As most homeowners who own one already know, a sump pump is a vital piece of plumbing equipment that prevents your basement from flooding. Without a working sump pump, your property may be at risk for water damage every time it rains outside. But how do you know when it’s time to install a new one? It’s important to make sure your sump pump gets replaced before a disaster occurs, since the last thing you want is to find out this is device broken when a storm hits, and you need it more than ever. Keep reading for the top ten signs it’s time to replace your sump pump, and remember to hire our experienced plumbers at Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for expert sump pump service and all your other plumbing needs.
You May Need to Replace Your Sump Pump If:
- Your Sump Pump Is Constantly Making Strange Noises or Vibrating: Loud noises coming from your sump pump may indicate that certain components are worn out or damaged. The fan or propeller could be damaged, or the motor could be failing, in which case you will definitely want to replace the pump. You should also watch out for excessive vibrating, as this usually means there is a problem with the impeller (the part that sucks material in,) which can easily destroy the whole unit.
- Your Sump Pump Will Not Stop Running: If your sump pump runs all the time, there is a good chance there is a problem with the switch and float arm mechanisms. This happens sometimes when there is an issue with the power source, or the pump shifts inside the basin, causing the float to become unresponsive. Sump pumps that run without stopping can also indicate that your unit simply does not have enough power to accommodate your house’s needs. Either way, a sump pump that runs all the time will not be able to handle the extra water load when a flood situation does occur, so you will likely need to replace it.
- Your Sump Pump Keeps Cycling On & Off: Sump pumps that cycle on and off, even when it is raining heavily out, may be suffering from a faulty float switch. It is also possible that an electrical short in your house caused a problem with your pump’s wiring. Either way, this is a problem, as it may cause your pump to start and stop regardless of how much water has accumulated in the basin.
- Your Sump Pump Is Showing Visible Rust or Damage: Sump pumps sometimes turn rusty because of corroded battery terminals. However, it is also possible those brown spots you are seeing are because of bacteria buildup. While this poses no hazards to your health, it will disrupt the water flow of your drainage system, potentially forcing you to replace your pump.
- Your Sump Pump Is Always Getting Material Stuck In Its Motor: Sometimes, a sump pump may suck up so much sediment, its motor can prematurely get worn down. You may be able to install a filter to prevent this from happening, though these filters do need to be cleaned and replaced occasionally. Your other choice would be to replace the pump altogether.
- Your Sump Pump Is Old: The older your sump pump, the more likely it is to experience problems. If your pump is seven-years-old or older, there may be no amount of cleaning, repairs, and maintenance that can keep it working, and you might have to replace it altogether.
- Your Sump Pump Has Received Little Use: In addition to sump pumps that are old, sump pumps that are inactive have a greater chance of experiencing issues. Similar to a car battery, a sump pump needs to be used periodically to preserve its shelf life. Rather than keeping your pump in pristine condition, disuse is more likely to cause your pump to fail when the time comes that you actually need it. For this reason, it’s a good idea to test your sump pump occasionally and make sure it is in working condition and ready to protect your basement.
- Your Sump Pump Was Installed Incorrectly: Not all contractors have the plumbing experience to install a sump pump correctly. If your sump pump was already installed when you moved into your home, you should call a professional to inspect it, since there’s a chance whoever put it in did not size it right or check to ensure it was functioning properly.
- Your Sump Pump Has Stopped Working Altogether: If your sump pump has stopped working completely, it is likely because of a motor failure. This can be caused by wiring and electrical problems, frozen and clogged drain hoses, or other malfunctions. The key is that you call a plumber right away if your pump has stopped working, and check to see if your pump can be saved, or if the motor is dead and it needs to be replaced.
- Your Home Is Experiencing Frequent Power Failures: Because your sump pump is a part not only of you plumbing system but your electrical system as well, it may become damaged if frequent power outages occur. This is why it is a good idea to check your pump anytime you experience a power surge, or to install an auxiliary pump that runs on a backup marine battery.