The sump pump tucked away in your basement is the hidden hero of your home. Although a sump pump doesn’t run continuously, when it does run, it has a significant job. Helping to keep water from your basement and your possessions dry, the sump pump is especially useful for homes prone to flooding. So, how do you know if your sump pump is not working? Don’t find out the hard way when your basement is full of water. We have created a summary of different types of sump pump issues and clues you might have a broken sump pump.
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Reasons Your Sump Pump Stopped Working
There are a number of reasons why your sump pump might decide to stop working. Before considering the signs, let’s take a closer look at some potential sump pump problems.
One common issue for a sump pump failure is a power outage. Sadly, a storm causing a power outage often brings with it larger amounts of water and the potential for flooding. When your sump pump loses power, it will be unable to remove water from the sump pit and basement. A smart solution is to connect your sump pump to a backup generator that kicks on automatically if there’s a loss of power. Then you have the reassurance your sump pump will never stop working.
Another potential problem is when a switch gets stuck in your sump pump. Inside your sump pump, there is a basin containing the actual pump. The float that is a part of this can get stuck against the side and jam the switch. If your sump pump is not working, the source of the issue may be excess dirt and debris in the basin. Once a sump pump is activated to distribute water , it is not uncommon for debris to collect in the basin. This can cause a switch to jam. A stuck switch is easily fixed with regular cleaning and sump pump maintenance.
Incorrect Horsepower Rating
Making sure you have the right size sump pump is key to it lasting longer and working efficiently. If your sump pump is too large, it could work too hard, shortening the lifespan. The other side of the coin is if you have too small of a sump pump. It can be overwhelmed with a large amount of water and lower its effectiveness.
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Blockage in Discharge Pipes
Your sump pump has a discharge pipe used to remove the water it pumps. A few things can happen with the discharge pipes. These pipes could potentially freeze, causing a blockage and water to back up. Debris can also jam up the discharge pipe. Make sure your discharge pipe has a screen or grate covering it, which prevents any debris blockage. If the discharge pipe gets blocked, the sump pump will stop working. Once the drainage pipes are clogged, the water in your system may get circulated back into your basement and cause a flood.
When a sump pump is not working, this is an indicator you are not performing routine maintenance on the system. For many homeowners, the sump pump is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind type of home appliance. Hire a licensed contractor to perform regular maintenance on your sump pump like you do for your HVAC system.
End of Life Cycle
Indeed, some sump pumps work harder than others. If you live in a place more likely to get heavy rain or you have a basement prone to floods, your sump pump will get its share of wear and tear. Like any appliance, a sump pump will wear out over time and stop working. Routine maintenance helps to extend a sump pump’s lifespan. It also helps to identify when your sump pump might need to be replaced because of old age.
If you’re having problems with your sump pump, you may want to have a professional inspect it to make sure the sump pump installation was done correctly. Incorrect installation can impact its effectiveness.
Know the Parts of Your Sump Pump
As you look at your sump pump, having knowledge about the parts in your system will be helpful to help you identify problems when your sump pump is not working. The sump pump pit is the basin where water collects and gets pumped out. Inside this pit is the actual pump that does the heavy lifting to remove water.
The check valve is a small but key part of your sump pump. The check valve connects to the drainage pipe. It prevents water and waste from backing up and flowing through the drainage pipe back into your basement. Finally, as already mentioned, it makes sense to have a backup for your sump pump for those times you might lose power, and your system needs fixing.
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Sump Pump Problems
Just like your furnace or air conditioner, there are sometimes noises from these units. Some are a natural part of it working, while others might be warning you of a problem.
Some humming sounds may be completely normal. Yet, if the humming seems particularly loud or sudden, it might indicate a problem. Once a sump pump is not working, this is a sign of a frozen or clogged drainage pipe. In addition, the humming noise may be an indicator it’s time to talk with a professional about performing maintenance.
Grinding sounds are almost never good and should not be ignored. If your sump pump is not working correctly, this is a sign of a problem with the system’s impeller. This is where you need a professional to take a closer look.
One common problem connected to banging is when a discharge pipe is moving around. It may need to be secured to prevent it from moving and causing the banging sound you’re hearing.
Remember, it’s your sump pump’s job to deal with water. You may hear this sound. But if you don’t normally hear it when the sump pump runs and it suddenly starts gurgling, it could indicate a problem.
One common culprit is your check valve. It can actually be replaced with a spring-loaded version that gets rid of the gurgling sound.
Is clanging, like banging, bad? The answer is sometimes. Sometimes, it’s a matter of wrapping the pipes, so they aren’t rubbing and making noise. The discharge pipe position may need adjusting to prevent the noises you’re hearing.
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Sump Pump Not Working? We Can Help
A sump pump not working can be bad news for your home and your basement. You can experience significant water damage, and it can happen quickly. You want to make sure you have your sump pump in good working order, so when you really need it, the sump pump can get the job done and remove water.
If you need assistance evaluating your sump pump’s condition or want to have a maintenance check on it, we can help. We offer reliable sump pump repair and installation services to homes in areas such as Brick, Tom’s River, Middletown, Elizabeth, and Howell. In addition, our staff of local plumbers offer other types of plumbing services such as water line installation, water softener replacement, water heater repair, and gas pipe installation. It’s often best to have an expert check your sump pump to be sure you haven’t missed anything that would prevent it from working the way it should. If you need help with a malfunctioning sump pump, give our team of technicians a call by phone at (732) 201-3305. Contact us today to set up an appointment so you can take a look and make sure your sump pump is working well.