails due to age. And the FREE 24/7 Monitoring Service will send you updates and alerts so you know the status of your sump pump system. This will come in handy if you ever have a problem (IMPORTANT: Insurance companies may reject homeowners basement flooding claims if they can’t prove their sump pump was well maintained).
Problem: PUMP NOT CORRECTLY INSTALLED Solution: CALL A PROFESSIONAL
If your pump isn’t working properly, it may have been installed incorrectly. You can check it yourself, or call a professional if you aren’t sure how to do it yourself.
Some issues you may want to check:
1. Is there a Check Valve on the discharge line and is it working?
2. Is there an air relief hole in the discharge line?
3. Is your pump sitting/packed in gravel which could interfer with the on/off switch and float arm.
Problem: DEFECTIVE PUMP Solution: TEST IT FIRST
Though unlikely, you may have gotten a defective pump. Make sure to test it after installation to make sure it is working properly.