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With the heavy downpour that often accompanies the springtime, there are few things worse than your sump pump failing. Your sump pump is one of the most important things that you’ll want to keep running on a rainy day.

Why Sump Pump Fail

(Pixabay / josemdelaa)

A sump pump minimizes flooding by quickly draining rainwater from your basement with the aid of a discharge pipe. Like many emergency tools, it is vital to ensure that your sump pump is in proper working order before you need to use it. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a flooded home with potentially hundreds to thousands of dollars in damages.

Here are the most common causes for sump pump failures:

Installation Issues

When your sump pump isn’t installed properly, it can cause some problems. Many manufacturers suggest that a check valve is installed along the discharge line. Not having the check valve causes the sump pump to have a backflow of water which prevents the pump from forcing the water out. The backflow causes a reverse rotation which can unscrew the impeller from the engine’s shaft. This can make it sound like the pump is running, but it’s actually pumping backward.

Automatic Switch Problem

The sump pump is located in a pit at the lowest part of the basement. When water flows inside the hole, the switch automatically turns the pump on. The pump switch is inside the container that the water flows into. It uses a float which acts as the sensor for water level. When the float is not situated in the correct position, the switch inside will not work as it should.

Power Interruption

The leading cause of sump pump issues is power failure because the pump won’t work without electricity. Always have a backup generator handy to avoid interruptions to your sump pump. In the same vein, a sump pump can be damaged by sudden power surges during an electric power failure or storm.

Lack of Proper Maintenance

It is highly recommended to perform routine maintenance on your sump pump every two to three months. Check on the operation of your sump pump’s float at all times. Clean up the air holes and the discharge line. Replace the battery on your back-up every two years. Lastly, listen for any unusual noises when your sump pump motor is working.

Clogged/Frozen Discharge Lines

The sump pump will stop working when water is unable to exit through the discharge line. You have to make sure that the discharge pipe is clear of dirt, debris, and other blockages. Making sure that your water discharge line is free from obstruction will help your sump pump work at optimal capacity. In the winter months, check if your discharge pipe is frozen or obstructed to avoid any issues.

All these issues with your sump pump can be prevented with the right level of maintenance. Undeniably, mechanical equipment does fail, but with consistent upkeep and proper use, your sump pump should work efficiently and serve you for seven to 10 years.