Sump Pump Failure

Plumber repairing an hot-water heater.

Sump pumps are the silent heroes of basements, and homes in general. Without any hoopla, they quietly protect your home from flooding, and living in Saint Joseph, MN, you know basement flooding can happen quite easily. It only takes that one major rainfall or ice storm to foil your sump pump’s success rate. Our professional plumbers at Precise Heating recommend keeping your sump pump regularly maintained to prevent any mishaps. If you do run into a sump pump failure, some of the common reasons our plumbers typically see can easily be addressed to prevent a repeat failure.

Noah’s Ark in Your Basement

When your basement floods, a panic can set in. Water is everywhere, and your belongings are drenched. What should you do? First, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You’ll get through this and do what it takes to prevent it from happening again. Second, attempt to discover the source of the water. The majority of basement floodings are a result of sump pump failure. If your basement is full of water and your sump pump isn’t pumping the water out, you can usually bet this is the source––a failed sump pump. Call one of our professional plumbers to come out to assist. We can be there quickly to stop the water and efficiently install a new pump.

Preventing Failure in the First Place

Sump pumps are mechanical, which inherently means that no matter how much maintenance you perform on them, they could still fail. That said, performing regular maintenance goes a long way in preventing the majority of issues causing them to fail, as well as extending their lifespan. A typical good-quality sump pump can expect a lifespan of eight to 12 years, though neglect usually shaves quite a few years off this number. Also, having a backup sump pump installed is always a wise investment and has prevented many potential calamities. Call and speak to one of our plumbers about regular maintenance or a backup pump. Our plumbers can also guide you in some DIY maintenance to help keep your sump pump healthy and happy.

Common Causes of Sump Pump Failure

While there are many reasons a sump pump can unexpectedly fail, here are some of the most common. Our plumbers can help you with regular maintenance to spot many of them before they happen and head off a flooding disaster. In the case of a failed sump pump, they can inform you the reason for the failure (maybe one of these causes) and address the issue.

    • Power failure.

Your pump needs power to work. A power outage or surge, a plug that’s come unplugged, or a tripped circuit could be the culprit. Sometimes a simple reboot does the trick.

    • Wrong size pump.

If your pump is overwhelmed due to too much water for its size, it can’t do its job. The same goes if your pump is too large, leading to overwork. Both of these scenarios result in a shortened lifespan. A plumber can help you determine how much horsepower you need, which helps to address the issue of size.

    • Stuck switch.

A stuck switch is a common mechanical problem, resulting in your pump constantly running, among other consequences. This can be a simple adjustment if caught in time.

    • Frozen or clogged discharge line.

If your pump’s discharge line is frozen or clogged, the line’s flood water has nowhere to go but back into your basement. A plumber can install a specialty discharge line to help with water exiting in the case your line does freeze, as well as help you to prevent debris buildup in your line.

    • No air relief hole in discharge line.

Your pump will work harder and have a shorter lifespan without an air relief hole. It should be drilled between the pump and check valve, preventing air pressure buildup in the line.

    • Lack of maintenance.

As with anything in your home, regular maintenance of your sump pump is a small investment to make to keep your pump running smoothly and ensure a long lifespan.

    • Defective pump or old age.

As you’ve probably already experienced, sometimes things just fail because they’re defective. Sump pumps are no exception. On occasion, that can be the reason for them failing. Other times they fail because they’re worn out, and it’s just time to replace them.

Sump pumps have a big responsibility––keeping your home dry. Regular maintenance goes a long way in helping them do their job. Whatever the reason, sometimes you find your basement flooded due to a failed sump pump. When that happens, call our trusted Precise Heating plumbers at 320-363-7401. We can help.

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